Work Different, Number One

My first real job was doing digital print design for a book. It was a eighty page art book with ten pages of full color photography of painting. I had used Apple computers all through college to edit QuickTime movies that became part of video installation art. Then someone asked me if I knew how to use them. As in “Do you know how to use this computer thingy?”. They didn’t ask if I’d done a book design before. Just had I used a Apple computer. I said yes.

This job took me out of the studio using mechanical tools and paint brushes and thrust me into the office. I spent that entire summer in-front of a computer slinging digital files. Previously I had sworn I would never work in a office. I went to get a Fine Arts degree because I felt I did not have the skills and temperament to work “in business”. That skepticism mixed with creativity forced me on a path to reinvent the office environment.

Since that first job I’ve worked in lots of offices. From the nine to five to visiting clients and working at home. I cultivated a career as a ‘tech guy’. Someone who is known to use the left side of their brain. But I had been born with a strong right side and trained to use it.

For those who learned I had a Fine Arts degree it was very confusing. Why would a “artist” be working in a office and know about computers? Because the stereotype of the socially inept and uncreative computer nerd had sunk in peoples’ minds. This stereotype would soon be turned on its head by a new generation who used digital tools to create. And it happened that those tools, computers, like to be operated in a air-conditioned office.

I’ll admit a certain amount of internal pressure to please my parents. They were very skeptical about my desire to go to art school. My mother reminded me what a bad idea it was all through college and long after. So in some sort of response I sought after and obtained jobs at businesses. In part to prove I could do it. For as a child I had learned that I could do anything if I wanted to.

Now I am about start a new chapter in my career. I’ve spent the past three years working in a office environment I created from the ground up. It coincided with my first experience being a entrepreneur. Something I had dreamt about for decades but avoided.

Some of the blog posts that follow will be a debriefing about what I’ve learned. Primarily about creating highly productive work environments. It involves interior design, community building, the changing nature of work and play, how to save money when building a office, the element of time, and the truth that less really is more.

So check back as I get all this info out of my skull. Please forgive my horrendous grammar, poor spelling, and dyslexic word flipping. This is just a sketchbook for now. Maybe one day this will become a proper book.

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