A pipe dream of mine is to be an artist. Yet, I can’t draw, paint, or sculpt. I’m terrible at taking pictures. And I can’t sew. Nonetheless, I’ll use creativity any way I can.
Despite the many talents I wish I had when it comes to fine arts, I do not possess many. Yet, I cannot deny my unending thirst for creativity. For the first twenty-five years of my life, I simply believed that because I lacked the natural ability in the fine arts, that I couldn’t call myself an artist. On the contrary however, I have found that creativity can be found in all sorts of places (even ones as boring as an office) and be seen in areas outside the art studio and in work that doesn’t require an easel and paint brush.
There are many different avenues for artistic expression. But, there is beauty and artistry in unexpected places that any one of us could easily overlook in a millisecond simply because it doesn’t fit within the typical range of what we consider artistic. Yet, why is that? Why do we underestimate art at its finest simply because it isn’t hanging in a gallery, featured in a magazine, paraded down a runway, or showcased on television?
Today, I’d like to highlight areas of artistry in the workplace that perhaps go unnoticed, but can be truly innovative and creative. Check them out below because chances are, you’ll discover that you too are an artist.
It’s not far fetched to assume many people see office spaces as generic and unplanned. We all know about ugly cubicle farms. But, did you know that designing a workplace specifically to inspire and encourage creativity does happen? These days office spaces can be seen flashing brighter colors, livelier patterns, warmer and welcoming touches. Have you taken notice to the pretty stone fireplaces, water features and winged-back chairs in medical offices? Or the hanging art pieces in conference rooms or couches in business entryways? These subtle touches are not only artistic expressions, they serve a purpose: to inspire and fuel innovation. Bravo to the individuals who lead the way in achieving such work environments.
Yes, this is a surprising example of artistic expression at work. After all, spreadsheets can be described through many unenthusiastic words. Boring. Flat. Numbers. Figures. Blah, blah, blah. But, that’s why this project work is amazing. Because when it’s done well, it becomes a cornerstone in many areas of operation. It takes an immense amount of creativity to relay crucial information in a way that can be understood universally throughout a company. When spreadsheets are easy to understand, to navigate and appear to be “simple”, rest assured the creator is an artist.
Writing emails is an underestimated task. They may seem easy enough to write, but deep down, we know the challenges that come with electronic communication–or should I say miscommunication? When you are dealing with situations involving client communication, new prospect outreach, customer service, employee relations, and dozens of other areas that can be precarious at times, it takes a certain finesse to write clearly, concisely, and thoughtfully. I’m willing to bet that those of you reading this blog would be hard pressed to count on just one hand the number of times you’ve had to draft and redraft emails cautiously due to the finicky nature of the communication. The art in composing emails comes when the combination of your words and perspective achieve the goal set forth in your draft. If your message is received clearly and in the manner with which you hoped, then consider yourself an artist.
Not everyone can be great at communication. In fact, it’s actually quite difficult to achieve because everyone is different in their understanding, perspective, and knowledge of a situation, subject matter, etc. So, to say that there are perfect communicators in the world is like saying North America is in the southern hemisphere. It’s just not true. But, there are people who can master the art form of communication. If co-workers and colleagues turn to you for advice or as a sounding board, consider yourself an artist. If you are a mentor or sought out as one, consider yourself an artist. If you successfully maintain positive relationships in the office, you’re an artist. If you’re a leader who is received well and respected by both your team and your counterparts, you’re an artist.
Maintaining a clean desk can be tricky. You may have stacks of paper in neat piles and files in a filing cabinet, but unless there is an organizational system in place, you may still find yourself in a disorganized, mangled heap of clutter. The true artists are those who have thoughtful, designated systems in place for office organization.