In the photo for this travel log entry, I’m sitting in a Flux chair. It is a project of Douwe Jacobs and Tom Schouten (flux) – one piece of polypropylene folded into a beautiful and comfortable chair. It ships and stores flat – as a matter of fact I’m holding another chair in that same picture. Whodathunkit?

Well, for starters, the panelists who voted on the 2009 Phillips Innovation Award. That counts for something, I guess.

But why should you care? If I wasn’t at Graypants, I likely never would have seen this chair, or would have been inspired by its simplicity and creativity. After hanging with the chair’s creators at ICFF in New York, and again in Amsterdam, Seth and Jon brought a couple back from their travels and set them up right next to me. (See the last post for how much I despise their lifestyle!)

Looking at these chairs got me thinking about us – Studio Gypsies – and how we travel for creativity. Then I got distracted. I looked at Justin’s screen to make sure he was working instead of updating his Google+ account. (He wasn’t.) He was checking out a list a list of “33 ways to stay creative” on the blog of We Make it Big. After I cuffed Justin on the back of the head and made him go to the dry cleaners to pick up my underpants, I immediately sat down in his chair and checked-out the list myself.

Then, I started checking-off the number of things that we gypsies have embraced.

1. Try free writing
4. Get away from the computer
7. Take breaks
9. Drink coffee/tea
11. Listen to new music
13. Surround yourself with creative people
14. Get feedback
15. Collaborate
19. Go somewhere new
23. Take risks
24. Break the rules
31. Clean your workspace
32. Have fun

That’s 13 ways to stay creative, checked off, just by giving up our office space. (OK, I threw “#9 Drink coffee” in there but, hell, we’d be doing that as long as we were breathing, so I figured that was cool.) I easily could have squeezed a few more in there, but I figure having over one-third of them made my point clear enough.
Can you say the same of your daily routine?

We mix it up with our hosts, almost always with a coffee in hand. We’re constantly listening to new music – it may not be music we like, but hell, it still counts! We broke every solid business rule by giving up the office and going somewhere new every two months. That, in turn, makes us clean our desk – which is creative for some reason. (Seems like a bit of work to me, but it made WMIG’s list.) Lastly, we’re definitely having fun. Why didn’t we start this years ago? That’s a mystery to me.
We obviously didn’t invent ways to stay creative – far from it, in fact. But, we seem to be doing a good job figuring it out. What I can’t figure out is why other people aren’t doing this travel thing. What do you suckers do to stay creative? How do you feel about that rut you’ve created from your bed to your office desk?

Probably the same way I did – before I kicked it to the curb.

Release yourself! It is a strangely freeing – like eating Jell-O out of somebody’s belly-button.