Find Opportunities Within the Office to be Creative

Finding creative outlets within our day to day job may be difficult at times but I believe that no matter what your position or daily task is, there’s some kind of creative expression inside of you that wants to get out. There are many forms of creativity that you can do such as sketching, dancing and writing, and it does not need to always take place outside of your work environment. You can try integrating it into your day to day work and here are some ways you can find these opportunities within your office to be creative.

  1. Volunteering whenever help is needed

Every year, the CRTKL Seattle office participates in the Annual Nordstrom Beat the Bridge fundraiser event organized by JDRF to raise awareness about Type 1 Diabetes and this year’s event was held on May 19. About 50 participants from the office including families and friends came to support this great cause.

The office always designs a team shirt for the race, and this year, they were looking for someone to help with the design. Since I have done some shirt designing in the past, I saw this as an opportunity to do something creative that I would not be able to do on a daily basis and decided to volunteer for it. It took me about a week to come up with three design options and an additional week to finalize it. Even though the time spent on this side project was not part of my 8 hours, I still had lots of fun designing it because it allowed me to be creative and I will most likely volunteer again if a similar opportunity arises.

CRTKL team shirt design

  1. Do not be afraid to express your interests/hobbies at work

Folding origami has always been a hobby of mine. I enjoy folding a variety of origami pieces such as stars and bananas during my free time, and the pieces that I fold eventually gets passed around to my coworkers for different occasions or just for fun. For example, during Christmas last year, I folded about a hundred trees which I hung over my coworker’s desk for her birthday and it became part of the holiday decorations.

Earlier in April this year, I was approached by one of the Bring Your Child to Work Day organizing members to set up an origami station for kids ages 4-12 as part of an activity. I immediately said yes since I was passionate about it and started working on a step-by-step guide for the kids. I finally decided on six different origami pieces that the kids could work on and tested each instruction sheet before handing them out. I also got the spend an hour and a half that day interacting with the kids and teaching them the various origami pieces. This experience has taught me how to work and communicate better with kids, and I had a great time doing it.

Origami station from the event

  1. Willing to go the extra mile  

Sometimes, design opportunities are found outside the typical “9 to 5” working hours. We must be willing to set time apart to find that creative outlet that fits our personality and interest. This year, about six young designers including myself decided to commit some hours to be part of the office’s Seattle Design Festival (SDF) design group.

The SDF is an annual design event that gathers designers, architects, community members, civic partners, business innovators, and a diverse public to unleash the design thinker in everyone to illuminate Seattle’s challenges and ignite action.[i] This year’s theme for the SDF is Balance, and the proposal that we submitted for the installation at the block party, which will be happening in August, aims to achieve balance through a game that encourages interaction and communication between individuals. Despite the hours spent, we still enjoyed working together exploring the different options during our weekly discussions to design a great installation. This design opportunity helped me to learn more about the city and at the same time, design something that inspires others.

Sketches from our discussion sessions

There are numerous ways to get creative within your office space and all you have to do is find it. Sometimes, it might take a little more effort and persistence to get there but it will be worth it in the end.

[i] “Call for Proposals,” Design in Public, accessed May 16, 2019,


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