6 Steps to survive as a creative stuck in a cubicle
If you’re like me, you’re a young professional with a traditional job that requires some energy investment, but creative visions float through your mind all day. It might not be possible to drop your workload for the day to cater to your craft, but there are some simple ways to let your creative tendencies shine without neglecting your day job.
- Visuals. Everywhere. I can’t get excited about my day until I’ve created an outline, complete with a fancy header, flow charts, borders, boxes and coordinating colors. As a facilitator and administrator, I’ve learned rather quickly to rely on my fancy handwriting, all of the colored pens and expo markers, and the use of imagery to guide me during meetings.
- Stop waiting until the weekend! Creative-minded folks know the plight of trying to suppress visions until “there’s time.” Don’t underestimate your down time — that one-hour lunch break, 40-minute train ride or 10-minute walk home can serve as a solid step to a breakthrough. With that said…
- Keep a notepad. Visions, ideas and inspiration come at all hours of the day, so stay ready. I’m notorious for having varying cute (but empty) notebooks and masses of random jottings on loose paper because I forget to carry them. Don’t be me! Make sure your ideas are documented and easy to access later on.
- Use your sounding board. Talk about it! Everybody has hobbies, and if your hobby is a life-sized dream, speak it to existence! Accountability is great and word is bond. As soon as I tell someone what I’m planning, I have to see it through. Plus, getting feedback is always helpful and humbling. I’m sensitive about my sh*t, but I know it’s good to get a fresh perspective on my ideas.
- Power in playlists. In the quest toward liberation through artistry, music is the base coat to all of my creative endeavors. Find those songs that get your creative juices flowing and get them all in a single playlist!
- Save Money! Even if money is not the motive, your dreams are likely to require some investment. Take some time to calculate the costs of your most-pressing vision, then dedicate a portion of each paycheck to actualization.
Whether you’re working to be your own boss or solidify your side hustle, investment of time, money and attention is necessary. Give your dreams the same dedication that you give your 9-to-5 (or more), and watch them flourish.
Mariah Cochran is a young professional, youth advocate, and creative residing in the Bay Area. She is passionate about using creative expression for healing and empowerment, and curates works of streetwear fashion, music and art on her blog, Drop Jewels. To experience empowering portrayals of street style and subculture and learn her personal inspirations, visit DROPJEWELS.COM. IG: @mariah_onfiya