Ever since stumbling upon Casey Niestat’s vlogs, something has just ‘switched on’ in my mind and I’ve been inspired. In particular, the video of his Wildly Functional Studio made me think about my own work, workplace and working out loud.
Watch his video first and then come back to this blog…
Well, what did you think? Did you find the process of how he has organised his work environment and the tools he uses for his craft fascinating? And think about it, he’s actually showing us HOW he creates his videos, how he works in his own space and the tools that he uses and makes – that’s the story.
So here’s the thing…
Casey is a creative guy. He’s also someone who runs his own business doing something that he loves. He continually hones his craft every day to get better at it. You can see his passion for filmmaking through his short daily vlogs and the interactions with people around him. You can also see how he has organised his own work space to make it uniquely his and it’s all about an effort to maximise his time to better his craft.
What I particularly love is that, to him, it’s not about the tools and cameras he uses, it’s what he does with them to create the story. Even the way he rips into boxes and packages shows not only an excitement of a new tool but more about the story of what that tool will soon create.
So this got me thinking.
What’s my story? What are my tools? What do I create?
After all, I’ve worked in an office or in a cubicle for most of my working life. What value could I possibly add anywhere?
As I mulled these questions in my mind, I dropped in to my parents place and spent some time in my dad’s studio. My dad is an artist. His studio is ‘his space’. For as long as I remember, my dad has been honing his craft for years. His practice never stops. He has always been experimenting with different tools and techniques for all media – pastels, oils, water colours and many others. Everything in his studio is also made or built by him. All the tools of his trade are ordered and organised in a manner that are designed for particular purpose – and it’s all about the art. Everything has a place. Even his desk, his easel, work benches are hand made and he even built the art studio himself in their back yard. He has created his space around perfecting his craft – much like Casey.
So after visiting my dad’s art studio or watching Casey’s wildly functional studio and then coming back to my home office, it’s a bit of a let down actually. Boring in fact.
After all, I’m a knowledge worker. What am I creating in my space? How do you see what I’m creating?
Looking around my ‘wildly dysfunctional study’, I realise that my space consists of shelves of text books, an old 2010 telephone directory that props up my computer monitor, some academic qualifications from the late 90’s mounted on the wall and some outdated computer equipment. My only creative outlet is a large window that looks out into the street and is my inspiration any time I want to check what the neighbours are doing in their gardens. (Thinking about it this morning, I needed to do something different in my own work space so hacked an iPhone stand using pencils and rubber bands just so I can say that I actually made something with my own hands…sad really)….
I needed stand for my phone this morning so I hacked one with some pencils and Garfield…HT Roland Hutchinson pic.twitter.com/xqOnnvgTxC
— Helen Blunden (@ActivateLearn) April 26, 2015
All my own work (the programs I have designed or developed; the papers I have written; the strategies I have formulated) happen to be sitting in my computer’s hard drive, behind some company firewall or in the cloud. Has my work actually made an impact to a business? To someone? To anyone? Was it meant to?
I’ve been actively blogging since 2005 but it’s only been in the last few years through Activate Learning Solutions where I’ve been working out loud professionally to quantify and make my work tangible and ‘real’.
Working out loud came naturally to me because for years, I’ve loved to observe life and put my own perspective to what I saw through my writing and my experiences. But I also worried about not having the latest tools and gadgets such the latest smart devices (can you see on that stand that I still use an iPhone 4?!) or a sleek Apple Mac but then I realised, who really cares?
THIS blog is my studio, my workshop, my space.
The tools are irrelevant because it’s the writing the matters – and the writing happens regardless of the tools and medium that is used.
My blog is where I formulate, create, make sense of and share what I do and how I do it.
So while the end result for Casey is his story, my dad’s is his artwork – for me, the knowledge worker, it’s my process.
That’s what is unique to me and sets me apart from others who have their own methods and styles. The only way to show my work is through working out loud.
What do you think? How has working out loud helped you and your work?
As always, I’m interested in your thoughts.
This post was written in preparation for a Personal Knowledge Management #PKMChat Tweet chat commencing in May and hosted by Bruno Winck @BrunoWink. Feel free to join us and get the conversation going! ****************************************************************************************************************** Starting in June, I will be launching an ‘Activate My Learning’ campaign. On the first of every month, 4 tips, tools and ideas for learning will be emailed to you. Feel free to join the list! #activatemylearning