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The other day, as Tamara Kleinberg, Chief Imaginator of Imaginibbles.com, and I were planning my interview for her radio show, I became intrigued by hearing about her creative process, especially how she has gone about creating space for being creative. I couldn’t wait to share with you some of her insights and ideas, so I turned our conversation into an interview for my blog.
Lisa: What were your concerns/challenges as a creative person in working alone at home?
Tamara: Home seems like the ideal place to set up shop and for many it is. But, there are also some challenges to working out of your living space, especially for creative types. First, being alone at home can be isolating. Creativity often comes from feeding off the energy of others or collaborating directly with colleagues. Being at home can remove you from that creative energy. Second, being at home can be very distracting. The TV, laundry or lollygagging and fixing the yard, can get in the way of my imagination. It’s as if everyday tasks fill my brain instead of creative thoughts.
Lisa: What systems did you set up to help you get the interactions you needed and support your creative process and life as a home-based business owner?
Tamara: My favorite system is something my colleagues and I call “future Fridays.” Every Friday from 12 – 3 pm we all work from the same funky little café. Sometimes we chat and brainstorm but more often we work in the presence of other creative people. Knowing that my Friday afternoons will be filled with visionary work (no administrative task allowed) and by visionary people is very motivating.
I also like to meet in person as often as possible. It means a lot of driving but it also means a lot of interaction. My goal is to have at least 5 in-person meetings a week so that I’m always out, engaging and creating. I use after hours for all that admin, left-brained stuff.
Lisa: You’re moving into new office space that’s focused on being co-creative. This space sounds unique and inspiring. Can you share more about what the space is like?
Tamara: I am crazy excited about this new space. Denver is a very entrepreneurial city and we are fortunate enough to have a place called the Taxi district. It oozes creativity from the minute you turn into the parking lot. There are indoor and outdoor meeting spaces, cafés, warehouse offices, loft offices, entrepreneurs, designers and, soon, me.
For me, it’s about being surrounded by innovative people and a creative aesthetic that is bound to spark new ideas and creative mojo. On top of that, the people that have businesses in this district share a mindset of true collaboration and entrepreneurial spirit so you never know who or what is going to spark the next big idea.
Lisa: What most attracted you to this work space?
Tamara: Everything! It’s the entire pot. Not to mention that because it’s built for entrepreneurs I can scale up as my business grows. I’m looking forward to moving into a space with glass garage doors that open when my business hits a certain level.
Lisa: How can people who are working from home simulate some of the benefits of space like this, if they don’t have access to co-creative office space?
Tamara: Most important, don’t take for granted that because you work from home your environment has to be homey. Carve out a space that represents your creative spirit. I have an uber-funky retro lamp and an old door leaning against the wall that I turned into a roaming chalk board. Sometimes it’s the little things we do that matter.
Lisa: You offer so many wonderful creative products, I’ve bought your creativity cards and I love your new t-shirts. What’s your favorite of your products and why? [and note, I am not getting a commission on sales–just find this stuff fun and love supporting entrepreneurs like Tamara].
Tamara: I have no loyalty. I fall in love with every product we create. In fact, right now I am wearing the Think Sideways t-shirt and loving it. So soft and fun. Every time I wear one of my t-shirts in public someone asks me what it’s about and it always sparks a creative conversation. I love that!
Join me and Tamara on Tuesday, July 13 at noon Eastern, 9:00 am Pacific when she interviews me about the creative process in writing books and related creative topics. Our post-interview conversation was very co-creative and stimulating–I can’t wait for our Tuesday conversation. Here’s the link for the show.
And, speaking of creativity, you’ll want to follow Tuesday’s call with a free teleseminar on Wednesday, July 14 at the same time, noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific. I’ll be interviewing creativity expert Dr. Carrie Barron.
Dr. Barron, a faculty member of Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and Columbia Psychoanalytic Center, as well as psychiatrist in private practice, will share some of the latest research on creativity, what works and doesn’t, and some of the benefits of creativity.
Register here for Write Your Book: Cultivate Your Creativity.