I thought share with you something to make you smile.
At work right now? Me too. Although, I've come up for air after delving through my photo library. Yeah, I admit, I'm now somewhat distracted from my original purpose after coming across these snaps below of some of the diverse spaces I've worked from over the last number of years.
Reliving some fond memories from my adventures has been restorative after a monotonous morning and figured they'd perhaps make your day a little brighter.
If you don't know, remember, or have forgotten, I've been working remotely as a Digital Nomad and I've called many a kitchen table, nook, cranny and couch my 'office'.
Grab a cuppa, and in no particular order, come see where I've worked from...
This is my very first shared office space before I condensed my life down into two bags to travel. Sometimes I miss all the extras in having a permanent office and a large screen to work on. I end up selling everything in this photo.
(L): Ferry travel - a delicious way to spend 3 hrs of calm waters with a view while meandering through client work between the North & South Islands of NZ. You might be able to make out on my screen that I'm in the middle of a client's Illustrated Selfie project here.
(R): I was invited to look after a spa pool company in Christchurch, NZ while the team had to attend a trade show. It was a win/win, as, being on-site to meet their customers and answer the phone was important to the business to be seen as still available, and while they paid me to be there and 'open', I was also able to continue working on my client projects throughout the days. Worked a treat all round.
I've worked with animals, big ones, and was exhilarated by it. Here I am in Thailand project managing a series of video shoots while getting up close and personal with tigers and elephants. Nothing prepares you to sleep next to elephants trumping through the night!
More video shoot work in various locations over Thailand, working in crowds/public, prisons (2), with famous Thai people and a rather cool Canadian who is in many of the movies we see as a stuntman.
We were asked my a National Thai network company to create a series of food and travel shows for Thai families. I not only project managed but tried my hand at video editing, camera work, and presenting to camera. It was such a big high light of my year living, working and volunteering in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.
(L): I'm blocking out a scene for the Thai cameraman in Bangkok so we know where the camera will follow the presenter.
(R): Setting up to film with my Australian work colleague who was the ringleader in networking with the TV Network to give us this program to create.
When I wasn't working on the shoot, I'd find a quiet place and continue on my paying client projects, I had a few balls in the air at one time. Here I'm working in an open-air restaurant in a resort by the River Kwai in Northan Thailand - famous from the 1957 movie The Bridge Over River Kawi.
(L): Sometimes I'd live and work with business owners or ministry leaders, like Cheri. I stayed in her basement apartment for a few months while in Boise, Idaho and work with her and her team half a day then head downstairs the other half to work on my commitments. I particularly enjoyed being part of this team as I also got to mentor a young designer and be part of an amazing project that has been taken worldwide. A real treat when you are a self-employed entrepreneur and work on your own.
(R): While in Aussie, I'd often called this couch on the deck of my bothers place my 'office' - it killed two birds with one stone, it meant I could see him for short stints between house sitting gigs and he had great WiFi!
Mostly, the humble kitchen table is my go-to office space, like here, where I was able to extend the table and bring it out into the middle of the dining room for maximum use of the light while I house sat in Sumner, Christchurch. In these photos, I'm working on creating a 50's theme 'paper' doll set as reusable wall stickers. When I'm in this 'creative' mode, my work space tends to resemble what like a 2 year old has done to 'help' Mummy tidy things up!
(L): Because I get to enjoy lots of places where I can have my 'work space', I end up taking the quintessential photo, like then I took my dad's first novel (that I illustrated the cover for) around America for a year. I'd often stop at hot spots to take a photo for him so show him his book is well travelled. AKA work... WINK.
(R): Some days are much less than exciting, like the few days I sat in a local market selling my colouring books and note pads in Gisborne, NZ.
Shared surfaces can be more challenging, but where needs must.
(L): My daughter is working across from me at a table for 2 inside a 7mt bus. AKA, TINNNNEEEY. I'm actually able to work and in fact story-boarding and researching historic themes, we shared like this for a few days! A lot of sorry's were also shared.
(R): During 2019 I began hosting a radio show on Radio Kidnappers in the Hawkes Bay and therefore I get to work in front of a mic and interview people, which I've found I'm rather good at and enjoy immensely.
Tiny spaces seem to be a specialty
I've proved to myself I can work from just about anywhere.
(L): I had to perch up at the high and very tiny kitchen island while working for 3 weeks in Redding, Northern California.
(R): While I've been known to also commandeer my parent's 1 meter wide table in their RV while visiting.
It's amusing to note that I was actually working on the same project in these two photos. Close up I can see what I was working on, and my tell-tail sign is the screeds of paper around me and seeing my scanner out. I was in the middle of illustrating 13 children's books retelling some of NZ's history and it took a few years while living and working in several countries to complete.
Australia has a particularly lovely climate to be able to work outside at times, and when I had 4 months looking after a home with this awesome deck in Wynnum, Queensland, I fully utilised it! Every couple of years I've invested some time in studying to enhance some arty skills, which I am doing on the Left. I love BIG desk/table spaces and open doors on sunny days. My happy space.
This is a few years old now, but pictured is all the gear I had on me to work on my business while I travelled parts of the world full time. I whittled it down to what I actually needed and not what I really wanted - there is a fine line and it CAN be done. It all fits into a wheeled carry-on bag. I've since tweaked the items, I no longer have some of them, but might be a fun blog post to create about what I travel with, let me know if you think so too.
Every now and again I just sit in my car looking at a lovely scene, I always have a notebook handy, so I drew what I was looking at (left), The Stone House in Kerikeri, Northland, NZ. Afterwards, I visited the shop in the Stone House and found, to my surprise, a couple of the books I'd told you I'd been illustrating above on the shelf for sale. Of course photos had to be had!
(L): Train travel - I would choose it FIRST. I tend to write well on these days, as it's quiet. I like being able to work and see the sights pass by, I don't get motion sickness like I could on a bus, and I can get up and stretch when needed Our car actually broke down and we had to unexpectedly train 6 hours down the Australian coast. It was a great workday for me!
(R): At the Airport I'm a relaxed traveller and although it's not an uncommon place to find people working, I look forward in arriving extra early, so I can find a spot and focus on updating my socials, website and writing. This works especially well while traveling solo.
Water - if there is any close by then I gravitate towards it!
(L): I've taken my laptop down to the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida here and worked at one of the tables under a tree before it got too hot to do so. It wasn't missed on me just how special that was, and yes, it was a short work day - not so good with real heat, windy spells or sand over my keyboard - but hey, I had to give it ago so I could report I'd done it.
(R): More commonly, when I was at home in FL, and felt stuck creatively (hot weather can do that), I'd take paper and pencil down to the local gated-community pool, set up a work space under an umbrella, then walk into the water up to my neck, float for a few minutes, and in the quietness I get an idea to help bypass my slump. I'd wade out, jot it down and repeat the process, usually staying for 2 hours. During the workday, I was the only person swimming...ahem - working.
I've noticed this is just what the doctor ordered - as I've done it elsewhere, while it might not be water. On a farm stay in Gisborne I would spend an hour and half swinging int he hammock each day about 2 pm... just getting away from the laptop was need to get my creative thinking back on track. I thoroughly recommend it if you're able.
(L): Working while being propped up by gear and a pillow on concrete floors in Thailand is different, not overly comfortable, but I got used to it, at the time I remember reworking my DFoG logo and writing blog posts when I wasn't working on another video assignment.
(R): Usually while volunteering, my bedroom is also my office when I'm overseas, here, I'm in Loveland, Colorado, working on client projects & illustrating that kids book series I mentioned above, and also advertising for the ministry I was supporting with my time for 2 months.
Sometimes I'm offered the offices of others when I'm in town. Here I am working at a desk of the Business Incubator Program at Orlando's University of Central Florida. My friend is the Director of Programs & Operation, and she invited me to participate in meetings, toastmasters and meet amazing NASA startups.
Working while looking after pets is always fun. I commonly have cats sit on my drawings, or lean against my laptop and small dogs love being held! I've also had my paper peed on a handful of times. Admittedly, not a lot is achieved when the holding happens, but who could say no to that face! I mean c'mon. I never have issues with pets wanting to be close while I work, I enjoy their company.
I was invited to visit Utah with friends who were presenting health talks to an academy/boarding school, and they asked me to speak to the high school students - this is fun 'work', as I'm able to utilise my other skills - encouraging others through sharing stories. I was snapped answering a question after making someone laugh.
In the afternoon the students work the organic farm to help pay for tuition, I got my hands dirty too, pruning tomato plants. Back in Colorado, I'd volunteer some Sundays driving machinery on their organic farm too.
(L): When I'm house sitting in NZ, my parents like to visit me. We all work on our own projects, Dad is writing a book and Mum edits it so I sent them up with their own table if there is room enough then we 'office share'. In this image I'm working on my greeting card launch
(R): One of my recent office spaces with a gorgeous view of Napier, I never got tired looking out here every day for 6 weeks. On the screen you can see one of my client projects, an info graphic for a solar business in the Hawkes Bay.
Could you see yourself working from any of these spaces? Would you even want to? Hmmm, now THAT'S a good question! As you tinker with the idea of working from exotic places thinking it is the work/life balance dreams are made of, the possible downside to this, especially if you don't like change very often, is the very real fact that since the end of 2011 I've literally moved every 2 months and I love out of a couple of bags! But for me, it's still rather enjoyable with the odd moment (more so lately 9 years later) of wanting my own permanent space and office.
Hope you've relished living vicariously through my experiences.
If you're a fan of my work, consider joining my FB group.This is the place I'll be sharing sneak peeks from behind the scenes from what I'm designing, there may even be some giveaways to use within your business!