Leave Time to Play

This morning Ben and I headed to Donkey Wheel House for the Melbourne chapter of Creative Mornings. Every last Friday of the month, Creative Mornings hosts a morning lecture on a selected theme in over 85 cities around the world. This month’s theme, Crossover, was presented to us by Spencer Harrison, or Spenceroni as he likes to refer to himself as.

Illustration by João Lauro Fonte

It was good to get out of the studio and mingle with creatives and hear other people’s experiences in the industry. After high school Spencer ended up studying a science based degree at university, but realised that all the logical & structured studies was leaving him unfulfilled. He wanted a change, he wanted to play.

He switched from Science to Graphic Design and whilst at university he entered into a competition, which saw him win a travel scholarship at Fabrica. This kick-started his career into Graphic Design and lead to him setting up a studio with a friend. This went well for him for a few years, but it was his side projects that were giving him the most fulfilment. He was creating artworks for fun. He would set aside time every day to illustrate everyday objects. He would experiment and most importantly, play.


This playing became evident in the work he was producing at the studio. His work featured bright shapes and playful elements. As creatives it is easy to get swept up into day to day work, but it is important to make sure you leave time to play.

As Don Norman , a well known design & UX academic, explained in his book “The design of everyday things” that a positive, emotional state of mind is ideal for creative thought. I know when I’m sketching, making something or going for a run my mind races with fresh, innovative ideas or solutions to problems I had been stuck on. Conversely, an anxious mind focuses you to the task at hand, but limits your problem solving. As with anything in life, the trick is to get the right balance.

Although it may seem like you are just messing around in your downtime, you’ll be surprised at how much it can effect your work life.

So go on, get out there and play!

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