Congratulations. You’ve arrived at the end of our desk series. Welcome to Part Three.
We previously explored what’s on the desks of the Blue Crater maniacs learning that Alicia’s desk goes through stages, as she does every day and that Chris loves for his desk to have some sass. Here’s Part One and Part Two if you missed them.
For our third and final installment, we decided to reach out to fellow desk dwellers across the globe and discover what covers their slabs of glory! After reflecting on our own desks, we realized just how much time is spent at them and how much they say about our personalities, preferences, workflows, etc. Therefore, we were thrilled to hear other’s stories!
We asked our participants to submit a photo of their desk, describing what’s on it and what it says about them… How does your desk represent you? In what ways does it dictate your everyday workflow? How did it come to be in the first place? The responses were just as unique as the desks. Enjoy!
Graphic Designer & Travel Lover from London, United Kingdom
My name is Laura, but my friends call me “Lautika” … and this is my desk nowadays. To be honest, most of my “desk life years” have been kind of like this. I might change some wall decorations or switch out some of the toys/figures I have there due to limited space, but believe me… the overall look and feel has been pretty much the same. As you can see, the whole “cluttered” look goes along with my “cluttered” desktop on my computer. Hey! We need to be consistent people! Ha!
Maybe I need to start with a little bit about me… I’m a Graphic Designer and Printmaker. A travel lover. A River Plate fan (football/soccer). I’m in love with design, language, typography, new technology, jazz, movies, science fiction, dystopian novels and cultural cities. And I’m a true believer of the contradiction in: “As long as you don’t choose, everything remains possible.”
I’m from Buenos Aires (Argentina), but for the last 10 years I’ve been living in Europe. The first 6 years I was in the sunny city of Barcelona (Spain) and now I’m based in London (UK).
I’m a “visual” person. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve collected printed stuff and decorated my walls. It began with my room, then my flat and now my home office and most of the desks I’ve worked at. When I was 14 years old, I started collecting paper napkins from restaurants, hotels and cafes my family used to go to; these are like my own visual map of places around the world. I loved to see the logos and remember the different places I’ve been. That transformed into me grabbing things from pubs, exhibitions, libraries, concerts and shops, such as flyers, postcards, stickers, coasters, tickets – you name it! I have a fascination with design and when I see something visually interesting, I take it with me. They work as an inspiration for new ideas and as memories of places and moments.
If you could see a bigger picture of my desk, you would see that “toys” are all over my workspace. I have a collection of mini Hello Kitty things, a section of Maneki-neko cats, some kimmidolls, Powerpuff Girls, Pop Funko figures, Yoda, Lego Darth Vader, a Playmobil fairy, gingerbread man, skeleton, the Beatles in a yellow submarine, a mini surf board from Santa Monica, a Las Vegas Snowball, the Snoopy I have on my desk, etc. As you can see – the list of things goes on! Design books, magazines, airline luggage tags, museum tickets, concert tickets, pins, badges, photos…etc. I guess in a way they bring colour to my life and are the breadcrumb paths to my memories.
All this visual energy needed to be channelled (apparently it wasn’t enough to be a designer for 20 years) so I created a Screen Printing project with a London friend called “Serigrafica7585” where we design and hand screen-print our own ideas. We mainly focus on travel, music and culture. A couple of days ago we finished our “HOPE” poster and it’s ready to go out this week. You can take a look on our Instagram and you will see that it has all the ingredients that I’m crazy about: colour, typography, big statements, a cultural city… and a lot of hope! That is our wish for this year!
People might see a cluttered workspace, but for me it’s just inspiration that enhances my creativity.
Instagram (personal): @lautika75
Instagram (my screen printing project): @serigrafica7585
Photographer & Super Mom from Longs, South Carolina
My desk is my creative safe space. I can make anything, I can do anything, I can go anywhere. It’s composed of one large writing desk and two smaller tables. I don’t like anything being on my writing desk except my computer and my Wacom tablet (aka Sweeney). I don’t know why, I’m just me. The two smaller tables hold all the junk I cannot live without. Pens, paper, camera and mini chocolate eggs. (Yes, I’m a snacker when I’m editing.) One thing I must have at my desk (that I’ve never heard of anyone else having) is my large softbox lighting system. I believe in good lighting even when editing. I never edit in the dark – tried it once and it wasn’t what I wanted. My desk is probably not as elaborate as most, but by golly it’s mine. This is my creative safe space. This is me.
A messy, organized, crazy photographer.
Email: [email protected]
Concept Artist from Idyllwild, California
I’m Matt and I’m an aspiring concept artist. I create digital art concepts for a comic book I’ve been working on for the past few years. In order to become a professional, I needed a professional work space… so after years of saving up and lots of practice, I made myself one. Needless to say, I love my desk. After all I spend at least 85% of my life sitting there.
Ever since I was young, I took pride in my work space. It always had to be perfect and precise. I’m a perfectionist to say the least. It made sense that I not only litter my desk with the tools needed to indulge in my craft, but to also include things that have or still do inspire me.
My biggest inspiration by far is Star Wars. My desk is simply covered in Star Wars stuff – I can’t get enough of it. Some people think there’s too much on my desk, but the reason I have so much clutter is because when I’m feeling uninspired, all I have to do is look around. Often my Lego sets or knickknacks will give me that extra push I need. I also have a decent amount of comic books, novels, sketch books and concept art books laying around. These are where I really get most of my inspiration from. It’s so nice to be able to have so many things within arm’s reach that make me want to jump right into a drawing or sculpt.
I never really thought about it before, but my desk is one of my greatest tools. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to literally surround myself with things I love. There’s a certain kind of peace I can’t describe when I’m sitting there… it’s like hopping in a spaceship and flying through space, where no one can find me. I encourage anyone with a passion to invest in a space where you can be free to indulge in what you love, to build your own “space ship” and blast off to a world of your own.
Designer & Artist from Gainesville, Florida
Surrounding my workspace with inspiring items is very important to me. Photos of family and friends, design pieces and even greeting cards from loved ones surround my desk. All of these items are motivating and uplifting which makes for great productivity. I also like to keep my desk looking clean, bright and with pops of color which is a direct reflection of my work. Keeping things simple is key. I’m a lover of simplicity, so I want my workspace to reflect that. I want just enough decor items to keep me feeling inspired, but not overwhelmed.
Facebook: Simple Perks
Email: [email protected]
QA Engineer from Mumbai, India
My workspace itself is fairly basic. I’m fortunate to have a personal desk, since many do not because other employees of different shifts share their desk. Most government offices simply have a table as a desk with tons of papers all around. I love to maintain a paperless desk because being a QA Engineer – I don’t even feel the need for them.
Each day in the office starts with scrum calls (status calls in fact) and how can I forget about the best thing – the thing which refreshes my mind – a cup of coffee. In the middle of my desk is a Dell workbook, which is attached to a secondary screen (an extended desktop, on the left). It helps me multi-task quite easily. As you can see, I prefer earphones to take calls (if any) rather than headphones. We finish up with a water bottle, which is a must-have for everyone.
I would like to add one last interesting point: you will notice a hole on the top right corner, which was provided for wires and cords to pass through. Since I use a laptop, there’s no way I’d use it. Instead, there’s a dustbin right beneath the hole which allows me to throw waste tissues or wrappers of edible items right through it, so I don’t have to bend down every time to use my dustbin! Everything on my desk is for a reason and I try my best to make complete use of the environment.
Email: [email protected]
Life Coach & Clutter Consultant from Annapolis, Maryland
My desk has always felt like a second home, a space where creativity flows and stress evaporates because after all, this is where the magic is supposed to happen in my creative business….right? I’ve had many work spaces over the years and have found that for me, there’s a balance between minimalism and having things that bring me straight up joy. It’s why my desk always has a lot of color and items that showcase my personality.
A few items worth mentioning are my Tibetan singing bowl that I use in the morning to ground my thoughts and slow my mind down. I think of it as taking a deep breath before diving into my work. I also have a small collection of journals and books that I reference often or use to take breaks (hello Mindful Mandala coloring book).
I’ve realized that only keeping what you use on a daily basis on your desk is a great way to reduce clutter. I also love my small acrylic drawers that hold pens, stamps, a checkbook and a mini stapler. When things have a place, my mind feels at ease. The salt rock lamp, flowers and candles are there to remind me that my work and creativity are sacred spaces and that sometimes within the pressure to hustle and go-go-go, it’s also important to slow down, take breaks and let things flow.
My biggest tip for keeping a desk clutter free is making room for the things you purely love looking at. Everything else can find a home in a drawer or a cabinet. Having that free desk space allows me to always shift projects when I need to and keeping notes and ideas in journals instead of endless scattered post it notes makes me feel more organized and efficient.
Sarah Steckler is a Life Coach // Clutter Consultant who helps women declutter, organize and simplify their lives, and reclaim a sense of ease and intentional living.
Website at SarahSteckler.com
Join her Facebook community, The Brazen Heart Collective for more tips on decluttering your life: http://facebook.com/groups/brazenheartcollective
Home Stylist and Stager from Rome, Italy
Yes, this is my desk! Crowded, coloured, creative… messy…
I’m a Home Stylist and Stager, I live in Rome and this picture represents my day-by-day activity. Being an Home Stylist means finding new inspirations and solutions. At the beginning of each project, I need to put all my ideas on the desk: newspapers, photos, objects, Post It notes… every little thing that could be appropriate to create. This step represents the start point.
My work day starts early in the morning by turning the light on, having one cup of coffee (I’m Italian lady and I like it strong!!!) and silence. All of my family sleeps… Touch the paper, underline articles and key in my password to go on… My agenda is always with me, even if most of my meetings are on my MAC calendar… This photo reflects my creativity? Yes, but I’m strongly organised so once the project comes to life, my desk is back to new!
Freelance Illustrator from Fullerton, California
My basic paints, brushes and supplies are always on or near my desk that I paint at every day. I keep a few moments of inspiration around, like a little succulent plant, illustrated postcard and above on the wall – a bulletin board full of some of my favorite things and memories. Coffee is always near and my desk sits right by a window that lets in the perfect natural light.
Digital Strategists from Roanoke, Virginia
Kare Bear from Gastonia, North Carolina
My current desk is a 100-year-old vanity from my mother-in-law that has been passed down through her side of the family. It’s complete with school and work accessories, a homemade bamboo pencil/pen holder, a rose, my bulldog bank (courtesy of the hubs) and of course my Wonder Woman cup! 🙂
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