New Year. New Look.

Posted by on Jan 7, 2019 in Creative Process | No Comments

What better way to ring in the new year than by updating your office space?

 What better way to ring in the new year than by updating your office space? I have been telling you about my studio redesign for the past weeks, and now it’s time for the reveal!

When I first set up this space, I was working in the agency world, and I only had access to it in the evenings and weekends. It was intended to be my music studio, a retreat from the chaotic world of advertising. I intentionally crafted a dark and moody space with very little light. It was a great set up and the perfect backdrop to create music with some of my closest friends,  I have to say we had many great times!

As the chapters of change hit and my agency days came to a halt, my daily routine changed along with my whole world. As a freelancer, I started working out of my music studio more – something it was not really set up for. I worked in the dark (during the day) and swapped the headphones for a Wacom tablet. I had to change my priorities and music took a sideline.

It was time for a space changer!

Just like finding my own brand was one of the toughest projects I have ever worked on, bringing my branding into my workspace was challenging too. Luckily, my talented friend Elizavet Rivera slowly encouraged me to start seeing the importance of building my own space.

“It’s not for other people, it is for YOUR inspiration” she kept saying.

“That sounds like a lot of extra work that will be expensive, and no-one will ever see,” I would reply.

To me, if you’re an agency, it makes sense to have your branding everywhere clients turn as they go through the office space. But for a one-man shop? I could not see it. Her advice, ” If you plan it right, it does not have to be expensive. And it is not for your clients… it is for you.”

“Huh,” I said.

That got me on the path to remodeling my space… for me.

The door of opportunity

I started with the door.  Taking my branding and putting it on the door meant that when I crossed into that space, I was in work mode.


 With Elizavet’s help, I refinished the door and won myself a new nickname: Miyagi! Yes, there was a lot of sanding off and painting on, and it was all worth it because when I dropped my logo on to the door…Boom, new space! Well… the start of one and I had caught the remodeling bug.

Lighter and brighter

Next, I needed a desk. I came up with a design plan and my buddy Lyn Caudle was up for the challenge. (See the backstory here.) By this time I had already started to let the light into the studio, which made it clear that the next step was to paint the room to make it lighter and brighter!

Again, with the guidance of the Rivera + Perkins design team, aka Elizavet and Cathy, we played with a few paint options and landed on a light cool grey color. This color is not only part of my branding color, but it also immediately opened up the room and made the space feel lighter, brighter and like walking into a clean canvas every day.

The big focal point

Was something missing?  I always love how agencies fill up a whole wall with their branding. I struggled with the idea at first, thinking it was probably too much for a one-man shop, but finally said… F*%^ IT! Let’s do it! And the SMC branding mural went up!

What is funny is that when I share this with people not inside the graphic design industry they ask “Why did you do that?” And when I tell my art director buddies about it, they all instantly say… “F*$#@ YA!! THAT IS AWESOME!” I like that response better. It’s all about your audience at the end of the day, right? But mainly at the end of the day… it is for me.

The journey of finding your space

Finding my own space has been a journey, and it really changed how I work and how I approach my whole day. The area is set up and functional for my graphic design/ creative director venture, but my other passions are still around me at all times to inspire me in other ways.  

Now that everything is in its place and set up correctly I don’t have to fumble over myself, stop to find something or just not be able to focus because everything around me feels…not me. It frees up my head and helps me focus more because everything is set up and rocking!

It really does not matter what you do for a living or what your passions are, the important thing is to have space where you can be yourself, find inspiration and push you on the next level each day. Crafting your space will remind you that everything that starts in your head can be made into reality! If you have ever been in a temporary space to work or not setup how you like it, you know what I mean. Make your area a part of you and enjoy living in it every day!  It will change everything and up your game at the same time!

Be kind to yourself so you can be better in the world!

Gotta space you want to share? Love to see it and chat about it!