“You don’t think your way to creative work. You work your way to creative thinking.”George Nelson
As a designer, I often need to think out of the box. I research a lot but often times, I need to think beyond design to become better at it. While looking for hobbies beyond design, I naturally stumbled upon planting and rekindled my childhood love for it.
Psychologically speaking, when you start growing plants, you do witness a positive change in your mood and your well-being. I have experienced the positive influence of planting on my design career first-hand. As George Nelson right points out, as an artist you work your way through creative thinking. Growing plants has boosted my creative thinking for nothing but good.
Apart from being a Senior UI/UX designer at Brucira, I am also a proud plant parent. I took it up because as a designer I wanted to let my creative juices flow without a block that I could have eventually hit. Currently, I have a company of 200+ plants in my home and my designing skills have never been sharper. Here are a few learning highlights from this hobby, that are helping me as a designer:
Emerging as a Better Designer
Indoor planting and styling helped me become more adaptable as a designer. I realized that just like my these green flora, I may not always be working in an ideal environment but rather on ideal projects. But, I should keep thriving as a designer, come what may.
Through this hobby, I also learned that for some of them, home corners aren’t the perfect spots to grow. Still, they try their best to thrive there. Likewise, as a designer, we must never stop learning and growing even if we’re facing a creative lull or the environment isn’t suitable for us.
Looking Positively at Challenges
I knew the art and science of gardening and nurturing indoor plants as my father had also pursued it as a hobby. However, I kept pushing myself to learn more about them through Youtube and other plant blogs on the Internet. All of that research soon helped me turn my home into a pacifying oasis that comforts me every day at my home.
At the same time, I continued sourcing indoor plants from local nurseries. But, I massively struggled to find quality and aesthetic planters. Moreover, it was a challenge to buy growing lights, soil mixes and even humidifiers. Soon, I started purchasing and selling plant essentials and planters by importing them. Before I knew it, I received an overwhelming response from the community of plant parents.
Having learnt some basics of entrepreneurship through planting, I have started offering more plant products. I might as well launch a plant startup soon.
Finding an Inner Balance
Most importantly, this green hobby has made me calmer, centred, positive and productive. You need patience while pursuing planting and over the course of the same, I have gained major life skills that keep helping me for designing as well.
You will feel some positive energy inside you every time you see those green buddies. Whenever I feel stressed while doing my work, I just take a break and spend some time with my plants. I water them, do some repotting and style them. I think it is therapeutic to simply look at them, the greenery soothes my mind and energizes me to be more creative.
Becoming an Empathetic Leader
Apart from boosting my creativity, planting has also helped me become a thoughtful mentor to junior designers. After all, a good designer eventually emerges as a good mentor as well, right?
I learned how to care for and cherish all the phases of their growth. That’s how, I learned that in order to be a good mentor or a leader, I need to cherish my teams and support them. As a senior designer, I make sure that just like my plants, my team is never under any kind of pressure.
Whether you are a designer or any other creative professional trying to make a mark, indoor planting or any other hobby which takes you away from computers, stress and distractions will definitely boost your creativity and soft skills. Do consider picking up a hobby that makes you feel good and you would see the difference in your work sooner or later!