Chris Sheldon

Freelance Creative Director, WundermanThompson

What, if anything, are you doing differently?

Is this a trick question? Everything is different. The way I wake up, the way I experience the world, the way I look at the news, the way I appreciate the people I don’t get to pass or see everyday or even once in a while. It’s been really interesting getting used to everything happening on Zoom or Teams and I’m surprised at how quickly this has become the norm. Where before I wouldn’t want to turn my camera on, now I find it weird not to have it on. I have a new appreciation for my team members that were working remotely before this and I even see them more now than I used to, which is a nice benefit. One major thing I am paying more attention to is myself. With all the meetings and chats it is really easy to get caught up in the “always on call” feel of it all. I found it especially important for me to have my “commute” time since I am no longer taking that drive to and from work. Little things like going for a run or even changing from work clothes to couch clothes helps me make that shift that’s harder to find now that home and work are in the same place. It’s also been interesting in how all this has made me connect to people I haven’t talked to in a while. Just the other week I had a happy hour with friends from college and there were some people on there I hadn’t talked to in 25 plus years. It’s going to be really interesting to see what happens when all of this is behind us.

Are you staying creatively active?

Of course. Aside from staying creative through work, online brainstorm sessions, keeping up on the latest work and trends, I have been trying to find ways to keep myself challenged and busy.  Lately it’s tackling a collection of driftwood I have gathered over the years with plans to create sculptures. I’m finally taking those ideas in my head and applying them to that pile. I have always enjoyed figuring out how things go together, so this is my favorite kind of challenge, plus a new medium for me. You have to keep the brain healthy too through all this.

How are you sparking yourself creatively?

I find the best way to spark myself creatively is to be outside my comfort zone which can be hard when we are all being told to stay in our homes, the ultimate comfort zone. I’m doing whatever I can to challenge myself and I found one way to do that is to take the choice away. We all gravitate to an easy choice when we’re tired or frustrated or “stuck” so by asking other people to give me their choice I am opening myself up to discovery. Anything from asking someone what show, book, podcasts or artist to check out, even a dinner recipe can challenge your comfort enough to give you energy. But the one rule is once you ask, you have to be all in or you will find yourself defaulting to your own comfort level.

View Chris’ original Capitol Communicator profile here.