Friday, June 14, 2024

Published on Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Do You Need a Creative Kick?

Moving boxesIf you ascribe to the notion that moving every seven years helps alleviate “stuff” accumulated during that time, then I have accomplished that task three times over, especially with our most recent move.


And boy, did we find, and get rid of, a lot of “stuff”.


Buried in a box of books, I even found something that was worth keeping. It was a copy of A Kick in the Seat of the Pants by Roger Von Oech. The yellowed paperback had seen better times since it was given to me more than 25 years ago.


A Kick in the Seat of the Pants bookA Kick in the Seat of the Pants is still a relevant guide to help boost your creativity. The author identifies four primary roles involved in the creative process: explorer, artist, judge and warrior.


If it's not at your local library or bookstore (if you can find one), it’s available on Amazon or any number of other sites. It’s not a long or difficult read, but definitely worth the price of a six-pack of your favorite craft beer.


Starbucks drive-throughOne of the recommended creativity exercises is to explore different routes to and from your place of work. If you work at home, maybe try a different route to Starbucks or wherever you buy the $12 six-pack of Goofball IPA.


Prairie is a bricks and mortar business, and with my recent move, I have lots of potential new routes at my disposal for both coming and going. The Waze app has helped me avoid traffic, but it has also helped me explore places that were literally right around the corner, but I never knew existed.


Waze logoSo far, I have found a new bike shop, lawn mower repair place and an ATM for my bank. There are also a few pizza places that look interesting. They’ll definitely get a pick up call from me the next time Shelley heads out of town.


Has my creativity been boosted? It’s hard to say, but at the very least I am more aware of new surroundings, instead of sleepwalking the same roads taken for so many years. I’ve been forced to change a patterned routine, making my brain work harder and hopefully keeping those neurons firing.


So maybe it’s time to start looking at something you’ve been doing the same for years, and look at it another way.


20ft trade show displayHas your trade show program been stuck in the doldrums? Are you using the same graphic message from two logo revisions ago? Are you renting the same boring tables and chairs, just because it’s easy to do and inside everyone’s comfort zone?


I know, budgets are tight, but a lot has changed. New dye sublimation fabric graphic options can mean smaller crates/containers and lighter weight. With the ever-increasing costs for shipping and material handling, sending in smaller and lighter weight display properties is a good start to reining in those costs. It’s time to, you know, get a little creative. Explore a different route.


Maybe it’s just time for a kick in the seat of the pants. There’s nothing more satisfying than finding a new “go-to” pizza place.


Steve Moskal


Moving boxes









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Steve Moskal
Steve Moskal

Steve Moskal

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Full biography

Steve’s journey in the trade show and event world started in 1983 with one of the original Nomadic Display sales organizations in North America. In 1994, he co-founded Prairie Display/Chicago.

Steve was an Allied Board Member of TSEA (Trade Show Exhibitors Association) from 2007 to 2011 and recipient of the TSEA President’s Award in 2009. He also served as Financial Chair of the Midwest Exhibit and Event Professionals (formerly the Chicago chapter of TSEA) and as a commissioner with the Elmhurst Economic Development Commission from 2011 to 2016. Currently he is Vice President of Education for the Addison/Elmhurst, IL Toastmasters Club.

When not working with customers and co-workers at Prairie, you can find him trying to spend more time biking and pursuing other creative endeavors. Steve lives in Oak Brook, IL with his beautiful and equally understanding wife of 26 years, Shelley.

Steve is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a B.A. in Journalism and a Fine Arts minor.


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