You don’t have to be a “creative” to be creative

We believe everyone can be creative, whether you’re a designer, an account manager or in any other profession. As we soak up the summer and enjoy our “summer hours” (the office closes at 3 p.m. on Fridays, woohoo!), a few team members shared how they use their free time to explore their creativity.



I made my first pottery piece in high school, started taking classes in college and have been creating pieces ever since! Now, I do it as an independent study at the Hot Shops.

Pottery is like therapy for me — it’s where I find flow. I love working creatively with my hands. I make mostly functional work, so I can share my bowls, cups and plates with friends and family. I used to play with clay from the river near my grandparent’s home in Mexico, so I feel very connected to my Mexican heritage through clay, too.


Food blogging

I studied criticism in college and always hoped for the chance to write criticism. I started as the food critic at the World-Herald in 2011 and was there for eight years. In 2020, I launched my own blog. Pictured below is the burger Block 16 made as a special to celebrate its launch. 

I can’t imagine my life without the ability or an outlet to write. I have been writing since I was a child. I love my blog because it keeps me tied to the food scene here (another passion), and I am so glad that I didn’t quit writing when I left the news business. 


Interior decoration

Five years ago, I accidentally clicked on the Facebook Marketplace tab in the search for a used couch. Soon after, I began to spend hours scrolling through the wacky things that people would list for sale, and I found myself in possession of way too many chairs. Since then, I’ve learned about aesthetic styles, iconic designers and how to identify high-quality pieces. 

I’ve always had a deep emotional connection to objects, and now my knowledge of their origins and the people I’ve met along the way have embedded even more meaning and appreciation into the pieces I own. I’ve been in more strangers’ homes than I can count, and on many occasions, I’ve ended up sticking around for much longer than the transaction needed. 

More recently, I’ve been learning more about human-focused interior design (thanks, Ilse Crawford) and how I can create a space, whether it’s my desk or my entire house, that delights me and the people who visit, not just my Instagram followers.


Needle felting

I began needle felting around two years ago. I liked the look of felted decor pieces, especially for Christmas and holidays, and thought I could save some money by making stuff myself. 

Creativity to me means exploring and playing with unique mediums and finding ways to shape the uncontrollable elements of the medium. This challenge helps me work on problem-solving and finding new ways to arrive at the desired result, function or look of a project. (It’s also the opposite of screen time, which I get a lot of.)


Leather crafting and cross stitching

My mom taught me to cross stitch when I was VERY young. Throughout my life, I’ve engaged with it in different ways and for different periods of time. Sometimes, I’ll become so frustrated with a project that I’ll put it down for literally years before I dig back in. 

I picked up leather crafting alongside my husband after his interest in it piqued. He exclusively focuses on making beautiful wallets. I wanted a new leather tote bag, which he had no interest in pursuing. He struck me a deal: he’d teach me the basics, like saddle stitching, skiving and materials selection, and we could invest in some leather together. 

My first tote bag was gorgeous — and the best smelling bag I’ve ever had. I’ve since created bookmarks, clutch bags, cocktail glass wraps, planter covers and more. Additionally, I worked to build a name and a visual brand package for my work. Those elements are a work in progress and will likely evolve to a lifestyle blog and online shop eventually. 


Cooking and baking

I’ve been cooking and baking since I was a kid. I started because I really like to eat, and I like the immediacy of seeing and enjoying your efforts. And now, I’m teaching my kid!

Creativity to me means exploring different ways of thinking and seeing the world. It means trying things that you may not be good at. It means being open to new experiences, pushing yourself to expand your worldview and deepening your empathy toward people.


Portrait drawing and painting

I’ve been drawing since I could hold a crayon, but I started to hone in on portrait drawing specifically in 2014, the first time someone commissioned/paid me for my work. 

People tend to think you’re either creative or you’re not. I’d argue we all have creativity — it’s how we make decisions and solve problems every day. For me, creativity through art is how I like to express myself, bring joy to others and put my tiny stamp on the world.