Quiet Places and Creative Spaces

Tips on Working From Home and Not Your Kitchen Table with Photographer Jason Siegel

Article by Kelly Ernst

Photography by Ladd Forde | Creative Director & Stylist Jessie Capstick, Tangerine Room Events

Originally published in Cherry Creek Lifestyle

There comes a time in each one of our lives where we understand why our parents were yelling at us all those years to keep our room clean. And no, contrary to popular belief, the revelation is not actually that your floor should be free of dirty unmentionables. The lesson is that our spaces matter. What we put into them, we will get back.

Whether dirty laundry on your floor is a distant or not so distant memory, we have found ourselves in a different age of living. As Denver pioneers the way of remote working, we demand a lot of flexibility from our living environments; our bedrooms are becoming dining rooms, and our kitchens are becoming offices.

As dreamy as it sounds to work a remote job that doesn’t require you hiding your low-key obsession with BuzzFeed from your boss, we are here to tell you that remote working, contrary to popular belief is not always avocado toast in bed, and ‘whenever’ trips to Bali.  

In efforts to save ourselves from productive demise, we roped in Denver-based Photographer and Fine Artist Jason Siegel. His home office, to put it lightly, is just dang cool. Hopefully, he can school us on how to work from home, not from your kitchen table (as I write this from my kitchen table,) and stay creative.

First of all, make a space.

"The key in working from home is to create a space that caters to your work," says Jason. It doesn’t have to be a big ol’ room with a door. For us, efficiency dwellers, a designated super comfy chair and work surface will do the trick. What is important is that you have a designated place that provides consistency and signals that it is time to rock and roll.

Second, know your flow.

To set up, Jason recommends knowing how you work, your “flow.”  As a lifestyle and music photographer, Jason travels the world to shoot for lifestyle brands in Indonesia (okay, yeah, Jason gets to go to Bali,) and artists such as Griz. He is even branching out to pursue fine arts projects. When he comes home, it is critical that he has a consistent place to work. Photographing musicians is where Jason got his start so listening to music is crucial for work. Power couple Sonos and Alexa (this is not an #ad, we promise) create in-home surround sound. He installed blackout shades that ensure the correct light for editing at any hour of the day, and his double monitor set-up creates space to organize tasks ahead. And did we already mention the importance of a really comfy chair? Now, while we might not all need a double monitor set up, the bottom line is that we can still take a moment to analyze our workflow and design a space that caters to it.

Finally, remember your senses.

While it’s essential to have the right “stuff,” it is also important to have the right “feel.” Your home office needs to be a place where you, get this, actually like spending time. Jason loves natural light and plants, so he made sure that was included. He has also supplemented with full spectrum color light bulbs to change the mood lighting when the day demands. What you look at every day is equally important. On display in Jason’s office are mementos such as the photo collection of his role model and friend Baron Wollman, first staff photographer of Rolling Stone Magazine, artist passes from shows he’s worked and his old passport stamped for 48 different countries. A full mural provides the backdrop for these tokens. Friend and Denver artist Mario Conte, co-owner of vintage and streetwear shop Station, painted a mural of symbols and graphics. Some are inside jokes, others have their own stories and a few just felt right. These sensory additions keep Jason feeling creative and inspired.

As we all spend more and more time working out-of-office, the reality is that we are grappling with the task of staying focused while turning our homes into multi-functioning spaces. But whether or not we are creatives, accountants, or something in between, our needs remain the same. The lesson is that our spaces matter and what we put into them we will get back. Jason Siegel, international photographer, knows how important the task is and has cleared up a few things for us; make a space, know your flow and remember your senses. Easy.

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