Spotlight: Artist With a Day Job Rebecca Wise Girson
Shona Sanzgiri / October 5, 2015
My name is Rebecca Wise Girson and I am the Creator-in-Chief at Artist With a Day Job and the founder of Wise Workforce Strategies. In addition to painting and occasional songwriting, I help call center businesses better manage and optimize their workforce resource.
My love of painting began, ironically, because of my day job. A particularly stressful time at work led me to talk to a friend about how to gain more balance when she asked: “What did you do for fun as a kid?” When I told her that I used to draw, she suggested that I try my hand at painting.
Following that advice changed my life. Discovering painting not only gave me a creative outlet, it gave me a new identity and transformed how I viewed myself in relation to what I did for a living.
Now when I catch myself getting too wrapped up in work, I take a creative break and remind myself that I’m more than what I do for money.
My biggest influence, when it came to deciding to put my artwork online, was Chris Guillebeau from the Art of Nonconformity. I read his Unconventional Guide to Art and Money several years ago and I highly recommend it, even for those who, like me, aren’t necessarily interested in making a living solely from the sale of their artwork.
I use Flipboard as a way to indulge my creative ADD tendencies, stay on top of what’s going on in the world and to conduct work-related research.
For example, I used Flipboard this week to research an article I’m writing on the topic of employee engagement. That led me to find a great magazine called Team Building curated by Rebekah Meuir. After reading the titles of Rebekah’’s other 18 magazines, I gathered the impression we were in the same industry, so now I follow her on Flipboard.
My favorite topic on Flipboard is highly dependent upon what’s going on in my life on any given day.
One look at my collection of 11 Flipboard Magazines will tell you that I’m a person with a wide variety of interests. Although I’m naturally drawn to topics related to art, music and the creative process (see Artist With a Day Job), I’m also interested in anything I think will help me be more effective in my business (see Soloprenuer Success), get more organized (see This Mess is a Place), and get things done (see Productive Procrastinator).
I enjoy reading on Flipboard because it provides a visual way of finding information that you just can’t get anymore when researching something on Google (remember when there used to be pictures?).
When trying to describe Flipboard to my friends I tell them it’s like Pinterest, but with more substance. Anything you want to know more about, chances are you can find it on Flipboard.
The best article I read all week was the “Big Magic” review article written by Maria Popova on Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book about finding creative courage. Maria’s site, Brain Pickings, is one of my favorites on Flipboard and her articles always deliver a great, immersive reading experience.
My “media diet” includes—aside from Flipboard—LinkedIn for group discussions related to the call center industry, Pinterest for artwork and recipes, YouTube for documentaries and how-to videos, and Cowbird for amazing true stories written by real people. I also enjoy listening to audiobooks and podcasts, especially when trying to push through the pain of something I’d rather not do (like clean house or workout).
A unique productivity tip of mine, (actually, it’s more like a policy) is “output before input.” I’m an early riser and when I say “early,” I’m talking 4:30-5am almost every day.
As much as I love to read with a cup of coffee first thing when I wake up, I’ve found that consuming new information at the beginning of the day causes me to get off track with what I need to accomplish. On weekday mornings, I make it a policy to start the day by working on writing projects because they require 100% of my focus.
But come the weekend, you’ll find me enjoying the morning with my coffee using Flipboard like a Sunday paper and reading to my heart’s content.