By Cade Martin

As a kid, I spent many a dinner at a table surrounded by friends of my parents, an eclectic cast of characters — sculptors, writers, painters, creatives. That thread of creative community has remained in our offices, our teams and our collaborations. But that thread feels thinner in this moment.

So I asked, with the purpose of sharing, and of supporting and caring for this creative community in its current, uncertain reality. I asked what people are doing, how they are feeling, how they are sparking creativity. It feels important to share what we do, when we can’t do all our doing.

Reaching out first to some of the talented people I’ve had the good fortune to profile though the Capitol Communicator portrait series. It’s my version of a virtual dinner table of sorts. Grab a chair and listen in to my conversation with John Gundlach, Co-Founder, Mighty Good.

John, what, if anything, are you doing differently?

Almost everything. With teenagers home and two parents running small businesses, everything about our lives is different. I’m spending a lot more time simply dealing with food, shelter, and cleaning. And I’ve let go of the instinct to plan far ahead. This has focused me much more on “The Now.” How are we staying healthy today? What family members can I connect with today? What do my clients need from me today?

I’m doing a LOT more cooking, cleaning, and home maintenance, because I’m more exposed to the never-ending needs in that department working exclusively from home. I see it more, so I deal with it more.

Leaning into video conferencing, like so many others. And it works pretty well for our business.

Telling people how much they mean to me.

Are you staying creatively active?

I’ve leaned back into drawing, and more into music. What had become sporadic hobbies have now become weekly creative needs. I need to pick up that guitar. I need to order more charcoal for drawing. I need to listen to music every day. And for storytelling, I’ve burned through a year’s worth of collected Audible credits to download books to listen to while I work or exercise, to expose my mind to good storytelling. I’m also encouraging my family to be creative in all ways, which helps me stay that way, too.

How are you sparking yourself creatively?

I’m spending more time with my older son talking with him about his music and photography work, which gives us a chance to share ideas, celebrate creative successes, and generate new paths to explore. It’s incredibly rewarding as a dad to see him evolving creatively in multiple different ways from my own experience at his age.

I’m joining an old friend of mine in creating a podcast on music. He’s the guru on that subject, so I get to join as more of a “color commentator” to talk about how specific artists shaped our young lives as friends. Looking forward to that!

Leaning into the creative opportunities with my co-founders at work. I’m lucky to run a business with two other minds wired to work well off each other’s ideas and build new things.

Writing more. I’ve kept a journal of my kids’ lives for years (I highly recommend it for all parents), and lately I’ve tried to focus on writing my entries in a more historical context – digging into the details of everyday life so someday they can absorb that perspective when they look back at this time.

 

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