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 Haddad, Brand Manager, Weston.
John, what, if anything, are you doing differently?
I’ve been working remotely and that’s changed the dynamic with colleagues – not as much face-to-face time, although we do use Google Hang-Outs and Zoom a bit. It has been an adjustment for me as I am usually one to swing by for a quick stand up and chat. I also tended to print things more in the office so I have shifted to more online.
Are you staying creatively active?
I am, both in my full time job at Hamilton Beach as well as with side freelance writing. I’ve been doing a lot of web development and digital marketing at work and have written a few pieces lately for some regional publications.
How are you sparking yourself creatively?
I have been walking a lot … in the woods, in state parks, a lot of the James River Park system and my own yard where I built some raised beds and planted a garden. I wrote a piece on a DC chef who is an active forager and it re-sparked an interest in foraging for me. And while I haven’t been all that lucky in my finds (except the Dryad Saddle Mushroom) it has sparked a new discipline of observation of flora and fauna that has carried into other parts of my life and has been a calming influence in these strange days.