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  • Writer's pictureBradley DeRuiter

Professional Tips on Staying Creative

Updated: May 28, 2018

Treasure Hunt @ Placewares 

As Artrepreneurs, Designers, Craftsmen, Dreamers and Inventors, we tend to mix media quite seamlessly. What is natural and innate for the Ultra Creative Free Spirit is sometimes a challenge for a Newly Budding Creative that needs a little more stimulation to jump start them. Part of my goal through Unnecessary Necessities is to Cultivate a Culture of Creativity for the upcoming generation of business minded artisans. This is why I got so excited when I stepped into the Gallery section of Placewares. I immediately recognized what I call Super-Charged-Creativity with a seamless matchup of Artrepreneurialism. 

Let me invite you to partake in the Gold that I discovered while on vacation this past turn of the year.  I stumbled into Gualala to inspect the new treasures of an old familiar quaint town with all of its beaming local artist.  I admit that I have a fixation habit of keeping a keen eye on small businesses that sadly have a notorious turn over, particularly in the recent years of a volatile economy.  One store that has withstood the test of time in this town is Placewares.  I have many of my favorite go to standard house ware items from this treasure trove.  When I fall in love with a product of great design and practical function, it tends to be THE gift to give to family and friends for the next year of gift giving.  One of my favorite examples is this handy comfortable plastic spreader...I purchased years ago at Placewares and it is my irreplaceable confidant when it comes to the task of digging out every last drop of Nutella for whatever delectable nosh I am indulging in...

Plate by Unnecessary Necessities #UNbykimiya; Spreader from Placewares. 

Right from the start of vacation, this year was an altogether new and delightful experience as I did my ritualistic tour of my favorite Gualala shops.  This time, stepping into Placewares, I had the privilege of meeting the owners, Maynard Hale Lyndon and Lu Wendel Lyndon. 

For a quick reference description, although a sad understatement, Placewares is both a kitchen housewares and design store in tandem with an art gallery. 

The Lyndons had just launched their newly published book Rattled; and were exhibiting their life long collection of baby rattles in their gallery.

Very quickly upon meeting Maynard, it became apparent that I was discovering Gold in Human Form.  It was enchanting to hear his effortless passion towards hosting me as a professional docent in his gallery.  I have a bit of a self-assigned private investigation project that is ongoing...whenever I come across a corporate husband and wife team; I am completely enthralled with their success stories.  Standard @kimiyaisms inquiry upon meeting an obvious veteran of the ‘ups & downs’ of being an entrepreneur, ... I couldn’t resist asking him how he and his wife, Lu, juggle the business administration with the creative-creating side of taking care of business? 

When I asked Maynard how he and Lu juggle both the Creative and the Administrative tasks of owning and operating a successful business, he very thoughtfully considered Lu who was up at the register with a customer perhaps needing help, then he chuckled and yelled out to Lu, “She wants to know how we juggle business and stay creative.”  Maynard then proceeded to disclaim with a twinkle in his eye, “This is actually retirement for us.” and proceeded to show me all of the things he was excited about creating and working on.

UN’s Philosophy of Alchemy for the Artrepreneur:

We all have our place and function in life.  Artrepreneurs are pioneers in that they tend to imagine and dream outside of the box and indulge in the possible more than allow themselves to be road-blocked by the impossible.  The unavoidable first impression of Placewares is the ideology of attaining both artistic living simultaneously with masterful design and function.  One need not sacrifice one for the other as Placewares solidifies the ideal of achieving both. Placewares selection of housewares is minimalistic in practical function while also making the use of daily wares a beautiful experience.  Not quite the stylized froufrou of scrolly filigree from the Baroque era, but certainly the enjoyable satisfaction of daily household activities along with the appreciation of simple beauty and vibrant colors.  Placewares offers Artistic Living fully embodied by practical application.

Apparently, High Octane Design Artrepreneurs don’t down shift into retirement.  Old habits are good habits when they keep you pushing the envelope on that creative edge and revving the engine that propels you into continued success in creating substance despite past experiments of the ups and downs of economics.  A seasoned veteran creative never stops adventuring into new expanses of how to creatively offer the world new bents on artful living.  The advantage the veteran has over the padawon learner is the suitably aged gathering collected over a lifetime of experiences and well preserved memories that culminate into a brilliant moment called a ‘new-idea!’; an offering to share what one is passionate about. 

Not afraid of failure because they have tinkered around with experimental ideas, artrepreneurs are ever so familiar with the hit or miss process of successes and failures in business.  They are master architects and therefore are not daunted by the overwhelming task of building and sometimes rebuilding and starting from scratch all over again.

Harvesting Gold:

Although Lu and Maynard’s answers to my interview question were crafted and formulated differently, I appreciate the oneness of mind from which  this couple seem to launch.  I am discovering this common strength as I research husband and wife teams in the business world.  

Q: What are some lifestyle things you do on a regular basis to keep creativity flowing through you in such fresh new ways as we've seen throughout the history of Placewares+LyndonDesign?

A: Lu’s Points on keeping that creative flow:

Keep your eyes open.  

Be curious.

Ask questions.

Share what you have learned.

Always look for better ways to do what you do.

Enjoy every day!

Q: What are some lifestyle things you do on a regular basis to keep creativity flowing through you in such fresh new ways as we've seen throughout the history of Placewares+LyndonDesign?

A:  Maynard’s wisdom and insights on creativity:  To keep ourselves aware and curious and energized, as designers and collectors and purveyors of what we strive for in 'good design', we travel and look and 'take note' of the ingenuity and thought that others have put into a project—whether place or product, artwork or writing or film.  Being observant and curious is the key to continual regeneration of invention and freshness of thought and being productive: learning by watching and doing.  'Travel' can be just be down the block or to a place far off somewhere; the important and invigorating exercise for us both is looking, investigating, and appreciating why things work, or why they don't.

Then conveying and/or designing a thing or place or artwork/document is our next pleasurable exercise: putting it 'out there'—whether by exhibit or production or publication.  In our gallery and websites we are further ‘ongoingly’ stimulated by exchanges with people, whether gallery visitors, clients, students, or colleagues or observers online.


Something else I have noticed about successful Artrepreneurs is that they invest in things that propel their creativity and curiosities forward.  They put their money where their mouth is and where dreams and visions are,  and spend time, money and effort in the treasure hunt of due diligence towards making those curiosities a tangible reality.  Their discoveries tend to default to brilliant profitable returns.  Whether by intention or accident, it just seems to be how creative entrepreneurs are wired. 

During the middle of conception of corresponding and crafting this blog with the Lyndons, they were traveling to Germany, thus practicing what they state above by Living Life Artfully. 

Kenneth Caldwell’s blog does a wonderful job of introducing you to the Legacy Being Built by my new super hero friends, Maynard and Lu Lyndon.

While they obviously have a history of national success and recognition both in business and design work, the Lyndon’s seem to be enthralled with whatever intrigues them in the moment.  Maynard’s timeless patience for procuring excellence in his architectural developments is impressive.  Both of their sincere joy and enjoyment of artful living, seem to be what keeps their creative edge fresh and new, even though we were ironically discussing their life long collection of Vintage Toys.

**Exciting News for the Lyndon’s, they have been invited to speak at The UC/Davis Design Museum where YOU will be able to view the exhibit of their extensive Baby Rattle collection.  The exhibit at The Design Museum will open late September 2015 and run for two months.  

Please leave your comments and let us know how you keep your CrEaTiVe ideas flowing...

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