The iPad has sort of become my personal creativity computer. I work all day on the Mac and the last thing I want to do is come home and work all evening on the Mac. So instead, the iPad takes on a sort of personal role, though “personal” may not be the right word. It’s more like a different “paradigm”.
I think the idea of keeping a separate creativity computer actually extends to nearly all facets of life. To get away, you need to keep a separate everything. Keeping a separate everything forces a change in perspective, which hopefully allows you to flex different brain muscles and keep your mind from floating back into work when it instead needs to rest.
I have one laptop, which does come home with me each evening. If I open that laptop and work on the built-in MacBook Pro display, I instantly start clicking on work. If I need the MacBook Pro for some personal work, I find I have to connect it to the Studio Display in my basement to switch perspectives in my brain.
Same goes for the keyboard I type on. I’m using a Logitech MX Keys at the office these days. Before that, it was the built-in MacBook Pro keyboard. You can guess which keyboard I’m not typing this creative venture on right now. Instead, switching keyboards helps to switch into a different paradigm of thought.
I pick up the Canon EOS-R once or twice a week these days. I pick it up to shoot photos for The Sweet Setup. I then put the camera back down, edit the photos, upload to where those photos need to go, and call it a day. The EOS-R has quickly become my “work” camera.
This has had a small impact even on my family life. I have far less photos of my younger daughter — I picked up the EOS-R when my oldest daughter was just a few months old. I have thousands of photos of my oldest. I have only hundreds of photos of my younger daughter. I may not have the same sort of capacity to shoot thousands of photos these days, so it’s not fair to blame it all on the camera. But that EOS-R provides much less creative inspiration than it used to.
The EOS-R is work. I really want a camera for play.
If you spend countless hours of the office, you’ll know every sense is fine-tuned to your workplace. You know the smells. You know the sound of how each chair creaks. You know if someone new is walking through the front door or if one of your co-workers is walking through the front door, all simply by the way the door opens.
If I want to break away from work, I have to separate those senses. I have to shift perspectives, shift paradigms. It’s just about impossible to do creative work at the office. And it’s very hard to work on an iPad.
We’ll see how long I can last before a new camera arrives. I may owe it to my younger and incoming daughters.