Build Community Spirit … with Co/Creation

DEALS & DISCOUNTS--Going into the office for a job interview, the first thing I noticed was the painting hanging in the conference room, a large cheerful collage of colors. It somehow comforted my nervousness while trying to search for the “right” answers, for the routine questions, “where do you see yourself in 5 years”, “what are your greatest weakness?” 

Concluding the interview, the conversation came to a silent lull, and the COO used this painting as a talking point. Even though it looks like one large painting, it is actually made up of 24 individual canvases, each a 6” squares. He proudly explained at the last holiday party, each employee painted one square. The outline of the flower was already sketched, but no one knew what the finished product would be. Using imagination, each person did what they wanted with their canvas square. 

One person painted a golf course with a hole and sand trap, another boats on a river, a collage of leaves, flowers, an abstract of facial profiles, and so on. When people had completed their painting, they moved on to their neighbor’s square and enhanced their design even further with more color and details. 

Each individual square on its own looks somewhat child-like, but alright. But when put all together, the whole painting transforms into something so much better. The painting is dimensional, upbeat and creative, interesting, and DYANMIC. Who would not want to be a part of a synergetic company like that? 

So I got the job, and I have been here for the past 5 weeks. It is a good thing I like that painting because I stare at it from 8 am to 5 pm as the conference room is next to my cubicle. I have heard the CEO and COO tell the painting schpeel so many times already. Obviously I am not the only person impressed; the creation of this painting is impressing potential staff and clients alike. 

Since this painting happened before I came on staff, I like to try to pick out who painted which square. It is a great way to get to know my colleagues in a different light, as their square tells a lot about their personalities and their backgrounds. They happily recall an enjoyable and playful experience painting together. For a brief moment that person seems different, I can see their inner child that so rarely comes out to play in the workplace. 

The symbolism behind speaks loud and clear that this company values individuality, cultivates creativity, cares about the good of the team, as well as, we are each a part of a bigger picture whether we know it or not.  

Expressing creativity, hence the event’s name Co/creation, and building community is exactly the mission of Nick Spano, the owner of Re/Creation (the names are a little confusing). I would say that he is accomplishing it by inspiring others to find their inner artistic, creative, musical, child-like self in a non-judgmental, group based environment. Once a Disney child actor, solar power business owner, farmers markets coordinator, real estate investor, and now events producer, Nick has incorporated his unusual and unique background, his passions, and his organizational abilities to produce small and large-scale events in the Los Angeles area.

With his thousands of followers and events regularly selling out, he is doing something right, and not afraid to stick his neck “outside the box”. He regularly produces and facilitates paint events for free, and other events catering to thousands of participants, Rave On Wheels (ROW) as in roller-skating with DJs playing a variety of beats in Hollywood, and Goddess Celebration – a semi-annual retreat empowering women with yoga, music, food, and massages by masked men in Malibu. Fun and popular, but maybe not designed for the corporate world. 

I, for one, am very grateful to Nick’s creative, community-building paint events which convinced me to join the staff of my current employment. Also I first-hand witness the benefits of the group project and the experiences that went into creating this work of art daily. 

I would like to encourage others to give Co/create a try, especially designed for team building for corporate holiday parties, staff retreats to family reunions, wedding parties or any other group you may want encourage. 

Learn more about Nick and Re/creation, by visiting him online.