Work Somewhere That Inspires You to Be Great

Our mantra is “Make Great Together.” Which is why this quarter, we’re celebrating muses. And we want you to show us what gets your creative gears turning with our Muse Challenge.

In honor of the Muse Challenge, we’re going to be sharing what gets our creative juices flowing too.  And this week we’ve got a piece from one of the newest additions to the Threadless team about what inspires her – me! 

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I’ve always struggled with finding a place where I felt I truly “belonged.” I mean hell, who hasn’t? We all have those moments where we play “Go the Distance” from Hercules on repeat on our iPods…right?

But even before I was hired at Threadless — actually, the moment I stepped into the office for my interview — I couldn’t help but think “Chewie…we’re home.”

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There are lots of reasons why Threadless is called an “artist community.” But to me – and call me cheesy – the community aspect of Threadless is all about my work community.

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My Threadfam inspires me more than almost anything else. To ‘normals,’ staying late after work sounds groan-worthy. But as a working writer or artist, creativity isn’t something you leave at your desk when you go home — it’s a part of you.

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I’ve always been quiet, but my brain is loud. I’d look around my 1st grade classroom and imagine an ocean scene around me. In middle school, I’d would take paper pencils to every restaurant my family went out to, nose to the paper instead of talking. I didn’t really become social until college, and didn’t really like being social until after I graduated.

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Photo cred: Thanks, Jeff!

I sometimes feel that loneliness and solitude are intrinsic to the artist’s condition. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going full-metal Rick from Rick and Morty and drunkenly grumbling, “WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE ALONE.” But it’s like this line from The End of the Tour:

“When I want to be alone, like to write, I really do want to be alone. I think if you dedicate yourself to anything one facet of that is that it makes you very, very self-conscious.”

Being alone helped me become an artist…and was also a distraction from the fact that I didn’t feel like I belonged. But all those years of being anti-social, writing (way too much) fan-fiction, drawing at dinner instead of talking — without all of that, I would never have found myself where I am now. And at Threadless, I feel like I’ve found my people.

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I’m fortunate enough to work with some ridiculously talented artists, so talented that it should be intimidating. But on the contrary — it’s inspiring. I’ve never been in an environment where creativity is so positive and positively contagious.

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Within my first few weeks there, they were urging me to jump on the #inktober train with them, drawing once a day in October, supporting my (definitely not as good as their) artistic endeavors. And after months of not drawing, I grabbed a pencil and started to draw.

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I know, I’m being a cheeseball; I’m gushing. Like I feel like I should be giving that speech from The Hangover right now. “Hello? How ‘bout that ride in? I guess that’s why they call it the Windy City. Ha ha…ha.” But it’s a special thing to feel like you belong somewhere as a weirdo creative. And I’ve found mine.

So here’s to the best co-workers I could have never even dreamed up. And here’s to making great together.

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Carlyn Hill

Dad joke aficionado, cartoonist, & contributor for sites like HelloGiggles and The Mary Sue by night. When I'm not writing or drawing, you can find me in my cave of a room hanging out with my boyfriend, Netflix.