Home is What You Create

“Change. Change is always hard, but good,” explains Leah Wyman, Head of EDU at 3Doodler. “I think mentally preparing for the stress and struggles and accepting that they will come but be worth it is key.”

The 3Doodler team knows a thing or two about change. With nine nationalities represented across our team, most of 3Doodler knows what it’s like to create a new life and find home in a different country.

Leah has called many countries home. She’s lived and worked in Germany, Iceland, Jamaica, Canada, and the Netherlands, and has now returned to the USA to join 3Doodler in our New York office.

In each place she has found ways create a sense of home, the same as many members of our team.

Daniel Cowen, Co-President and COO of 3Doodler, is a UK native who has lived in over six countries. “You start to look forward and work out how changes in your life will fit with the place you are in,” he explains. “In short, it’s about adapting, which at first is about friends, and eventually is about the deeper meaning of ‘home’.”

That deeper meaning and personal concept of “home” can mean something different to everyone, but in the end it all comes back to the basic senses. When finding familiarity, we rely on what we can see, feel, smell, touch, and perhaps most importantly, taste.

Food creates a strong sense of cultural identity, and is a major aspect of what we consider part of home. The smells and tastes of our childhood are often what connect us the strongest to that sense of nostalgia we associate with home.

"Like many people, taste and smells always trigger my best memories. I do my best to try and recreate my mom’s classic dishes." Share

“The first thing I try and do when I move to a new country is find the best Indian restaurant,” says 3Doodler Creative Director Faraz Warsi. Faraz holds Canadian citizenship, but still identifies closely with his Indian heritage. Having lived in the Middle East, India, Canada, Hong Kong, and the USA, he’s used to the shuffle and change of relocation. “They call us Third Culture Kids,” he says. “Identity crisis is sometimes more fitting.”

But through various countries and continents, Faraz has discovered a sense of home can always be found in the kitchen. “Like many people, taste and smells always trigger my best memories,” he says. “I do my best to try and recreate some of my mom’s classic dishes—the keyword being ‘try’. Sadly it’s never as good.”

Erin Song, 3Doodler Junior Designer, shares the same sentiment. A South Korean national who grew up in Hong Kong, Erin now works in the 3Doodler New York office. “In all honesty, I really miss the food,” she says. “I incorporate the food I would eat in Hong Kong by cooking a familiar dish whenever I feel homesick.”

“I am what I eat,” agrees 3Doodler E-Commerce Manager Jim Toernqvist, who emigrated from Sweden to join the 3Doodler team. “Sweden is very much a part of what I consider good in the culinary world.” Jim says he brings a bit of “home” into his new life by creating meals that remind him of Sweden. “Swedish cuisine is mostly simple and quick to make; my dinners are something to look forward to.”

But as Daniel said, change is all about adaptation. While the smells and tastes of home inspire nostalgia and make us feel more at ease in a new place, soon new foods become familiar and start to create a new sense of what it means to feel at home.

3Doodler Marketing Director Kelley Toy is a New Zealand native who now lives in Hong Kong. She says the new foods and tastes were the first things she found herself incorporating into her everyday life.

“Asian food is a pleasure to explore and experience,” she says, “and the convenience, all-hours availability and on-demand nature of food in Asia is something that is easy to adopt.”

But creating a sense of home doesn’t begin and end with what you eat, of course. Whether we’re aware of it or not, what we see every day ends up creating a pattern that we associate with home.

“For New Zealand, it’s a specific color palette combining sky, water, sand or dried grass, and green pastures,” says Kelley. “It’s a unique color palette that you don’t see anywhere else so I can always pick a New Zealand sky or landscape from these colors.”

“Yellow and blue is always my association with Sweden,” says Jim. “It’s the colors of the Swedish flag, and IKEA.”

“Grass. Green manicured grass,” says Dan. “It’s calm, trimmed, reliable, and there’s so much access to it through the incredible parks of London, which are what I miss most.”

“I really don’t want to sound cliché, but Chinatown really reminds me of home,” says Erin. “New York’s Chinatown has a very similar architecture and essence to the old areas of Hong Kong.”

For most of us who have moved our lives abroad, the concept of home is often oddly combined with reminders of change. Both become part of daily life as we continue to adapt and create something new.

Sometimes all it takes is one building to remind us of this. “When it comes to New York, it’s all about the Empire State building,” says Erin. “As much as I love the Chrysler building, the Empire State Building is the building I see every day when I walk to and from work. It is a constant reminder of how much my life has changed.”

90’s Back In Style

Last week we looked at how 90s Nostalgia is in full swing, and could also be contributing to a new wave in creativity.

So we decided to get creative as we look at 90s inspired trends making it big in 2016! The 90s are back in style, and we’ve put together three Doodled outfits combining the best of 90s-chic, and modelled by our stylish trio of mannequins.

Just Jelly

Get The Look: killer shades, cropped sweater, mom jeans, and jelly shoes

“Mom jeans” got a bad rap after their heyday in the 90s, but 2016 is bringing comfy-lazy-chic back into fashion! Get creative and pair your mom jeans with a cropped sweater, baby-doll T or spaghetti-strap tank. Finish off the look with a shimmery pair of jelly shoes and killer shades for a total 90s throwback.

Overall Fashionista

Get The Look: striped shirt, overalls, platform shoes

Every 90s cool kid remembers rocking overalls. Now the fashion world’s most utilitarian way to dress is back on trend! This is easily the most creative trend to get behind. Overalls are an artist’s dream, making easy cover-up for paint splatters and still showing your easy-going nature! Slouchy style, easy to match, and loads of pockets – overalls are leaving last year’s romper trend by the wayside.

Grunge Chic Cute

Get The Look: fabric bow headband, Ray Bans, plaid shirt, ripped jean shorts, Dr. Martens

The 90s were when fashion-conscious grunge rockers discovered that Dr. Martens are the perfect shoe for ANY outfit! Tortured musicians and other creatives know that whether it’s a plaid skirt, cute sundress, or even ripped jean shorts – there’s no better shoe for bringing back that 90s grunge style. Pair with a plaid shirt, and make it cute with a scrunchie or fabric headband!

Doodle up your favorite 90s trends in 2016 and be sure to tag us @3Doodler and use #3Doodler and #WhatWillYouCreate!

The Creative Nostalgic: Why bringing back the 90s is good for new ideas

From the resurgence of Pokémon, never ending movie remakes, as well as recurring trends in fashion and music, reminders of the 90s appear to be everywhere these days. Recent studies have shown that nostalgia has a positive impact on creativity and can inspire openness and new ways of thinking. 3Doodler investigates.

2016 is the new 1996

The X-Files and Fuller House are on TV, and the cool kids are wearing overalls. Blink 182 is selling out concert venues and the Backstreet Boys are back (and recording again). It’s 2016 but we may as well be partying like it’s 1999.

Den of Geek says there are at least 109 movie remakes and reboots planned for the next few years, and many of the titles will be familiar to a 90’s nostalgic audience. From Comedy with Ace Ventura, to SciFi with Stargate, and childhood favourites like Jumanji and Power Rangers, all these reboots will give audiences who love the 90’s plenty of reason to wax nostalgic.

Why We Love the 90s

“Every generation seems to long for their childhood and revels in the nostalgia of the pop culture of that time”, noted San Diego State University professor of Psychology, Dr. Jean Twenge in a recent interview. “Boomers did this for the ‘60s, GenX for the ‘80s.” It’s a common cycle to see. “Nostalgia is a powerful connection to a time when things at least seemed more innocent and simple.”

But why is 90s nostalgia hitting so much harder than past nostalgic trends, particularly for today’s Millennials? “The ‘90s were, arguably, the last good decade—the last time the economy was doing pretty well and the last time we weren’t worrying about terrorism,” Twenge argues. “Many Millennials experienced a ‘90s childhood of peace and prosperity, only to enter adulthood during the Great Recession. It’s like someone baited and switched them.”

Tumblr Teachings

One user on Tumblr also pointed to the rapid advance of technology as an explanation for Millennial obsession with the “simpler” decade of their childhood.

Linking Nostalgia and Creativity

While the media loves to portray the Millenial generation as full of self-centered narcissists – what with their love of selfies and Instagramming each meal – there’s an argument to be made that this generation may end up being the most creative as well.

And it’s all because of nostalgia.

Psychologists from the University of Southampton recently published findings in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology showing that nostalgia can have a positive impact on creativity.

The team, led by Wijnand van Tilburg, tested the effect of nostalgic memories, defined as a memory that triggers “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past” against both ordinary memories and happy memories as preparation for writing a short story.

The study showed that people who were asked to think nostalgically had more linguistic creativity in their stories, compared to other participants who were asked to think of ordinary or even happy memories.

Van Tilburg believes that nostalgia may help form a willingness to try new experiences, which is directly linked to creativity.

“One of the strongest personality traits that predicts creativity is openness,” van Tilburg says. “People who are very open to novelty are more likely to, say, play around with new ideas or create connections between things where others would not.”

Because nostalgia gives people a rooted sense of belonging and security, they then feel more of that sense of openness that leads to creative thought.

Old Vs New

University of Connecticut educational psychologist Jonathan Plucker has a different idea. He says the connection between nostalgia and creativity may come more from the juxtaposition of the old with the new. Because creative ideas often happen when two different concepts are combined or compared, nostalgia may spark the creative process because it requires thinking about past experiences in context with a person’s current life.

“The warm, fuzzy feelings we get from nostalgia may actually make it easier for us to use that older information,” Plucker says. “And if nostalgia is just a very efficient way of getting disparate concepts, then I would absolutely expect it to lead to more creativity.”

So when brainstorming your next project, don’t be afraid to go old school. Pop on an old episode of Captain Planet, crack open a can of Crystal Pepsi, load up Pokemon Go on your phone – and let the creativity flow!

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