The Key to Success is a Portmanteau

Just this past Friday, Espressites gathered around a brightly lit Mac to connect via Skype chat with renowned illustrator John Hendrix. While John is an admired artist whose work has appeared in impressive books and prevalent publications all over the world, we weren’t meeting to discuss his work-related accolades. Rather, we were there to talk about his artwork that is not actually work. We wanted to soak up the creativity and freedom that flows from his continuing passion project: Drawings in Church.

Reputation by John Hendrix Drawings in Church
Reputation by John Hendrix
Drawings in Church

John referred to his Drawings in Church as a way of “procrastiworking.” The term was introduced to him by his friend Jessica Hische, an incredibly talented and successful designer, who invented it when she was giving advice to aspiring designers on being successful: “The work you do when you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.” John attributes his success in staying creative, motivated and fresh at work to the art of “procrastiworking.” That is, doing what he does for work in an environment and manner that is not work. Every Sunday during the sermon, John clears his mind and lets the direction of the design come straight from his imagination to the canvas as he listens. There is no prior planning. No outline. No deadline. Just raw and pure creativity that is simply for fun . . . not work. He is successful at consistently completing valuable work because he regularly practices “procrastiworking.”

And thus, a key to John’s success is a portmanteau.

No, we aren’t referring to a large suitcase, although that is what the first listed definition of the word would have you believe. We mean the second definition that the Merriam-Webster Dictionary lists for portmanteau: “A word or morpheme whose form and meaning are derived from a blending of two or more distinct forms (as smog from smoke and fog).”

Even further, we discovered that the beginning and continued success of the Espresso team is due to our very own portmanteau: “inspirelational.” During a particularly saucy California Grilled Chicken Flatbread at Chili’s, we created this portmanteau to combine our goal to be both inspiring in our work and relational in our actions. As the saying goes, we were the new kids on campus, and we needed to prove ourselves to the clients as both genuine partners and hard-working producers of inspiring work. Proclaiming this portmanteau since our very first project, our effective embodiment of this promise has contributed to our successful transition into a needed member of Kaspar Companies. Basically, we are successful because we form real friendships with our clients, and we produce solid, creative work that inspires them.

We are inspirelational, and that is how we are successful. John participates in procrastiworking, and that is how he is successful. Our portmanteaus are the key to our success, and the key to your success is blending together a portmanteau that works for you.