Inclusively making creativity accessible to all – Case study with C-HQ

Creativity is often perceived as an elusive property, having to be “summoned” or being deemed impossible to “conjure” in certain environments. Consequently, creativity can be treated like a finite resource – only unleashed in limited scenarios. However, for the team at C-HQ (Creatr Headquarter), creativity is something which is always on tap – freely flowing from their designs straight through to their customers.

The team of digital artists pour their collective inspiration into the production of various digital sticker sets for their clientele to decorate and illustrate digital planners, diaries and more, in a way which brings their schedules and ideas to life. With C-HQ placing utmost importance on creativity transcending from their own designs into the lives of their customers, unlike other companies which might restrict the magical “C element”, C-HQ seep it into every part of their business thanks to their use of Ayoa.

C-HQ’s delight in, and channelling of, the power of creativity stems from their founder, Olivia Raymond. As dyslexic and someone with Asperger’s, Olivia has always felt like she has seen the world differently, motioning her to be creative when others would follow the status quo. The pairing of C-HQ’s commitment to creativity and Olivia’s neurological differences therefore meant that finding a flexible way to work which wouldn’t block imagination was very important. As Olivia explains, “creativity and flexibility are intimately intertwined because you need flexibility to be creative, and you need to be creative to have that flexibility”. In Ayoa, she recognised those assets which would allow her to introduce even the more formal parts of her business to the brilliance of creativity.

An image of a C-HQ digital planner showcasing the team's creativity

A weekly organiser and moodboard creation by C-HQ

Beyond the typically artistic engagements of drawing new illustrations for stickers, as the founder of C-HQ, Olivia also has numerous other responsibilities which many would deem as outside the realm of creativity. For example, meetings must be scheduled and held, deadlines must be met, social media sites and websites must be updated regularly, wages must be paid, and above all, communication must be crystal clear between a team located in different countries (Réunion Island, Canada, Spain and Denmark). She searched numerous task management solutions to assist with these activities; however, they were all very linear, rigid, and didn’t adapt to the way which she thinks, nor allow any space for creativity. In contrast, Ayoa instantly captured her attention with it’s “colourful UI, its ability to really organise your workflow as you see fit, and fun but powerful feature set.”

One of C-HQ's collaborative Ayoa whiteboards where they use their creativity to plan marketing strategies.

One of C-HQ’s collaborative Ayoa whiteboards which they use to plan marketing strategies

Since adopting Ayoa, both Olivia’s creativity and organisation have excelled. Whilst for some, these skills might be classed as mutually exclusive, with Ayoa, Olivia explains that she can blend them together:

“You can create mind maps and whiteboards in Ayoa to help with research or the development of new ideas, and then you can turn these ideas into actions very quickly. It works like a well oiled machine, making sure that nothing falls through the cracks. It is a real tool suite for creators in that respect – I think in a very organic way and Ayoa accommodates that very easily.”

Nevertheless, Olivia acknowledges that in some instances organisation has to take precedent, but even in those instances she takes joy in how Ayoa innovatively enables this via the Canvas task board style:

“Ayoa is truly a game changer when it comes to visualising your tasks. It really caters to anyone. The importance, urgency and progress of tasks can all be seen, and the filters allow you to really focus on what you need to do without feeling overwhelmed.”

From a personal perspective, Ayoa therefore offers what Olivia was seeking – “a balance between something which keeps me focussed and accountable but is also fun, flexible and easy to use so that working doesn’t feel constraining”. Yet with colleagues playing an integral part in her company, ensuring that it worked for them too was equally important. Fortunately, Ayoa is designed to not only grant individuals flexibility in isolation, it in fact extends its elasticity to encompass whole teams. What this means is that every member of Olivia’s team can digest the same information in a view which personally makes sense to them. For Olivia, who “learned to blend in with people from a fairly young age”, Ayoa’s flexible offering to her whole team takes that accustomed pressure off of her and instead enables them to all work seamlessly together without her neurodivergence being at the forefront of discussions.

A KanBan organiser of C-HQ's - a great way to manage creativity

A colourful and creative KanBan organiser by C-HQ (a format which we at Ayoa love)

In terms of enabling effective collaboration between neurodivergent and neurotypical individuals, Olivia describes it as “truly a game changer because it adapts itself to neurodivergent people in its conception – it is not just an afterthought. Everything contributes to helping us be more productive, efficient and find a common language with neurotypical people”. This takes various forms with the team at C-HQ but some of their favourite examples are: the interchangeable task boards views, the abandoning of messy emails in favour of Ayoa’s group chats and simple but effective voting features, plus the ability to read information visually in a way which makes sense via mind maps.

A Halloween mind map used by Olivia and her colleagues for sticker inspiration and creativity

A Halloween mind map used by Olivia and her colleagues for sticker inspiration

Overall, Ayoa enables Oliva and the C-HQ team to achieve a pure form of collaboration where creativity takes the starring role rather than playing second-fiddle. Beautifully though, this celebration of creativity produces ripples and triumphs beyond the business of C-HQ: Olivia’s naturally creative inclination, paired with Ayoa’s “UI motivating me [her] to be more creative”, results in the production of high-level but affordable art being made available to customers around the world, so that creativity can infiltrate into areas of everyday life where it is traditionally told that it doesn’t belong.

The proliferation of creativity which is initiated by C-HQ and Ayoa is a massive success for Olivia because her own thriving business acts as the perfect rebuttal to society’s tendency to crush down creativity, which so often leads to neurodivergent individuals feeling pushed aside. With 1 in 7 people being neurodivergent, Olivia hopes that her work will lead to a wider adoption of creativity, a recognition of how it “opens your mind to more choices and better problem-solving options”, and a celebration of the “breath of fresh air which neurodiversity provides”.

To learn more about Olivia and C-HQ’s work, please visit their sticker store, creative community, Facebook account, and Instagram account.

The neuro-inclusive collaborative digital workspace

Ayoa is a neuro-inclusive digital workspace that allows individuals to work the way which their brain likes alongside others. Visual mind maps, flexible task management, intuitive whiteboards and more all adapt for creativity and neurodiversity to thrive.

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