#WFH Diaries: Nicole DuMouchel Davis of GSD&M

As confinement continues in most parts of the world, we're checking in with creative people to see how they're faring. Here's an update from Nicole DuMouchel Davis, group creative director at GSD&M in Austin.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

I'm Nicole DuMouchel Davis—a group creative director at GSD&M by day, a tiki evangelist by night, and an amateur health and wellness coach whenever I can squeeze it in.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

I'm at home in Austin, Texas, with my two young kids (3 and 6 years old), husband, and mountains of fur from our two Great Pyrenees.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

I got booted from my home office by my 6-year-old, who needed a dedicated space, free of her little brother, to focus on school. First grade is legit. So I now reside in my bedroom for most of the day, in meeting after meeting after meeting. Two weeks into this WFH "thing," my partner and I led a new-business pitch via Zoom. That was a first, but now I feel like I can do anything from home.

Describe your socializing strategy.

Houseparty happy hours with friends have been keeping me sane. I was really missing a lot of my co-workers since I've only been interacting with the ones who work on my accounts. So I collaborated with some savvy GSD&Mers to create Happy Hour Roulette using Zoom's breakout rooms. A happy hour moderator randomly pairs you with three to four people for 10 minutes, and then you switch. We've done it a couple of times, and it's been fun.

How are you dealing with childcare?

My husband is a freelancer who happens to be free right now. So he is playing the role of Dad, Mom, teacher, chef and daycare most days. I don't know how I'd get anything done without him. Love you, Marcus! (Anyone looking for a retoucher?)

What are you reading?

I'm eagerly awaiting Shorefall, the sequel to Robert Jackson Bennett's Foundryside, which drops this month. It's a world where magic functions like computer programming, and the protagonist is a snarky, sarcastic woman. I can relate.

What are you watching?

Westworld continues to blow my mind. I've been catching up on Queer Eye (and crying every episode). And yes, Carole Baskin fed her husband to the tigers.

What are you listening to?

So many Disney songs <sigh>. Queen. And if you haven't heard Chris Mann's Covid-19 parodies, you're missing out.

How are you staying fit?

I've been running, doing Zoom martial arts classes with my daughter, a lot of squats, lunges, and planks … anything and everything to move my body because I'm no longer walking back and forth across a giant office building all day.

Have you taken up a hobby?

Since I work on a grocer and packaged goods, my workload has increased significantly over the last few weeks. With what little free time I do have, I've been enjoying after-dinner snail hunts with my kids. We found a giant colony in our neighborhood, and my kids have named them all. Fuzzy the Snail is my favorite.

Any tips for getting necessities?

I signed up for a farm delivery service as well as a meat delivery service. Office supply stores have TP! For the rest of it, I've been using Instacart or curbside and have found that you can refresh the page every 30 minutes or so to snag a slot. They're released periodically throughout the day.

An awkward moment since all this started.

My son ran into my room during a video conference call wearing only his underwear, pulled them down, and screamed "I'm nekkid!"

Best work email you got since all this started.

If you hadn't heard, Austin is the live music capital of the world and we've all been missing those live shows. So one of our CDs put together a video of GSD&Mers singing and playing instruments in their homes and emailed the concert to the agency. If anyone is looking for a badass keytar player, we've got one.

An aha! moment since all this started.

I actually miss commuting. I haven't listened to a podcast in weeks.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

We are going to be homebound for much longer than we think. Schools will be closed for much longer than we think. And our 401(k)s are going to drop even more than we think.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and the founding editor of Muse by Clio.

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