Creative + Co-Pilot

What I've Learned From Teaching as an Adjunct Professor This Year

Find ways to work with friends! The Power of Collaboration

Having left the advertising industry nearly a year ago, I've come to realize how much I miss working within a team. Going solo into the freelance world has its advantages (like writing your own contracts and estimates, late nights, and my favorite no pants Fridays) but I often feel like something is missing. It's not just because of my social disposition or the desire to interact with other folks, but it's because we often don't push ourselves the way others can. We encounter problems working alongside others that we wouldn't encounter on our own, and many truly find joy solving problems with others. This has a positive effect on the brain! Embrace these opportunities. Seek out new chances to build, create and design things with those around you. 

This is why creative co-working spaces such as Deavor and Fort Houston are thriving. Not only are people networking and building relationships with those around them, many are building and collaborating on physical and digital projects as well. Having creatives within close proximity that can help execute and produce ideas is a great step towards efficiency, but the opportunity to continually troubleshoot and improve upon existing ideas with the insight and skills of another creative is invaluable. It enables us to truly expand our problem-solving vocabulary and inspires us to no end.

When we work on projects outside of our established medium we also have the opportunity to attract other audiences. A great example personally for me is the branded growler carrier I helped work on with Dan Heering of Wildcard Design. I did not tap in necessarily to Dan's audience, but I feel he did tap into mine in a very healthy way. Dan had an idea and approached me for consult. I got excited about the research, design and troubleshooting aspect of the project, and before we knew it Dan had mocked up a prototype and we were shooting product shots. The exposure to a different audience was an afterthought, but nonetheless a benefit for both of us. We did it for the love of design. Our work together has been fruitful and more importantly, satisfying.

It's great to work alongside friends, colleagues and mentors. Go get lost in the work of others and find the time and projects to work on together.

5 of my favorite musical collaborations on Spotify (in no particular order):

  1. Bela Fleck and Chick Corea "The Enchantment"
  2. Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite "Get Up"
  3. Killer Mike and El-P "Run the Jewels"
  4. Buddy Guy and Junior Wells "Best Of"
  5. Otis Redding and Carla Thomas "King and Queen"
Stephen Jones