By working together, we can make each other better and produce better work.
In 2011 I interned at The Austin Stone Community Church, doing graphic design. It was a great time in my life; I learned a lot, made some good friends, and developed a passion for web design. Looking back, though, my biggest takeaway from the experience was a desire for community.
At the time, the Operations department at The Stone was pretty small; most of us shared an office. In this one room there was a graphic designer, a web designer, a photographer, a cinematographer, and a video editor. And then there were various interns, like myself, coming and going. My time there was fun; I was learning design fundamentals like typography and branding and hierarchy of information. But I was also soaking up bits and pieces of CSS and geeking out over responsive web design and website designs by Simon Foster. I envied some of the other interns who could afford to spend more time in the office; I was only available a couple days each week, dividing my time between my internship and a retail job at Barnes & Noble.
There were times when the space felt a bit cramped, but for the most part, working together in such close proximity created a certain camaraderie. In addition, being around other creatives spurred all of us to do better work. It didn’t matter that we were multi-disciplinary. In fact, often it helped to get the perspective of someone with a different point of view. I miss being able to tap these people on the shoulder and ask for some feedback, or even just ask, “Whatcha workin’ on?”
To say these people were influential to me would be an understatement. They are more than colleagues, peers, or friends. They are like family to me. I still keep in touch with all of them. Some better than others, admittedly. I’m not perfect.
Ever since that experience I have had a dream of one day owning a co-working space with a few good friends. It’s a pretty loose vision. As of now, I don’t care if we’re all working together as a company or independently, just in the same space. All I know for sure is there’s frequent exchange of ideas and plenty of Topo Chico.
So, yeah. I believe in community. By working together, we can make each other better and produce better work. And have more fun. Because while we should take our work seriously, we shouldn’t take ourselves seriously.
- My First Three Months at CROmetrics
- What The Criterion Collection Taught Me About Design
- Dear Startups, Stop Asking People to Work for Free
- CSS Crash Course
- Daily UI
- Simple Dynamic Navigation in Jekyll
- Designing for Mobile
- CSS Zen Garden
- Type Study
- A New Adventure
- Avoiding Jargon
- Fail Forward