47 minutes | Dec 29th 2016

There and Back Again, Craig Ward Discusses Joining A Large Agency After Years of Successful Solo Practice

Craig Ward (@MrCraigWard) is a designer, art director, typographic artist, and author currently living in Brooklyn, NY. A UK native, he came to New York in 2009 shortly after being selected as an ADC Young Gun. As a solo act, Craig created projects for Adobe, Squarespace, Calvin Klein, Google, Nike, and host of other large brands across entertainment, fashion, media, and consumer products. Lately, he’s rejoined the agency world. In this conversation, we discuss the culture clash between a large company and a solo practice, the economics behind design (large and small), and where agencies can still innovate in spite of their size. Catch up with Craig on his personal website, Words Are Pictures. Cover photo by Jonathan Pilkington. Get The Episode Download The Busy Creator Podcast, episode 99 (MP3, 47:06, 22.8 MB) Download The Busy Creator Podcast, episode 99 (OGG, 47:06, 24.9 MB) Subscribe to Get New Episodes Subscribe to The Busy Creator Podcast on iTunes, on Google Play Music, on Android, on iHeart Sponsor Freedcamp, the finest free online project management software Bandwidth for The Busy Creator Podcast is provided by Freedcamp, Group Efforts Made Effortless. Freedcamp is best free online project management software available. By using the built-in functions and additional tools like time tracking, invoices, milestones, file storage, and more, teams can customise the software for the task at hand! The Busy Creator Podcast itself is managed and operated on Freedcamp. Get started for free on Freedcamp.com Show Notes & Links Prescott and Craig have been pals for several years due to the NYC design scene Joaquin Cotler, a guest on The Busy Creator episode 41 and composer of the theme music Craig is ok being called a “designer & art director”; he’s also directed music videos and earn other titles by action Solo practitioners are a “one-man army” due to their multiple facets The US O-1B Visa, for people, like Craig, “who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement … and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements …”  How a Bill Becomes Law   "Solo practice is very liberating, but brings its own problems." —Craig Ward Tweet This "When you work for someone else, you can spend almost 100% of time working on projects. For yourself, it’s maybe 50%." —Prescott Perez-Fox Tweet This "When freelance work became my full-time job I suddenly had free time." —Craig Ward Tweet This Popular Lies About Graphic Design by Craig Ward on Amazon Craig’s first solo show "I didn’t think at all about the financial aspects of solo work." —Craig Ward Tweet This Grey advertising "Big agencies are designed to spin wheels." —Craig Ward Tweet This "If you’re a creative person, you’re not supposed to be good at business stuff." —Craig Ward Tweet This Intellectual Overhead vs. Property Overhead: anxiety, distraction, etc. rather than dollars "When you work solo the highs are higher, but the lows are lower." —Prescott Perez-Fox Tweet This “Make hay while the sun shines” and other farming metaphors Pentagram Eddie Opara, digitally-savvy partner at Pentagram Douglas Davis, previous guest on TBC "In so many ways it’s a holiday to have a team." —Craig Ward Tweet This "At a certain point, agencies stop being creative companies and start being corporations." —Prescott Perez-Fox Tweet This Denise O’Bleness "Clients get the work they deserve." —Denise O'Bleness Tweet This Deutsch "The answers are not found in the office." —Craig Ward Tweet This "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." —Seneca Tweet This Mother, an agency which has Design and Advertising within it The Shadow Cabinet, in Parliament Skunk Works "The barrier to entry to experimenting is lower than ever." —Prescott Perez-Fox Tweet This "I worry that I’m spreading myself too thin, but I’d rather have a go than not." —Craig Ward Tweet This Extrude nodes, chamfered edges – jargon of 3D printing and modeling "We ran out of stuff to talk about … so we had a kid." —Craig Ward Tweet This "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." —Pablo Picasso Tweet This "There’s real beauty in an eclectic team." —Craig Ward Tweet This Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE)  Craig Ward on Twitter  Craig Ward on Instagram  Craig Ward on Facebook  Craig Ward on LinkedIn Tools Maya Techniques Use your “free” time for other long-term projects, like writing a book Keep “swiftness” in mind; build momentum at the start of projects Take on an agent to help even out the workloads Encourage your team to get out of the office and see things around the city Create a job number for excursions so you can track it; give yourself a time-budget per month Visualize your projects internally, and sketch when you have an idea in mind Habits Be a “restless creative”, always be making something Aim for one fully-fledged, start-to-finish project in your portfolio per year Allow for Unconventional Inspiration (one of The 9 Habits of Highly Creative People) Build in separation between your home and work life; force a commute and specific hours  
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