Cover image of The Busy Creator Podcast with Prescott Perez-Fox
(135)
Arts
Business
Design
Careers

The Busy Creator Podcast with Prescott Perez-Fox

Updated 7 days ago

Arts
Business
Design
Careers
Read more

Conversations on creative culture, workflow, and productivity. The Busy Creator is for you, the creative professional working in arts, design, and media. You’ll hear direct from industry pros and learn the tools, techniques, and habits they’re using in their practice. We discuss strategies and pro tips you can use to be your most creative, productive self and excel in business.Past guests include designer and entrepreneur Armin Vit, design firm owner and professor Debbie Millman, Pentagram Partner Michael Bierut, author/speaker Todd Henry, and writer Jeff Goins, to name a few.

Read more

Conversations on creative culture, workflow, and productivity. The Busy Creator is for you, the creative professional working in arts, design, and media. You’ll hear direct from industry pros and learn the tools, techniques, and habits they’re using in their practice. We discuss strategies and pro tips you can use to be your most creative, productive self and excel in business.Past guests include designer and entrepreneur Armin Vit, design firm owner and professor Debbie Millman, Pentagram Partner Michael Bierut, author/speaker Todd Henry, and writer Jeff Goins, to name a few.

iTunes Ratings

135 Ratings
Average Ratings
134
0
0
1
0

Everything You Need!

By Mndfuul - Jun 02 2017
Read more
Prescott covers it all in a casual and informative manner. So helpful!

Great host and content

By Posworkspace - Sep 15 2016
Read more
Enjoyed episode 85 with Victor Yocco about incorporating Psychology into research and design.

iTunes Ratings

135 Ratings
Average Ratings
134
0
0
1
0

Everything You Need!

By Mndfuul - Jun 02 2017
Read more
Prescott covers it all in a casual and informative manner. So helpful!

Great host and content

By Posworkspace - Sep 15 2016
Read more
Enjoyed episode 85 with Victor Yocco about incorporating Psychology into research and design.

Listen to:

Cover image of The Busy Creator Podcast with Prescott Perez-Fox

The Busy Creator Podcast with Prescott Perez-Fox

Updated 7 days ago

Read more

Conversations on creative culture, workflow, and productivity. The Busy Creator is for you, the creative professional working in arts, design, and media. You’ll hear direct from industry pros and learn the tools, techniques, and habits they’re using in their practice. We discuss strategies and pro tips you can use to be your most creative, productive self and excel in business.Past guests include designer and entrepreneur Armin Vit, design firm owner and professor Debbie Millman, Pentagram Partner Michael Bierut, author/speaker Todd Henry, and writer Jeff Goins, to name a few.

The Busy Creator 48 w/guest Artist Eric Kass

Podcast cover
Read more

Eric Kass (@funnel_erickass) is a Commercial Artist who has built a distinct solo practice across identity, graphic design, packaging design, and more. His practice — Funnel, the Fine Commercial Art Practice of Eric Kass — works with startups and artisanal food companies on developing all aspects of their brand story.

Our conversation cover Eric’s definition of a commercial artist, how we works with clients, and his new side project. Catch up with Eric on his website, Funnel.tv

Show Notes & Links
  • Eric creates “heart-made craft brands”
  • His practices reaches across naming, identity, packaging, point of sales, and more
  • Graphic Design isn’t a great term; “graphic” is too specific, “design” is too broad
  • Commercial Artist is a better description → art for sale
  • Branding always appealed to Eric for its ability to craft a narrative, to appreciate details (typography, logo, etc.)
  • Practice, a term usually applied to Medicine or Law, can also be applied to design (or Yoga)
  • The name Funnel emerged from Eric’s experiences and observations, as well as a reflection of his design process
  • Printed Ephemera by John Noel Claude Lewis On Amazon
  • Ephemerotica.com — Curated Compendium of the Coveted / Authentic & Inspired Vintage Goods

“Every company is now a media company.” —Seth Godin ← Click to Tweet

Tools

Mar 09 2015

37mins

Play

The Busy Creator 15 w/guest Todd Henry

Podcast cover
Read more

The Busy Creator Podcast, episode 15 w/author, speaker, and creative consultant Todd Henry

Todd Henry (@ToddHenry) is an author, speaker, workshop leader, and creative consultant who has written two books on practices observed in successful creative professionals, and tactics for being prolific, brilliant, and healthy. He regularly speaks and consults with companies about how to develop practices and systems for success. In addition, he’s been writing and podcasting since 2005 on his website,Accidental Creative. Read more about Todd on his personal site.

For this particular discussion, we were slightly pressed for time, so to augment our chat, here is a video of Todd speakingat Creative Mornings in Cincinnati in November 2013.

 

Show Notes & Links
  • The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry
  • Die Empty by Todd Henry
  • The Accidental Creative Podcast (iTunesStitcher)
  • Prescott calls Todd “The Patron Saint of Creative Productivity”
  • Todd calls himself an “Arms Dealer for the Creative Revolution”
  • “We battle against uncertainty everyday.”
  • Mitch Joel, “Embrace the Squiggle
  • Todd started as a musician, “as successful as [one] can be without being successful.”
  • “You can navigate to where you want to be from wherever you are.”
  • Purpose Paralysis — being halted by the search for The Thing
  • Rugby is a game of inches. Keep the ball; move forward one inch.
  • Writing a book is simple, but it isn’t easy. Same with running a marathon.
  • Focus is how you define the edges of your work.
  • Relationships help you see the world through different lenses.
  • Energy needs management; not just time.
  • Stimuli are things that inform your creative process.
  • Hours are the currency of productivity.
  • Don’t make friends, launch friends.
  • Your job is to make your boss’s job easier. Be resourceful.
  • Todd’s rhythms change throughout the year with his children, or with his speaking calendar. By season, essentially.
  • “The seeds of tomorrow’s brilliance are planted in the soil of today’s activity.”
  • Todd’s next book will be released summer 2015
Techniques
  • Break down large, difficult tasks into smaller bits. e.g. “Take one pill.”
  • Look for milestones on which to build motivation. Don’t start over every time.
  • Establish problem statements for each challenge or project. Your mind is wired to solve problems, not broad concepts.
  • Distill problems into The Big Three. The largest open loops in your life. Write those down so your mind can dwell on them.
  • Avoid relationships of convenience or obligation. Instead, build a circle of trusted people to discuss inspiration, challenges.
  • Develop a study plan which you can stick to.
  • Work on unneccesary creating.
  • Wake up early to chat with your circle.
  • Look out for unclear definitions of work.
  • Look out for unintentional stimuli (CNN, YouTube)
  • Do not check your email in the middle of the night out of fear-of-being-out-of-the-loop. That’s just absurd.
  • Let your rhythms serve you, not the other way around
Habits
  • Embrace the ebb and flow of productive seasons.
  • Work on being F.R.E.S.H. (Focus, Relationships, Energy, Stimuli, Hours)
  • Speak to your circle regularly
  • Prune your obligations to preserve energy.
  • Evaluate which tasks are effective, not just efficient
  • Create habits of design, not default. Avoid the need for approval of others; listen to our own internal compass.
  • Be ruthless about your time and energy; don’t let people chip away at your best hours.

Jul 21 2014

32mins

Play

The Busy Creator 50 w/John Lee Dumas & Kate Erickson

Podcast cover
Read more

John Lee Dumas (@JohnLeeDumas) & Kate Erickson (@KateLErickson) are the duo behind Entrepreneur on Fire, a daily podcast about business, life, and success. Working closely and dedicating themselves to systematic behaviour, John and Kate have built a massively successful business around their podcasts and blogging community.

This conversation discusses their individual workflows and systems, how they manage virtual assistants, and how working from home requires discipline and systems.

Check out their podcasts, blogs, communities, and courses over at EntrepreneurOnFire.com

Show Notes & Links
  • John doesn’t consider himself a creative person. He doesn’t have a “design bone” in his body, but his mouth is creative.
  • Kate worked in advertising and marketing on the accounts and project management side
  • Systematic behaviour for John means “always tweaking”

“Day one looks very different from today” —John Lee Dumas ← Click to Tweet

Tools
Techniques
  • While recording, use colour-coded markers as flags for yourself when editing
  • Listen to feedback and monitor social feedback and sharing
  • Use “skeleton writing” to jot down bullet points. This avoids the “blank paper syndrome”
  • Use Virtual Assistants (VAs) to extend your day-to-day capabilities
  • Keep roles distinct for VAs; don’t keep people guessing about what their duties will be
  • Before you hire a VA, spend one week writing down all your repetitive tasks
Habits
  • Keep a running list of ideas. Continually record inspiration for blog posts while reading, listening, watching.
  • Skype with your co-worker rather than interrupt each other
  • Take breaks throughout the day, especially if you work from home and don’t otherwise leave the house
  • Build domestic distractions into your morning routine (so they don’t reappear during the day) 
Try Audible.com Free for 30-Days

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get Podcast Launch by John Lee Dumas as a free audiobook

Mar 23 2015

25mins

Play

The Busy Creator 43 w/guest Bob Calvano

Podcast cover
Read more

Bob Calvano (@bobcalvano) runs the digital media & design studio for A+E Networks, and oversees the development of mobile apps, websites, interfaces, and a variety of other design elements for A+E’s brands.

This conversation discusses his origins in digital and traditional design work, how he manages a diverse team of designers and programmers, and the challenges of working in the always-changing business of television and entertainment.

Show Notes & Links
Tools
Techniques
  • Use Agile framework for your design+development projects
  • Use Scrum framework to keep teams together
  • Kanban board to manage project stages
  • Mine your own data
  • Set up “teams of three”, where Art Directors work closely with a UX/UI designer and a developer
  • Turn your Project Managers into Scrum Masters on a Product Team (same thing but on a different model)
  • Use an all-digital workflow
  • Hire T-Shaped People and encourage them to grow
  • Present clickable prototypes rather than flat comps — it yields better results, even if it takes slightly longer
  • Use transit time to prepare for, and recover from, the working day. Meditate or at least mentally plan. 
Habits
  • Sketch during conversations; think out loud
  • Capture and measure all possible statistics; use data & metrics to inform decisions
  • Don’t base everything off data & metrics; trust your gut as designers 
  • Keep your finger on the pulse of design & digital media by going to conferences, taking classes, subscribing to magazines, take field trips
  • Wake up at 5:45
  • Eliminate Gluten & Dairy
  • Take the stairs! If you’re a commuter, they’re always right there.
  • On weekends, sleep as late as kids & dogs will allow
Try Audible.com Free for 30-Days

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get Scrum Essentials by Troy Dimes as a free audiobook

Get The Episode

Subscribe to The Busy Creator Podcast on iTunes

Something to add? Leave a comment below to participate in the conversation.

Feb 02 2015

1hr 7mins

Play

The Busy Creator 18 w/guest Debbie Millman

Podcast cover
Read more

The Busy Creator Podcast, episode 18 with Design Firm President, Author, Podcast Host, and Professor Debbie Millman

Debbie Millman (@DebbieMillman) is a design and branding industry impresario. She will, at any given moment, be involved in a multitude of projects and roles across the profession. For nearly 20 years, she’s been the President ofSterling Brands, a design and brand strategy firm based in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Since 2005, she’s hosted Design Matters, one of the most successful radio shows (now podcasts) about design and creativity. She also founded and chairs the Master’s in Branding course at theSchool of Visual Arts in New York, and has authored numerous books.

In this episode, Debbie speaks about the structure and workflow of Sterling — now a corporate agency, how she stays energized across her many endeavors, and how she’s still working to overcome awkwardness in her life and career. We also get to hear the story of how Debbie and Prescott first met.

 

 
00:00
 
00:00

 

Show Notes & Links
  • Prescott discovered Design Matters while working a crappy job working for a startup marketing firm.
  • Helvetica, by Gary Hustwit
  • Prescott is standing on the shoulders of giants with his podcast
  • Debbie describes herself as a brand consultant, wannabe artist, and chair of the MFA Master’s in Branding at SVA
  • Debbie and her partners at Sterling sold to the businessOmnicom in 2008
  • Sterling defines itself as a Brand Consultancy with three disciplines – Design, Strategy, and Innovation
  • DeeDee Gordon runs Innovation from Los Angeles; Austin McGhie runs Strategy from San Francisco
  • Sterling acquired Philippe Becker in San Francisco, joining that to their studio.
  • Simon Lince is Sterling’s Chief Creative Officer in New York, with four Creative Directors under him. Same with Philippe Becker in SF.
  • Sterling consciously went to the traditional advertising agency model, rather than a “bullpen” model, with lots of cross-disciplinary work. It was “less deliberate”.
  • “Institutional knowledge” is important for growth within an agency. Helps to serve clients year-on-year.
  • Design strategy entails asking questions: What is the brand? What is the criteria for success? What is the “whitespace” we want to uncover? Can we own that space? What is the dynamic for change within an organization? etc.
  • “Common vocabulary does not always equate to common behavior.”
  • “The only people that really like brand design changes are brand designers.” (joking/not joking)
  • “Ambiguity is never seen positively.” (e.g., ambiguous emails)
  • Package design is a “very specific language.” One must know the grammar of a language, but not necessarily all the dialects, which are learned on the job.
  • Design Matters is a cultural force, whether Debbie thinks it or no.
  • Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, 2011
  • Bill Drentell
  • Tina Roth Eisenberg (@swissmiss), Swiss Miss
  • Maria Popova (@Brainpicker), Brainpickings
  • Debbie does “an exhausting amount of research” for Design Matters interviews
  • 20-50 pages of notes for each guest, reduced to 5 pages of questions
  • Lining Up a Shot
  • Design Matters on SoundCloud
  • “I don’t even know that I was a fully formed human being when I was 30.”
  • All The Wrong People Have Self-Esteem by Laurie Roselwald
  • Adult Onset Awkward
  • “Getting your first job out of college is like starting kindergarten all over.”
  • “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellent, then, is not an act but a habit.” –Aristotle
  • Babson College
  • Omnicom University
  • Nancy Kane, from Harvard Business School
  • Information Recreation
  • Design Observer
  • Brand New (and all the UnderConsideration blogs)
  • Design*Sponge
  • HOW and Print
  • The New York Times
  • CNN
  • The Wall St. Journal
  • The New Yorker
  • Vogue
  • Harper’s Bazaar
  • Scientific American / SciAm Mind on airplanes, where it’s quiet(?)
  • “Multitasking is the enemy of focused creativity”
  • Debbie is now ashamed of her past pride as a multi-tasker
  • “When the going gets tough, we go to Facebook.”
  • Multi-tasking is usually “rapid-switching”
  • Lisa Grant, Debbie’s better half at Sterling
  • J’aime Cohen, original SVA dir. of operations
  • Mark Dudlik, current SVA partner in crime
  • Curtis Fox, producer for Design Matters
  • Energy management is more important than time management.
Tools
Techniques
  • Copy the habits of small studios and create “in-house studios” within the larger agency
  • Allow strong personality to exist and thrive in a company; build a culture as such
  • Prepare strategy and challenges during proposal/pitch stage. Don’t wait until you’ve won it.
  • Want something done? Ask a busy person — they have less time to procrastinate.
  • Learn what you’re good at. Production/details? Coming up with ideas?
Habits
  • Celebrate small victories, such as winning a new project or client
  • Sleep a lot. 8 hours at least.
  • Eat better. (better than soda, candy, cigarettes, that is.)
  • Read constantly.

Aug 11 2014

54mins

Play

The Busy Creator 14 w/guest Novelist Laura Thomas

Podcast cover
Read more

Laura Thomas (@Laura_Raptor) is a writer living and working in Canada. Previously, she has published a full-length novel, but has changed her focus to the short form novella, especially in the Erotica genre. Laura has created a productive workflow and lifestyle that allows her to publish up to three stories per week to online and via electronic platforms like the Amazon Kindle.

Check out Laura under her pen name, Selena Storm, (@Selena_Storm) where you can find about 40 titles.

 

Show Notes & Links
Tools
Techniques
  • Use a crummy computer to avoid distractions while writing
  • Use a different computer in a different setting to see a document with fresh eyes
  • As the document evolves, use an e-reader to keep things fresh
  • Format the text for each format, following guidelines for each publishing platform and device
  • Write three books to sell as a bundle (buy two get the third free)
  • Try disconnecting from the Internet to actually get something done
Habits
  • Create a morning routine, as you would for a job
  • Keep the “lunch break” brief
  • Treat writing — and promotions — like a full-time job
  • Some kind of media (like television) in the background

Jul 07 2014

47mins

Play

The Busy Creator 46 w/guest Lindsay Katt

Podcast cover
Read more

Lindsay Katt (@LindsayKatt) is a multi-faceted artist & musician based in New York. Her musical work spans several genres across the pop & rock sectors, in addition to work for television and film.

Our discussion meanders a bit on the nature of art, cycles and seasons of creative work, the songwriting process — if there is one — and how creative pros can possibly keep up with today’s wacky world of social media.

Keep up with Lindsay via her many social media outlets, or on her website, Lindsay Katt Music

 

Show Notes & Links
  • Lindsay Katt’s website describes her as an Artist, Musician, Painter, Thinker, Tinkerer, Hugger, Dreamer, Lover, Maker … Still Deciding, and Ever Changing.
  • Lindsay wants to “do all the things”
  • She’s also a producer, director, merry-maker
  • “Really well-done DIY is learning how to hire people more talented than you” ← Click to Tweet
  • Art-shame culture; thinking “art isn’t a real job”
  • Lindsay worked three different day-jobs to pay her way through school (studying psychology & pre-med)
  • Lindsay was home-schooled on forty acres in Montana; learned arts and culture at home
  • Lindsay was “fired” by her piano teacher, but resumed playing as a rebellious teen
  • Studies show that during middle school you don’t learn anything
  • Deliberate Practice
  • There are seasons of creative flow
  • “It’s takes some dot-collecting before you can do any dot-connecting.” ← Click to Tweet
  • The Nature of Rest
  • The Avant Gardener, forthcoming project from Lindsay Katt, produced by Yakov
  • “Why do we have soundtracks to movies, but not filmtracks to albums?” ← Click to Tweet
  • Dark Side of The Rainbow: Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon played over The Wizard of Oz (which allegedly helped break up Pink Floyd)
  • Beyoncé
  • “Art is how we decorate our space; music is how we decorate our time.” attr. aclayhutchings on Reddit
  • Post-It Pitching, as they do in Hollywood (e.g. Alien = Jaws in Space)
  • Product Hunt (e.g. Tinder for Dogwalkers)
  • Claude Kelly
  • “Everybody is chasing goosebumps.” —Claude Kelly ← Click to Tweet
  • My Happy, on Lindsay’s first album, Picking Out Boxes, came into being in about 30 minutes
  • Lindsay leans on the side of not-keeping-things-in-a-straight-line
  • “If I can’t be fearless, I at least want to be brave.” ← Click to Tweet
  • The Impostor Syndrome
  • Lindsay still struggles with a form of stage-fright
  • Lindsay Katt on Twitter
  • Lindsay Katt on Facebook
  • Lindsay Katt on Instagram
  • Lindsay Katt on SoundCloud
  • Lindsay Katt on YouTube
Tools
Techniques
  • Rest your body and mind to improve your performance — in sports and in creative work
  • Take an “ear-break”
  • Commercial work is about diligence — writing multiple lines, fulfilling the brief, etc.
  • Look for lyrics to lead the melody, or vice-versa
  • Move away from handwritten notes and scribbles (there’s no space for all that paper in NYC)
  • Use trigger words to remind yourself of notes. Leave “breadcrumbs” for Evernote.
  • Ask for help; work on overcoming “artist shame”
Habits
  • Jot down ideas as they emerge
  • Take breaks from your work (to collect dots)
  • Converse and meet with other artists 
Try Audible.com Free for 30-Days

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry as a free audiobook

Get The Episode

Feb 23 2015

38mins

Play

The Busy Creator 54, The Art of Work w/Jeff Goins

Podcast cover
Read more

Jeff Goins (@JeffGoins) is the author of a new book titled The Art of Work. In researching the book, Jeff has realised that the subject is bigger than a book, and has already moved into creating a movement, branching out to online communities and training to help people find their calling at work and in life.

Our conversation discusses the origins of the The Art of Work, the trouble creative pros face at work, and some of his writing methodologies. Catch up with Jeff on his many social media platforms or via website, GoinsWriter.com.

The Art of Work is available now in print and digital formats (Kindle, ePub, PDF) and will be available soon as an audiobook. Check out ArtOfWorkBook.com for all info.

 

Show Notes & Links
  • Your life’s work, a huge topic

“I didn’t try to talk about [your life’s work] with authority, I just tried to talk about it with curiosity.”

—Jeff Goins

Tweet This

“Vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”

—Frederick Buechner

Tweet This

“You can only connect the dots looking backwards.”

—Steve Jobs

Tweet This

“You’ve got to do some dot-collecting before you can do some dot-connecting.”

—Lindsay Katt

Tweet This

“What if hidden in your difficulties are opportunities?”

—Jeff Goins

Tweet This

“Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I need to listen to my life telling me who I am.”

—Parker Palmer

Tweet This

Tools
Techniques
  • Listen to your life, look for themes and threads
  • Don’t “take a leap”, instead “build a bridge” to your next role or job
  • Do an “internal pivot”, find a new scope of work in your current organisation or help create a new department
  • Change the way you’re approaching today’s work in preparation for what’s to come
  • Listen to your body (pain, rashes, etc.)
  • Use teaching to make an impact, connect with community
  • Use the Three-Bucket Method (Notes/Ideas, Drafts, Edits) to write a book
  • Use the Five-Draft Method to go from manuscript to completed work
Habits
  • Take your ideas “up” rather than kvetching to co-workers who can’t make changes
  • Use your “byproducts” — your blog posts and speeches can become a book if the ideas are sound
Try Audible.com Free for 30-Days

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get You Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins as a free audiobook

Get The Episode

 

Subscribe to Get New Episodes

Subscribe to The Busy Creator Podcast on iTunes

Apr 20 2015

28mins

Play

B-SIDE: Planning A Modern WordPress Website, with guest Avery Swartz

Podcast cover
Read more

Avery Swartz (@AverySwartz) joins Prescott to discuss the possibilities for the next version of BusyCreator.com. Together, the two discuss the capabilities of WordPress, best practices which Prescott is adopting (and should start), and the shortcomings of WordPress themes and plugins.

Oct 23 2016

1hr 8mins

Play

Methods and Mindsets for Successful Web Design Projects with Agency Boss Ben Seigel

Podcast cover
Read more

Ben Seigel (@versastudiollc) is a web designer and developer, and head of Versa Studio. In addition to managing projects and writing the necessary code for client sites, Ben has examined and written about the underlaying value of design, how small businesses and design agencies can work together toward successful ends.

In this conversation, we dig into content management systems on websites, discuss managing remote teams, remark on transitioning from a pure developer to a business owner, and share some common ailments of working with small businesses on their brand and web design projects.

Website Planning for Small Business

Grab Ben’s eBook, Website Planning for Small Business, and catch up with him via the website for Versa Studio.

 

Get The Episode Subscribe to Get New Episodes

Subscribe to The Busy Creator Podcast on iTunes | on Google Play Music | on Android | on iHeart

Sponsor

Freedcamp, the best 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

"If someone wants to spend $20k on a project, but won't take 2 hours to read a plan ... they're not going to be a good client."

—Ben Seigel

Tweet This

"You need a 'minimum viable brand' before any website."

—Prescott Perez-Fox

Tweet This

  • Prescott wants the “power of suggestion” as his business superpower. Ben prefers a version of ESP.
  • Request for Proposals (RFP)

"(an RFP) is a really great way to waste a whole bunch of peoples' time."

—Ben Seigel

Tweet This

  • Brennan Dunn, Roadmapping
  • A “Warm RFP” has a higher chance to succeed

"You can read four proposals. You probably can't read 19."

—Prescott Perez-Fox

Tweet This

"We're not built to sit all day. We're also not built to stand. We gotta move."

—Ben Seigel

Tweet This

Tools Techniques
  • If given the opportunity, build a new platform fresh without links to the past ten years of legacy code
  • Connect with people in person rather than social
  • Break a project into steps/phases, so you can learn about the client as you go
  • Build a “Helvetica-Vanilla” version of your website while you test-and-iterate on brand, content, visual styles
  • Counter an RFP with an honest, candid phone call or conversation
  • Ask about the competition for proposals/pitches/tenders
  • Review a project through a post-mortem
  • Auto-answer common email questions
  • Pomodoro Method
Habits
  • Create a “framework” for your projects; share it with clients and industry
  • Start projects with an “assembly line” for beginning a project
  • Call Templates “Starting Documents”
  • Be flexible on your standards and workflow
  • Save code snippets and text macros as you work on projects; you’ll likely need to use them again.
  • Always move during the day
  • Work toward your daily practices
Try Audible.com Free for 30-Days

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get 201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business by Jane Applegate as a free audiobook 

Join the Discussion

Leave a comment below to participate in the conversation.

Oct 19 2016

54mins

Play

The Busy Creator 17, Music Streaming Apps & Websites, w/guest Charles Penn

Podcast cover
Read more

Charles Penn is a musician and music producer based in New Jersey. Together with Prescott they discuss the state of music on the Internet, including listening, buying, sharing, and the potential to collaborating world-wide. The conversation moves to music promotion and tactics for artists starting out. Check out Charles’s music on his website, The Sounds of The Underground.

 

 
00:00
 
00:00

 

Show Notes & Links
Tools
Techniques
  • For Pandora, only vote songs down. Otherwise, you’ll hear the exact same song again and again.
  • Search for stations on the Internet Radio stream. Discover something unexpected.
  • Exchange features with other up-and-coming artists, then cross-promote for each other
Habits
  • Search randomly. Don’t “plan” your music.
  • Give away your music to build a fan base. The money will come.
Get The Episode

Subscribe to The Busy Creator Podcast on iTunes

Something to add? Leave a comment below to participate in the conversation.

Aug 04 2014

57mins

Play

The Busy Creator 51 w/guest Peter Kubilus

Podcast cover
Read more

Peter Kubilus (@PeterKubilus) is an interiors and architectural photographer based in metro New York. Following studies in both photography and architectural engineering, Peter has created a practice photographing offices, hotels, residences, and more.

Our conversation covers his origins in photography, how he came to specialise in architecture, and the workflow of setting up lights and creating his images.

Check out Peter’s photography at his website, kubilusphoto.com

 

Show Notes & Links
  • Peter describes his work as modern, clean, refined, not messy
  • Previous photographers on The Busy Creator Podcast include Bill WadmanChristine BlackburneTaylor Mathis
  • Peter only photograph’s “The built environment”
  • Seton Hall Prep, high school in New Jersey
  • Peter’s first introduction to architecture and building came from visits to his father’s build sites as a youth
  • Architectural DigestArchitectural RecordInterior Design magazine
  • Peter’s college classes “activated the creative side his head”
  • Prescott and Peter grew up in neighboring towns, both attended Drexel University, but didn’t meet until later.
  • “Circulation” is the term for a person moving through architecture, being at scale, etc.
  • Colour Temperature (mixtures of LEDs, Fluorescents, Sunlight)
  • Shooting for a hotel may mean conveying a lifestyle. Shooting for the architect may center around materials.
  • Peter’s projects range in scale from a kitchen to a 30-story building
  • Each image can take a few hours to set up, yielding only a few images per day
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR) composites in Photoshop

“You can’t turn garbage into a masterpiece.” —Peter Kubilus ← Click to Tweet

“Networking was what really initially launched my career.” —Peter Kubilus ← Click to Tweet

“Opportunity + Preparation = Success” ← Click to Tweet

“Just because I’m not out in the field shooting doesn’t mean I’m not working.” —Peter Kubilus ← Click to Tweet

Tools
Techniques
  • Take a walk-through of a built space before you photograph
  • Ask the architect questions — he or she knows the plan inside and out
  • Find the right angle, then strip out extraneous material that might distract from the shot
  • Take point-and-shoot photos during a walkthrough
  • Don’t allow objects in a shot to overlap. This may require micro-rotations.
  • Stage the room first, then light it
  • Take multiple shots at different exposures so you can built it later in Photoshop as needed
  • Get the image right “in the camera” so you only have to spend 20–30 minutes in Photoshop
  • Use Lightroom to pare down your images. Then bring to Photoshop for retouching.
  • Deliver files via Dropbox rather than FTP.
  • Attend networking events, even as frequently as 4 days a week.
  • Use email newsletters rather than mini-portfolios — at least you can track who opens emails
  • Have a website with portfolio samples
  • Spend 30 minutes a week on LinkedIn
  • Wake up early and do those digital time-wasters before you start work
  • Use an assistant for shoots
Habits
  • Maintain a presence on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook fan pages
  • Backup your files immediately after connecting your camera
Try Audible.com Free for 30-Days

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get Digital Photography Guide by Larry Hall as a free audiobook

Mar 30 2015

38mins

Play

The Busy Creator Podcast, episode 42 with Artist, Designer, Illustrator, Animator & Writer Laurie Rosenwald

Podcast cover
Read more

Laurie Rosenwald (@RosenWorld) is an artist, designer, illustrator, writer, and all-around creative spirit. Throughout her careers, she’s managed to fly under the radar of New York’s design and publishing industries and still be recognised for her distinct style and wit.

Our conversation focuses on her origins in the creative fields, her working style, and her new workshops. See some of Laurie’s work on her studio page, Rosenworld.com.

 

Show Notes & Links
Tools
Techniques
  • Use email to flirt
  • Go on instinct (if your instincts are good)
  • Write down ideas and save them for later
  • Make something first, and find a place for it later
  • Don’t start with a blank page: Make a blob or something
  • Make your own pigments, paint, and gesso
  • Draw with a squeeze bottle
  • Photograph collages at various stages to add a digital component
  • Use Photoshop & Illustrator in the most “baby” way
  • Rent out your apartment when you’re traveling!
Habits
  • Floss and use toothpicks (or those bristles things)
  • Wake up early and enjoy being home
  • Ride a bike whenever possible 
  • Retreat to a secret place, perhaps a library, for writing
  • Write or paint to fill time between client projects
  • Never sketch
Try Audible.com Free for 30-Days

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get Miss Mapp by EF Benson as a free audiobook

Or try the Ladies of Letters series by By Lou Wakefield, Carole Hayman (Narrated By Prunella Scales & Patricia Routledge!) as a free audiobook

Get The Episode

Subscribe to The Busy Creator Podcast on iTunes

Something to add? Leave a comment below to participate in the conversation.

Jan 26 2015

49mins

Play

The Busy Creator 11 w/guests Michael Sacca & Alex Rolek

Podcast cover
Read more

The Busy Creator episode 11, w/guests Michael Sacca and Alex Rolek, co-founders of Brandisty.com

Michael Sacca (@MichaelSacca) and Alex Rolek (@AlexRolek) are the co-founders of Brandisty.com, a website that allows companies to put their brand on the web. The duo started out as a small agency doing web design and software development before shifting towards a B2B product. Along with Prescott, they discuss the origins of Brandisty, how they went about getting early feedback, and the day to day scrappiness of running a small web software company.

Show Notes & Links
  • Brandisty is a small software company, about 5 staffers plus contractors
  • TinyFactory, the agency from which Brandisty was born
  • Brandisty’s inception was born from frustration — “can I get a transparent PNG?”
  • Valio Con, a design conference where Brandisty was introduced as a beta product
  • The Busy Creator on Brandisty
  • Delete Blood Cancer on Brandisty
  • TinyFactory started as an agency
  • Michael studied the music business
  • Alex studied finance and real estate development
  • Entrepreneurs struggle to install productivity habits
  • Distractions at work are annoying
  • The difference between marketing and sales
  • The conference was to validate the idea
  • “customer service is our marketing”
  • Say Rhythm rather than Routine.
  • Alex endorses a lifestyle of moderation
Tools
Techniques
  • Use a blackboard in your office. Keep it old school
  • Keep a Kanban board with projects; rearrange as necessary
  • Use small post-its on the cards
  • Don’t use a mobile phone app to do your laundry (it’s not needed!)
  • Use the Rubber Duck test
  • Template your email responses and communication tools
  • Set “Do Not Disturb” mode for the working day, counter-interuitively
  • Generate potential leads, do some research, ask them to become beta testers
  • Generate leads from content and social media
  • Aim for better quality traffic, not necessarily more
  • Give up coffee or alcohol; observe results.
  • Don’t forget to read books, in addition to blog posts, to learn other people’s perspectives
Habits
  • Get everyone together for planning and vision; let people work independently from there
  • Monday morning meeting: plan the week, review stats, update on all departments
  • Friday meeting focused on marketing and to review stats
  • Handle communication and responses in the morning; focus on productivity the rest of the day
  • Alex favors the “anti-routine”, and fear of monotony. Varies his wake-up and work-out times.
  • Michael favors a strict routine (due to fatherhood). Gym in the morning, breakfast, show, and off to work.
  • Wake up before the sun rises.
  • Try networking events in the morning, rather than those in the evenings

May 19 2014

35mins

Play

The Busy Creator 39 w/guest Steve Dotto

Podcast cover
Read more

Steve Dotto (@DottoTech) publishes a variety of videos on YouTube, mainly on the subject of personal productivity and software. Following a career in traditional broadcasting, he’s strategically moved into self-publishing and has since built a business with video, coaching, & speaking under his brand DottoTech.

In this conversation, Steve shares his strategies for online community-building, his preferred sites and software, and his personal productivity habits.

Below are some examples of videos that Steve produces:

Show Notes & Links

Tools
Techniques

  • Get your crew to laugh; it’s a good indicator for your audience
  • Create a personality that is a slightly amplified version of yourself, not a fictional character
  • Ensure no one is holding your audience “hostage”; keep in touch with them on our terms
  • Tweet or Text Message your audience prior to a live broadcast/webinar
  • “Shine a light on your content” aka actively promote your own stuff; no one will find it naturally
  • Use [paid] Facebook ads to promote a webinar or other paid event
  • Use your community — perhaps a forum or Facebook group — to answer tough questions
  • Poke around with software and look for “a story” to share in a video
  • Push hard for a new video (within the first four hours); take advantage of YouTube’s algorithm which “honors momentum”
  • Honor Your Content, Steve’s term for abiding by best practices in promotion
  • Create a Photoshop template which you can quickly update
  • Build your mailing list! Change your CRM system if you outgrow the first one.
  • Before you post your Patreon effort, get friends and family to chip in.
  • Offer your Patrons access to your digital products as a bonus
Habits

  • Listen to podcasts/audiobooks while walking the dog.
  • Research an SEO-friendly title
  • Edit video to include calls-to-action, annotate thoroughly
  • Learn to predict problems with sound & lighting, so you can solve them early
  • Steal colors from other content creators (keep them in Evernote)
  • Wake up early, do community engagement first; reply to comments
  • Avoid email first thing in the morning
  • Read and respond to every comment on YouTube (even if it’s only a Thumbs-up/Plus)
  • Drink Smoothies
Try Audible.com Free for 30-Days

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get Chris Anderson’s book Free for free, in addition to your other free audiobook!

Get The Episode

Jan 05 2015

57mins

Play

The Busy Creator 20, Building and Growing a Small Design Firm, w/guest Josh Miles

Podcast cover
Read more

The Busy Creator Podcast, episode 20, Building and Growing a Small Design Firm, w/guest Josh Miles

Josh Miles (@JoshMiles) founded Miles Design, an independent graphic design firm in Indianapolis, Indiana, after organically growing his freelance practice. Following some hi-profile work in a narrow sector, he’s grown his team to nine employees, taking care to build a healthy workplace culture along the way.

Josh and his team at Miles Design

In this discussion, Josh shares some of the challenges for growing and maintaining a design business, as well as some of the tools and tactics he uses to keep the team in sync and doing great work.

 

 
00:00
 
00:00

 

Show Notes & Links
Tools
Techniques
  • Bring in people who are better than you
  • Put workplace culture first, especially if you feel it’s missing. Maybe start over.
  • Give your team permission to fail. Allow them to present their work, come what may.
  • Invent company rituals. Celebrate small stuff.
  • Test new workflows and tools
  • Follow up with clients after 3 or 6 months to track results
  • Be known for one thing and be good at it
Habits
  • Arrive in the office early. Get stuff done before the gang arrives.
  • Head out early on Fridays as a team. Decompress together.
  • Take a few hours to work solo and clear things

Aug 25 2014

40mins

Play

The Busy Creator 16 w/guest Marie Poulin

Podcast cover
Read more

 Marie Poulin (@MariePoulin) is a Digital Strategist and Web Designer based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Following her early work in a small Toronto-based studio, Marie set out on her own and established a solo web design practice before making a more recent transition to strategy. Marie has taken on more self-initiated projects, launchingDigital Strategy School, powered by Doki, the online teaching platform she helped build. Along the way she’s become resourceful and has had to teach herself a host of new skills. Marie can be seen on her site, MariePoulin.com

Show Notes & Links
Tools
Techniques
  • Be mindful of different working styles and personalities in a multi-disciplinary team
  • Facebook groups for professional insight
  • Share your behind-the-scenes process will help your peers and the industry
  • Use Wishlist to have your clients become “members”, with on-boarding and training built in
  • Set up a secret Pinterest board to collaborate with clients
  • Record your screen to teach staff necessary tasks
  • Number tasks and task components for easy organization
  • No meetings on Mondays
  • Use a Vision Board — a place to list goals for the month or year, big plans and project.
Habits
  • Take it upon yourself to learn new skills
  • Pick up good habits from the jobs you have; leave the bad ones
  • Learn best practices [for programming] from a true developer
  • Design your morning routine, even if it’s a later morning
  • Share your processes with people, even if it’s imperfect
  • Keep a “praise” folder in Evernote, email, etc.

Jul 28 2014

47mins

Play

The Busy Creator 13 w/guest Blake Stratton

Podcast cover
Read more

The Busy Creator Podcast, episode 13 with Singer-Songwriter-Musician Blake Stratton

Blake Stratton (@BlakeStratton) is a Nashville-based musician and songwriter. In his twenties he was a touring musician living the Nashville lifestyle. Lately, he’s switched toward collaborating and composing, as well as seeking to connect independent creatives through his blog and podcast, Life in The Woods. With Prescott, he discusses the virtues of waking up early, the struggle for continued creative success, and the strangeness of the music profession.

 

Show Notes & Links
Tools
Techniques
  • No two songwriters have the same process
  • Allow yourself to have “seasons”, where you push hard for a while, and then relax.
  • Go on a “Songwriter Retreat” to purposefully (and forcefully) disconnect
  • Use Evernote to keep journals, song lyrics, etc.
  • Use a “Trigger” when you start a habit. Ask “what’s the domino effect?”
Habits
  • Waking up early. Something Prescott and Blake both do.
  • Create a “Gratitude Habit”, write down things you’ve done well.
  • High-Low, name one “high” and one “low” of the day. Do this before you go to sleep.

Jun 16 2014

41mins

Play

The Busy Creator 9, Evernote for contact management w/guest Bob Stanke

Podcast cover
Read more

Bob Stanke (@BobStanke) is the Director of Digital Media for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Over the years, he’s become an expert in Evernote, and has created several workflows he uses everyday to manage his bookmarks and other important information. In this episode, he shares with Prescott how he designed a system to use Evernote for contact management, including how that translates to use on mobile devices and how to create searchable data for future use.

Show Notes & Links
Tools
Techniques
  • Use pre-defined notes
  • Build your own workflow, if  you have a complex, custom need
  • Set up an email-into system to create Notes on the fly
  • Make custom fields (ex. Pet) as you need them
  • Use a #Hashtag in a Note to create fast-search capabilities
  • Integrate Evernote with Android phones to make calls quickly
  • Use Evernote to create podcast show notes
  • Use FollowUpThen for job-hunting, get better responses
Habits
  • Record notes about people after meeting them
  • Use FollowUpThen to stay in touch with people, especially after meeting
  • Add metadata to a bookmark when adding to Evernote

Apr 28 2014

29mins

Play

The Busy Creator 47 w/guest Lucy Leiderman, part II

Podcast cover
Read more

Lucy Leiderman (@Lucy Leiderman) is the Director of Digital Strategy for Toronto-based agency Pilot PMR. Here, she advises clients on content and social media strategy, oversees promotion and advertising across new media, and writes on a number topics related to internet and technology.

Lucy is also a published author, having written the Seven Wanderers Trilogy, a series of novels in the historical fiction/fantasy genre.

This conversation is split into two parts, where the first discusses her work as a digital strategist, and the second speaks more to her personal habits and her workflow as an author. Catch up with Lucy on her website, LucyLeiderman.com

Mar 05 2015

29mins

Play

The Big 100! A Live Meetup Event with guests Rashan Casseus & Gabby Wallace

Podcast cover
Read more

That went quickly! Listen in to our live event where we commemorate 100 episodes of The Busy Creator Podcast and remark on the journey. This event was a crossover with the New York City Podcast Meetup, recorded at Small City Co-working space in Brooklyn.

Joining Prescott on stage are musician Joaquin Cotler (@ShinyIslands), UX designer Rashan Casseus (@rcassues) & video publisher/entrepreneur Gabby Wallace (@GabbyAWallace). Together we discuss daily practice, creating projects and nurturing them over time, and our own experiences with podcasting.

Get The Episode Subscribe to Get New Episodes

Subscribe to The Busy Creator Podcast on iTuneson Google Play Musicon Androidon iHeart

Show Notes & Links

"It's a great time to go to Puerto Rico if you already have a lot of money." —Joaquin Cotler Tweet This

"Busy is a four-letter word." —Prescott Perez-Fox  Tweet This

"I make digital tools easier to use." —Rashan Casseus Tweet This

"UX is the thought process of how a human being gets from point A to point B." —Rashan Casseus Tweet This

  • MailChimp, and their mascot Freddy
  • Disembodied Monkey Hand, the name of Joaquin’s new punk band
  • Microcopy, the words around the site on buttons, short messages, etc.
  • Eat24, and their “hungry” shopping cart
  • 90Elm, Rashan’s cousin’s t-shirt company
  • User Stories, User Interviews — tools of planning a site
  • Sayba Naturals, Prescott’s mother’s soap brand
  • Squarespace, also not a sponsor

"Websites are never finished, they are only abandoned." —Prescott Perez-Fox, paraphrasing Leonardo da Vinci Tweet This

"Your website is done when you run out of time, or when the client says 'I want it up now'." —Rashan Casseus Tweet This

"I create something every day. Most day, many things." —Gabby Wallace Tweet This

"I reject all that quality and editing because it takes forever!" —Gabby Wallace Tweet This

"Way more fun than playing music is listening to other people play." —Joaquin Cotler Tweet This

Tools Techniques
  • Name buttons on websites in an intuitive way; say “conclude” or “done”
  • Consult a designer even when using a templated system like Squarespace
  • Take team outings as a way to get to know each other
  • Post a common planning document to keep your team accountable
  • Share your core message; if you don’t have it defined, go back to square one
  • Mix your “main bit” with casual, less rehearsed pieces
  • When discussing an “album”, call it a “record” to be more generic
Habits
  • Keep your skills up with family and community projects
  • Find the intersection of your creation and what people need
  • Post helpful content and videos; people will ask for your help
  • Constantly learn from others via podcasts, videos, blogs, books, etc.
  • Return to a consistent format to avoid rehearsal

SaveSave

Jan 17 2017

1hr 7mins

Play

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

Podcast cover
Read more

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 Subscribe to Get New Episodes

Subscribe to The Busy Creator Podcast on iTuneson Google Play Musicon Androidon 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

"I didn’t think at all about the financial aspects of solo work."

—Craig Ward

Tweet This

"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

"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

"Clients get the work they deserve."

—Denise O'Bleness

Tweet This

"The answers are not found in the office."

—Craig Ward

Tweet This

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

—Seneca

Tweet This

"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

Tools 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

Dec 30 2016

47mins

Play

Going Hollywood, How Brittany Cormack Thrives as a Costume Designer Amid the Madness of Show Biz

Podcast cover
Read more

Brittany Cormack is a costume designer for film and television. Following her training in fashion and dance, Brittany arrived in Los Angeles without a clue how to work in the movie business, but has since found her groove. She works primarily on independent films, commercials, and music videos, but every day is an adventure. 

Work has taken her from frozen mountains to coastal swamps, and everywhere in between. In this conversation, we discover how movie sets work, what happens when everyone is freelance, and where to build habits even during crazy periods.

Catch up with Brittany on her IMDB page or Portfolio.

Subscribe to Get New Episodes

Subscribe to The Busy Creator Podcast on iTuneson Google Play Musicon Androidon 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
  • Gilmore Girls are back
  • Brittany and Prescott went to college together, danced together
  • Brittany is a costume designer for film & television
  • The difference between costume and fashion is that fashion is meant to sell; costume helps build a character

"Costume is the head-to-toe of a person" —Brittany Cormack

Tweet This

  • Costume should be part of the conception, not merely production
  • Upstairs-downstairs, the term for important vs. non-important people
  • Above-the-line/Below-the-line, terms in film (also advertising) to describe the most visible and important duties

"Each set and each project has an energy of its own." —Brittany Cormack

Tweet This

"Every first day of shooting is like the first day of school." —Brittany Cormack

Tweet This

"You have to be a little half-crazy to work in this industry." —Brittany Cormack

Tweet This

  • Grey’s Anatomy, currently in season 13
  • Contracts for short films or commercials are usually under 2 months

"If you’re ever looking for work, just plan a vacation." —freelancers’ adage

Tweet This

"In LA or New York, you can get anything if you have the money." —Brittany Cormack

Tweet This

  • Standard days of filming are 10-14 hours

"I only want to tell stories that I feel matter." —Brittany Cormack

Tweet This

"If you want to be a true collaborator, you’ve gotta be willing to be a team player." —Brittany Cormack

Tweet This

"If there’s a hat, you’re gonna wear it!" —Brittany Cormack

Tweet This

  • Taking Meetings“, a common practice in Hollywood
  • "You’re only as good as your last job." —Hollywood adage

Tweet This

Tools
  • Paper & Pencil
Techniques
  • Build a backstory for all your characters beyond what’s on the page
  • Keep track of everyone who owes you money
  • Call your “guy” when you’re in trouble
  • Stay around people, be inspired by them (as well as books)
Habits
  • Keep a positive, collaborative attitude above all
  • Use a billing software tool to track your invoices
  • Document your work on social media to stay current
Try Audible.com Free for 30-Days

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get Hollywood Stories: Short, Entertaining Anecdotes about the Stars and Legends of the Movies by Stephen Schochet as a free audiobook 

SaveSave

SaveSave

Dec 13 2016

44mins

Play

Practical Typographic Advice and Building an Education Business Alongside a Design Firm with Michael Stinson

Podcast cover
Read more

Michael Stinson (@MWStinson) is a veteran designer, educator, and business owner. In addition to his work as a professor of graphic design, he also runs Ramp Creative, a branding studio in Los Angeles, as well as Type Ed, a dedicated typographic education business which helps creative pros return to form in the fields of typesetting and layout.

Together in this conversation we unravel some of today’s worst typographic habits, and how to overcome them, share a few tips that all creatives can use to improve their type usage, and discuss some processes for working with clients.

Catch up with Michael on his website, MichaelStinson.com, or through Type Ed.          

 Get The Episode

Subscribe to Get New Episodes

Subscribe to The Busy Creator Podcast on iTuneson Google Play Musicon Androidon 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
  • Michael is the first person from Los Angeles to join The Busy Creator Podcast
  • Ramp Creative handles a lot of variety — digital, print, mobile
  • Type Ed is an Education Organization, founded 2012
  • UI/UX design has eroded traditional type study
  • High School scribbles are largely typography
  • Michael was taught both ends of the type spectrum — hand lettering and typesetting (3 words or 300)

"I'm not training you to be designers; I'm training you to be Creative Directors some day."

—Michael Stinson

Tweet This

  • Phonetics
  • Whiskey Labels, an underrated technical as well as artistic challenge

"Everyone likes to do logos but wordmarks are extremely challenging."

—Michael Stinson

Tweet This

"Designers these days don't like process. They want to jump to making it look good."

—Michael Stinson

Tweet This

"If you get your process in place, you can design anything."

—Michael Stinson

Tweet This

  • Michael is a former Aerospace Engineer; Prescott studied Mechanical Engineering
  • Prescott — in spite of the hyphen in his last name — doesn’t like to use hyphens in his paragraph text

"Imagine if you're reading War & Peace in all caps — how far would you get?"

—Michael Stinson

Tweet This

"The beauty of graphic design is that it works both sides of the brain."

—Michael Stinson

Tweet This

"If you follow the right words the path will take you to the promised land of the visuals."

—Michael Stinson

Tweet This

"You're an actor, you're a leader, you're an entrepreneur, you're a psychologist, you're a therapist ... all at the same time."

—Michael Stinson

Tweet This

  • Building Brands, a Step-By-Step Guide for Creative Pros to Develop Strategy and Design Identity — original eBook by Prescott Perez-Fox

    Building Brands eBook

"You're not going to use a crescent wrench for a hammer. Right tool for the right job."

—Michael Stinson

Tweet This

"Never stop noticing design."

—Michael Stinson

Tweet This

  • The most stringest morning routine ever described on The Busy Creator Podcast was that of Michael Bierut
  • Reading in The Brain by Stanislas Dehaene on Amazon
  • The Intellectual Devotional by David Kidder & Noah Oppenheim on Amazon and on Audible

"Type isn't all about the characters themselves, it's about the space they take up and the negative space that's left."

—Michael Stinson

Tweet This

Tools Techniques
  • Use Tables in InDesign for grid-based layouts (restaurant menus)
  • Build type hierarchy from the body copy up (subheads, etc.)
  • If you’re setting more than 35 words, don’t use All Caps, Italics, Centered
  • Don’t be afraid to use hyphens, but with discipline. (e.g., don’t use hyphens in the first line)
  • Don’t use more than 13 words on a line (left-aligned), or 7 words on a line (centered)
  • Aim for 50-70 characters per line (type size in points x 2 = measure width in picas)
  • Don’t build websites in Photoshop — it’s not made for layout
Habits
  • Keep the reader in your mind. Think of them first.
  • Always take clients through a verbal discovery phase first before visuals
  • Give your print partners multiple files — flattened, outlined, original files, native links, etc. — make their lives easier
  • Constantly observe and comment on design around you
Try Audible.com Free for 30-Days

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get The Intellectual Devotional Modern Culture: Revive Your Mind by David Kidder & Noah Oppenheim as a free audiobook 

Nov 28 2016

52mins

Play

Becoming a Multi-Faceted Creative, and The Movie-Making Process with Filmmaker & Podcaster David Power

Podcast cover
Read more

David Power is a multi-purpose creative pro based in Brooklyn, NY. Since moving to New York, he’s worked in music recording & production, written several business books, penned screenplays, and helped write and perform in comedy films. His latest project is a podcast documentary of how a feature film is made.

Our conversation covers creative practices and routines, as well as the often-nebulous world of film & video, including how to collaborate on a script and using crowdfunding to launch projects at scale.

Catch up with David on his website, DavidPower.com, or through his show, SureFirePodcast.com

Get The Episode Subscribe to Get New Episodes

Subscribe to The Busy Creator Podcast on iTuneson Google Play Musicon Androidon 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 Tools Techniques
  • Soften the corners of a room to dampen reverb/echo
  • Develop characters first, give them a voice and backstory, and then place them into a three-act structure. (Or not).
  • Collect all notes and ideas; save them for later and vetting each one before writing
  • Build a project management software workflow that actually reflects the way you work
  • Don’t store files in Slack; that’s not the place for permanent items
  • Use Plain Text formatting as a universal standard
  • Build a Hackintosh if you can’t afford a Mac Pro (which you probably can’t)
Habits
  • Cross-promote, tag, and share your social links with your collaboration partners
  • Exercise first thing in the morning
  • Meditate, eat, drink coffee before starting work
  • Use a floating lunch hour
  • Wake up without an alarm
  • Don’t actively seek out news (minus industry happenings)
Try Audible.com Free for 30-Days

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get Finish the Script!: A College Screenwriting Course in Book Form by Scott King as a free audiobook 

Nov 14 2016

44mins

Play

Business Lessons for Creative Entrepreneurs & How to Launch an Online Community with Designer, Writer, and Podcaster Kathleen Shannon

Podcast cover
Read more

Kathleen Shannon (@AndKathleen) is a graphic designer and brand strategist, and co-founder of Being Boss, a podcast and community for creative entrepreneurs. Kathleen began as a staff art director, but learned entrepreneurial habits working on her side projects and blogging. She's now seeking to become a media mogul and serve the creative community.

In this conversation, we discuss the origins of Being Boss, how Kathleen learned systematic behaviour and stays organised, and the common mindsets of creative entrepreneurs.

Catch up with Kathleen on the Being Boss website or that of her agency, Braid Creative.

Subscribe to Get New Episodes

Subscribe to The Busy Creator Podcast on iTunes | on Google Play Music | on Android | on iHeart

Sponsor

Freedcamp, the best 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 had a classmate named Kathleen, who went by Kate. Her mother, also Kathleen, went by Cassie.
  • Kathleen was almost named “Cinco”, born May 5
  • Prescott is born May 6, making the two both Tauruses
  • Kathleen describes herself as a “truth seeker & dream (job) chaser. Tea drinker & good food eater. Risk taker, magic maker & booty shaker.”
  • AndKathleen.com, Kathleen’s personal site and retired blog
  • “Creative Horcruxes”, websites and projects where we divide our passions, time, and attention
  • Kathleen co-owns Braid Creative with her sister Tara
  • Braid Creative is “Branding and business visioning agency for creative entrepreneurs”
  • The Being Boss podcast started in 2014 as a way for Kathleen to “grow the top of her funnel”
  • Emily Thompson (@EmilyM_Thompson), Kathleen’s partner in Being Boss
  • Prescott kept hearing about “your audience”, which sparked him to start The Busy Creator
  • Prescott admits that Being Boss is “ahead” of The Busy Creator in terms of spawning multiple forms (books, events, community classes, etc.)

"Show notes are a great way to increase search engine optimization."

—Kathleen Shannon

Tweet This

  • The aim is transform Being Boss from a podcast into “multimedia conglomerate”
  • Chelsea Handler, Kathleen’s hero for hosting a tv show
  • Kathleen & Emily recently submitted a book for publishing (due out Spring 2018)
  • FreshBooks was a sponsor of Being Boss almost since the beginning, because they align
  • Being Boss Facebook Group, 17,000+ members strong, has grown almost beyond control

"How you feel at work affects how you feel at home, and vice versa."

—Kathleen Shannon

Tweet This

"We didn't want to sully the waters with money."

—Kathleen Shannon

Tweet This

"First, you have to be dedicated to your craft."

—Kathleen Shannon

Tweet This

  • 10,000 hours
  • “Fit of Entrepreneurial Passion”, as described by Michael Gerber

"Nothing kills creativity like desperation."

—Kathleen Shannon

Tweet This

"You can only connect the dots looking backwards."

—Steve Jobs

Tweet This

"I didn't know this thing would need its own bank account one day!"

—Kathleen Shannon

Tweet This

  • 7 People are involved with the production of Being Boss, including an editorial assistant and an audio editor
  • The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber on Amazon and on Audible

"Most people are still in their struggle. There's never a 'there'."

—Kathleen Shannon

Tweet This

"Your goals mean shit if you feel like shit along the way."

—Kathleen Shannon

Tweet This

Tools Techniques
  • Ask your audience what they want, to create new content
  • Put in your 10,000 hours before becoming an entrepreneur; become a “confident expert”
  • Build a bridge before leaving your full-time job
  • Aim to replace your income before taking that last leap
  • Ask to be in client meetings; see the process up close
  • Share your process as you’re in it — publish along the way
  • Codify your methods, translate them to an e-course 
  • Find a “business bestie” and have “Skype dates”
  • Use your existing resources to bolster your side projects
  • Create an org. chart to plan future expansion, duties
  • Know every element of your business, and only outsource as needed
  • When overwhelmed, write top 3 items on a Post-It
  • Be a little more casual with your team when chatting on Slack
Habits
  • Drink Coffee and Tea every morning
  • Broadcast on Facebook Live a few times a week
  • Make decisions, whether they’re right or wrong
  • Respect your future self (through systems)
  • Have empathy for others and what they struggle with — it may be different from you
  • Put everything in Google Calendar
  • Work out first thing in the morning
Try Audible.com Free for 30-Days

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get Daring Greatly by Brene Brown as a free audiobook 

Oct 31 2016

52mins

Play

B-SIDE: Planning A Modern WordPress Website, with guest Avery Swartz

Podcast cover
Read more

Avery Swartz (@AverySwartz) joins Prescott to discuss the possibilities for the next version of BusyCreator.com. Together, the two discuss the capabilities of WordPress, best practices which Prescott is adopting (and should start), and the shortcomings of WordPress themes and plugins.

Oct 23 2016

1hr 8mins

Play

Methods and Mindsets for Successful Web Design Projects with Agency Boss Ben Seigel

Podcast cover
Read more

Ben Seigel (@versastudiollc) is a web designer and developer, and head of Versa Studio. In addition to managing projects and writing the necessary code for client sites, Ben has examined and written about the underlaying value of design, how small businesses and design agencies can work together toward successful ends.

In this conversation, we dig into content management systems on websites, discuss managing remote teams, remark on transitioning from a pure developer to a business owner, and share some common ailments of working with small businesses on their brand and web design projects.

Website Planning for Small Business

Grab Ben’s eBook, Website Planning for Small Business, and catch up with him via the website for Versa Studio.

 

Get The Episode Subscribe to Get New Episodes

Subscribe to The Busy Creator Podcast on iTunes | on Google Play Music | on Android | on iHeart

Sponsor

Freedcamp, the best 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

"If someone wants to spend $20k on a project, but won't take 2 hours to read a plan ... they're not going to be a good client."

—Ben Seigel

Tweet This

"You need a 'minimum viable brand' before any website."

—Prescott Perez-Fox

Tweet This

  • Prescott wants the “power of suggestion” as his business superpower. Ben prefers a version of ESP.
  • Request for Proposals (RFP)

"(an RFP) is a really great way to waste a whole bunch of peoples' time."

—Ben Seigel

Tweet This

  • Brennan Dunn, Roadmapping
  • A “Warm RFP” has a higher chance to succeed

"You can read four proposals. You probably can't read 19."

—Prescott Perez-Fox

Tweet This

"We're not built to sit all day. We're also not built to stand. We gotta move."

—Ben Seigel

Tweet This

Tools Techniques
  • If given the opportunity, build a new platform fresh without links to the past ten years of legacy code
  • Connect with people in person rather than social
  • Break a project into steps/phases, so you can learn about the client as you go
  • Build a “Helvetica-Vanilla” version of your website while you test-and-iterate on brand, content, visual styles
  • Counter an RFP with an honest, candid phone call or conversation
  • Ask about the competition for proposals/pitches/tenders
  • Review a project through a post-mortem
  • Auto-answer common email questions
  • Pomodoro Method
Habits
  • Create a “framework” for your projects; share it with clients and industry
  • Start projects with an “assembly line” for beginning a project
  • Call Templates “Starting Documents”
  • Be flexible on your standards and workflow
  • Save code snippets and text macros as you work on projects; you’ll likely need to use them again.
  • Always move during the day
  • Work toward your daily practices
Try Audible.com Free for 30-Days

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get 201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business by Jane Applegate as a free audiobook 

Join the Discussion

Leave a comment below to participate in the conversation.

Oct 19 2016

54mins

Play

Exploring Business Issues Faced by Creative Pros with Author & Professor Douglas Davis

Podcast cover
Read more

Douglas Davis (@DouglasQDavis) is a graphic designer, professor, consultant, and author of the new book Creative Strategy and the Business of Design. The book, which follows his recent talks and workshops, explores business issues that face creative professionals, especially those which may not even seem apparent.

In this conversation, we explore the business culture exposed creatives, the shortcomings of our design education system, and how Brooklyn is becoming the home for creative thought.

Check out Douglas’s book, Creative Strategy and the Business of Design, now available where fine books are sold.

Show Notes & Links

"Everyone has that story of when they were first taken advantage of."

—Douglas Davis

Tweet This

"Design school doesn't teach business, and Business school doesn't teach how to inspire designers."

—Douglas Davis

Tweet This

"Clients expect us to answer their problems with creativity that's on-brand, on-strategy, and on-message."

—Douglas Davis

Tweet This

"Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan."

—Russian proverb (or maybe Tacitus c. 98 AD)

Tweet This

"Do it right or do it thrice."

—Douglas Davis

Tweet This

  • The in-house design team of yesteryear was almost like a Kinko’s

"Business is annexing design. Our design jobs are more important because of that."

—Douglas Davis

Tweet This

"Design is the spoonful of sugar that makes marketing & business palatable to the public."

—Douglas Davis

Tweet This

"'I love it' is not a compelling business rationale."

—Dr. Marjorie Kalter

Tweet This

  • RIP Flash, Actionscript

"We're here to inject art into commerce."

—Tibor Kalman

Tweet This

"It's almost a rite of passge to make every mistake in the book."

—Prescott Perez-Fox

Tweet This

"Begin with the end in mind."

—adage

Tweet This

"Think like they think to do what we do."

—Douglas Davis

Tweet This

"The short hand comes later; first you have to use the long hand."

—Prescott Perez-Fox

Tweet This

"I've seen ideas die on the table because creatives weren't able to set the context."

—Douglas Davis

Tweet This

"Some people are better at other things than I am."

—Douglas Davis

Tweet This

Tools Techniques
  • Learn what keeps your client up at night so you can speak the same language
  • Divide a project into smaller pieces so your clients can see the process unfold
  • Consider how you “Frame” your solution. Often that’s the point of differentiation. 
  • Banish words like “right” or “wrong”, in favour of “it works” or “it doesn’t work”
  • Practice with co-workers to use better, more instructive language
  • Start with the story, then teach the lesson. This helps you write chapters in a book, for example.
  • Keep a desktop folder called “desktop dump” where pretty much everything goes.
Habits
  • Work to maximise the “trust in the room”
  • Take a moment at the beginning to write a “problem statement”
  • Add a physical activity to your routine, such as boxing
  • Take time to travel, perahps 2x per year
Try Audible.com Free for 30-Days

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get Inside the Business of Graphic Design by Catharine Fishel as a free audiobook 

Oct 03 2016

1hr

Play

Balancing a Design Practice and Co-Working Space in New York City, with Jessi Arrington & Creighton Mershon

Podcast cover
Read more

Jessi Arrington (@JessiArrington) and Creighton Mershon (@Cr8tonMershon) are the founders of Workshop, a Brooklyn-based creative agency, as well as the proprietors of Small City, a new co-working space and home to dozens of independent creative pros.

Alongside their design practice, Jessi & Creighton have grown their co-working experience by taking on more responsibility across three different spaces in Brooklyn. In this conversation, we discuss the oddities and challenges of New York real estate, the financial and logistical efforts needed to run a co-working space anywhere, and a bit about balancing family life with all manner of creative and business tasks.

Catch up with Jessi & Creighton on their websites for Workshop and Small City.

Cover photo by Bekka Palmer

Get The Episode Subscribe to Get New Episodes

Subscribe to The Busy Creator Podcast on iTunes | on Google Play Music | on Androidon iHeart

Sponsor

Freedcamp, the best 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
  • In Fall 2007, Prescott ran the Philadelphia Marathon but also discovered that he didn’t know any peers in the design biz
  • Jessi and Prescott in Debbie Millman‘s class at SVA in Fall 2007
  • Jessi & Creighton met in the “New York Design Scene”

    Jessi & Prescott, being young and wild

  • J&C have broadened the definitions of “Design”

"A shared word does not mean a shared definiton."

—Debbie Millman

Tweet This

"Design is about intention. We're trying to live a designed life."

—Jessi Arrington

Tweet This

  • Parsons, The New School for Design
  • Jessi & Creighton founded Workshop in 2005 (and married in 2006)

    Jessi & Creighton recently celebrated their ten-year anniversary

  • Workshop now practices “in-person experience design”, which encompasses physical spaces, graphics, and time (how a person moves through a place)

"I like to think about our projects and ask 'What happens when we press play?'"

—Creighton Mershon

Tweet This

"Nothing like your job to get in the way of your work."

—business adage

Tweet This

"Keeping it small has been good for our business but bad for our personal lives."

—Jessi Arrington

Tweet This

"Airbnb is a real estate play."

—Prescott Perez-Fox

Tweet This

  • DUMBO, Brooklyn (which used to be a very scrappy, creative ‘hood is now too expensive for upstarts like Workshop)
  • HOW Magazine
  • Different professions need different square feet per employee (call centers need 90; architects need 600)
  • Airbnb
  • One aspect of gentrification is desk workers replacing industrial workers
  • Coney Island, as far as you can go in Brooklyn
  • Popular Science magazine (and its predictions of the future)
  • Will self-driving cars transform commuting, and thereby the suburbs?
  • Sheepshead BayRidgewoodCastle Hill — New York City neighbourhoods outside of Manhattan
  • Jessi & Creighton sold their Brooklyn condo and bought a building in Louisville, KY as part of a future project and for the ability to live in multiple cities
  • Some folks are commuting to Small City from Manhattan and other parts of Brooklyn
  • Commuting is tolerable if you have a nice “work neighbourhood”
  • The Internet of Things
  • ACH
  • Carting Companies, independant, for-profit companies a commercial space must use to collect garbage
  • “Who’s dealing with the trash!”
  • Adobe MAX
  • Prescott’s family comes from the Recycling industry
  • P&L = Profit & Loss
  • WeWork
  • Will co-working spaces offer childcare and other services?

"Us being happy parents involves a certain amount of chaos."

—Jessi Arrington

Tweet This

Tools Techniques
  • Keep your company small enough so you don’t have huge overhead
  • Look for other ways to keep a network alive aside from conventional employees
  • Use co-working studiomates for accountability and courage
  • Find and reuse furniture or items, especially when found on the street or at flea market
  • Use your existing resources for client events and experiences (no rules against that)
  • Build a culture where people “take out their own recycling”
  • Work up little by little into bigger spaces, which in turn allow you to save more and more money for future use
  • Schedule a day each month to create the necessary invoices
  • Keep separate bank accounts for different areas of operation (client services vs. renting desks)
Habits
  • Work to improve stopping and documenting projects and process
  • Keep your company small if you’re not an effective or natural manager
  • Always consider the trash situation following an event!
Try Audible.com Free for 30-Days

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get The Island at the Center of the World by Russell Shorto as a free audiobook 

Join the Discussion

Leave a comment below to participate in the conversation.

Sep 19 2016

59mins

Play

Joining an Established Agency to Build Workflow & Culture, with Nick Spriggs

Podcast cover
Read more

Nick Spriggs (@ncsfoo) is a partner at Vector Media Group in New York City. Though he wasn’t one of the original founders, Nick’s role at Vector has been to grow the design and branding offerings to complement the development and marketing capabilities previously in place.

In this conversation, we discuss cultural differences among designers and developers, office rituals used at Vector, how to keep your remote colleagues in the daily mix, and best practices to keep an entire team communicating clearly and working productively.

Catch up with Nick on the website for Vector Media Group.

Subscribe to Get New Episodes

Subscribe to The Busy Creator Podcast on iTunes | on Google Play Music | on Androidon iHeart

Sponsor

Freedcamp, the best 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

"Somehow a year in New York turned into 14."

—Nick Spriggs

Tweet This

  • Prescott ran afoul of the Visa situation when he graduated from a UK university
  • E-3 Visa for Australians, TN NAFTA for Canadians, et al.
  • Christina Canters, a past guest on The Busy Creator
  • The Museum of Mathematics
  • Vector’s output is mainly websites & apps
  • Their studio is rooted in branding, typography, traditional graphic design
  • Nick likes the term “Product Designer” in the rare cases when it actually applies (thought beyond the page or the pixel, to the inter-connected parts and a bit of the “how”)

"Clients sometimes don't understand what the term 'Design' means."

—Nick Spriggs

Tweet This

  • The “explosion of explanation” can be exciting for a client
  • Designers are trained to observe, critique, discuss our work; clients, not so much
  • Vector was created around 2008 by Matt Weinberg & Lee Goldberg
  • Vector is staffed with “Creative Developers”, not just code monkeys
  • Nick was invited to join as a partner after working together as a collaborator previously
  • Vector [still] takes on pure development projects, as well as a few pure design projects. Most stuff is collaborative, though.

"You really have to be on your game when explaining something (to remote teammates.)"

—Nick Spriggs

Tweet This

"A big part of building the business is just time management."

—Nick Spriggs

Tweet This

Tools Techniques
  • Keep clients excited & enthusiastic beyond the project itself (if they can’t stay energised, it’s hard for you).
  • Bring clients “in” to the process (wireframes, sketches, etc.)
  • Have clients describe “found objects” in early phases; let the client use their own language so we can use it later
  • Allow designers & developers to cross-involve each other
  • Learn to hold quick, informal meetings internally
  • Involve developers into design-led processes; they too can participate
  • Formalise kick-off meetings to involve the whole team, when possible
  • Use retainers with clients; set aside blocks of hours ahead of time to ease minds and control workflows
  • Schedule “reverse meetings”, time where you’re actually at your desk working and no one can distract you
  • Take a screenshot at a random time during the day; see what everyone in the shop is working on
Habits
  • Use collaboration to inspire ourselves
  • Observe the politics of your client’s company
  • Bring your remote employees to headquarters for occasional workshops/retreats
  • Explain with clarity when sharing with clients or remote colleagues
  • Hold daily Standups, even with remote staff (via video call)
  • Celebrate the project conclusion (close-out, hand-off, etc.); create office rituals around milestones along the way
  • Track your time internally — as individuals and as teams — for your own learnings, regardless of how you bill the client
  • Visit the quirky coffee shops in your neighbourhood
  • Take the time to walk home (even if it’s 1 hour or more)
  • Take a 10-15 minute walk when you feel “stuck” or distracted
Try Audible.com Free for 30-Days

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson as a free audiobook 

Join the Discussion

Leave a comment below to participate in the conversation.

Sep 05 2016

53mins

Play

Building Community and Finding Personality Strengths as a Creative Introvert, with Designer Cat Rose

Podcast cover
Read more

Cat Rose (@CreativeIntro) is an independent graphic designer and founder of The Creative Introvert, a website and community for creative professions who share introverted personality types.

In this conversation, we discuss the oddities of life as a freelance designer, the observed behaviour of creative pros and where they fall on the introverted/extroverted continuum, and the challenges of building online communities and creating compelling content.

 

SPONSOR

This episode is sponsored by the new eBook Building Brands: A Practical Guide for Creative Pros to Develop Strategy and Design Identity.

Show Notes & Links Tools Techniques
  • Set a brief for yourself to make fine arts more of a "project"
  • Build lasting relationships as a freelancer, even with your last employer
  • Go minimal, if you can. Don't use a mouse and keyboard.
  • Learn quickly, trust that you can teach yourself new tools
  • Repurpose your content to serve different audiences (written vs. spoken vs. infographic)
  • Be careful when creating a community
  • Test and iterate, even on morning rituals
  • Replace "routine" with "rhythm"
  • Approach fearful projects in tiny increments (a six-second video vs. a feature film)
Habits
  • Use the software for its intended purpose!
  • Adapt to clients and their workflow
  • Compose your thoughts before filming/recording yourself; not everyone is an improviser.
  • Wake up 4:30-5:00am for early yoga, journaling, meditation
  • Do "the hardest thing" during coffee

SaveSave

Aug 22 2016

Play

Wearing Many Hats As a Designer for a Software Startup with Andrew Berkowitz

Podcast cover
Read more

Andrew Berkowitz (@TheWitzCarlton) is the Head of Product for Tradeversity, a buying-and-selling platform for university students. After gaining experience in a large corporate setting, Andrew has jumped in to startup life, enjoying the struggles along the way.

In this conversation, Andrew shares some of the workflows required in a young, small, and nimble company, as well as his experiences testing personal productivity methods and morning routines.

Catch up with Andrew on his own show, The Global Startup Movement

 

Show Notes & Links
  • Andrew is “Head of Product” for Tradeversity
  • Early stage startups require the wearing of many hats 

"Design is the question of taking what's in the mind and manifesting them into reality."

—Andrew Berkowitz

Tweet This

  • Tradeversity is exclusive to higher education students
  • Andrew graduated from Virginia Tech
  • .edu, .ac.uk — educational TLDs
  • Sharepoint, and other internal marketplaces within corporations are rather outdated 

"Product Design is more like being an inventor than a designer."

—Prescott Perez-Fox

Tweet This

"The most important aspect of building a product is gaining empathy for users."

—Andrew Berkowitz

Tweet This

  • Ideo
  • Design Thinking can mean different things
  • 5 elements of D-Thinking: gain empathy → define problem → ideation → prototype → test & iterate
  • Andrew worked at a large bank before joining a startup
  • Scrum Master (in Agile Project Management) 

"The speed at which a project is moving is directly proportional to the energy involved."

—Prescott Perez-Fox

Tweet This

"Innovation comes from failure; Having the freedom to fail allows us to innovate."

—Andrew Berkowitz

Tweet This

"The culture and the habits are more important than the tools."

—Andrew Berkowitz

Tweet This

"The tool you use should reflect the system you've set up, and the mindset behind that."

—Prescott Perez-Fox

Tweet This

  • The 1800 Exercise
  • Tradeversity was launched from a content award — $20k and a year’s worth of office space
  • Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill on Amazon and on Audible
  • Conspiracy, from the Latin conspiratare, meaning “to breathe the same air”
  • Virtually Reality, and opportunities for collaboration
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline on Amazon and on Audible

"A Virtual Reality device is an empathy machine."

—Andrew Berkowitz

Tweet This

Tools Techniques
  • Understand the emotions of your users. This will bring insight.
  • Employ Design Thinking; bring in real people and get your hands dirty
  • Experiment with “packaged services”
  • From a corporate setting, the thing you can learn most is working with diverse teams
  • The 1800 Exercise: describe how projects get done in the year 1800 (using only parchment & quill) 
Habits
  • Keep Trello tidy; not started → in-progress → done
  • Have regular Sprint-planning and Retrospective meetings
  • Wake up around 6:00am for yoga, weightlifting, or running
  • Feed your subsconscious mind until it takes over
Try Audible.com Free for 30-Days

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill as a free audiobook 

Join the Discussion

Leave a comment below to participate in the conversation.

SaveSave

Aug 08 2016

Play

Everyday Productivity and Striving for Excellence After Losing All Sense of Sight, with Author & Entrepreneur Tanner Gers

Podcast cover
Read more

Tanner Gers (@TannerGers) is an author, entrepreneur, and paralympic athlete. Blinded in a car crash at age 21, Tanner has learned entirely new methods of communication and working.

In this conversation, Tanner discusses some of the technology — both lo- and hi-tech — he uses to experience the world in the absesnce of sight. We also share all-purpose productivity tips and examine his morning routines.

Show Notes & Links Tools Techniques
  • Turn off technology when it's time to focus on content
  • Develop a verbal memory so you don't have to re-read what you just wrote
  • Sleep with earplugs if you wake easily due to noise
  • Sleep with music at low volumes (like Prescott has done since 1999)
  • Test different methods; don't blindly follow gurus
  • Alternate hard days with lighters days regarding fitness training. Use those recovery days.
Habits
  • Stick to your daily routines
  • Go through mental routines first thing in the morning (gratitude, etc.) before you get out of bed
  • Serve someone else early in the day
  • Read daily and track/remark on what you read
  • Block your day into half-day chunks
TRY AUDIBLE.COM FREE FOR 30-DAYS

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod as a free audiobook

Jul 25 2016

Play

B-SIDE: How to Speak with Confidence On The Mic and In Person, with Christina Canters

Podcast cover
Read more

Christina Canters (@CJCanters) is the founder of The C-Method and host of the Stand Out Get Noticedpodcast. Her work as a speaking and confidence coach has taken her around the world, including recent appearances in Chicago, Florida, and New York City.

This talk, recorded live at the New York City Podcast Meetup on July 12, 2016, features Christina coaching our members — most of whom are podcasters themselves — on how to speak better, have more confidence, and express their most authentic selves behind the mic, and in person.

Show Notes & Links Techniques
  • Ask three people "What do I do well?" and "Why is this important?"
  • Create a folder called "Crush It" in Evernote. Save screenshots of praise.
  • Watch your language; avoid "just" and "only"
  • Practice confident body language; hold the superhero pose for 2 minutes
  • Paint a picture of your ideal audience
  • Stop caring what other people think
  • Focus on the 33% who really appreciate you, the rest will follow
TRY AUDIBLE.COM FREE FOR 30-DAYS

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get Zig Ziglar's Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar as a free audiobook

Jul 18 2016

52mins

Play

The Tools I Use to Run Starship Design, a look at Software and Services for a Solo Design Practice

Podcast cover
Read more
Show Notes & Links

SaveSave

Jul 11 2016

Play

B-SIDE: Marie Poulin & Prescott Perez-Fox Discuss "Deep Work" by Cal Newport

Podcast cover
Read more

In this Bonus episode, Marie & Prescott sit down to discuss the book "Deep Work" by Cal Newport. Together with the live audience consisting mainly of Marie's students from Digital Strategy School, the two dive into the book's topics and themes, including social media distraction, time-blocking, retreats, accountability partners, single-tasking, meditation, and more. The conversation also strays to general purpose productivity chatter, along with answering some Q&A from the audience. Get in touch with Marie via digitalstrategyschool.com and Prescott via busycreator.com

Jun 27 2016

Play

What Sally Hogshead Learned Working in America's Top Ad Agencies, and How That Shaped Her Work as an Author

Podcast cover
Read more

Sally Hogshead (@SallyHogshead) is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur. Following a career in advertising, she evolved her career and reoriented toward building significance for other professionals and creatives.

In this conversation, Sally discusses the phases of her career (so far), shares some of what she learned on the ground with advertising heroes, and remarks on the challenges of writing long-form books as a person who naturally bends toward the quick win.

Check out Sally's latest book Fascinate and catch up with her on BrandFascination.com, for a start.

GET THE EPISODE SUBSCRIBE TO GET NEW EPISODES

Subscribe to The Busy Creator Podcast on iTunes or on Android or on Google Play Music

Show Notes & Links
  • Sally and Prescott have worked together on a varied of projects since 2011
  • Prescott discovered Radical Careering during his first job, which wasn't a very good job.
  • When Sally found advertising, it was "love at first sight"
  • Portfolio Center and their Copywriting course
  • Sally's first career phase was not being awarded or recognised as a student, but discovering that's hardly the entire game

    "The most interesting creative ideas aren't going to be acknowledged at first, because they're not populist."

    —Sally Hogshead

    Tweet This

  • Fallon McElligott Rice, now just Fallon
  • Her Second phase was working with smart people on rapid-fire projects

    "You want to be the dumbest person on the team."

    —Sally Hogshead

    Tweet This

  • Her Third phase was disillusionment when inheriting a management role

    "It takes a completely different mindset to be with people than from being with my ideas."

    —Sally Hogshead

    Tweet This

  • The Fourth phase was expansion to create ideas beyond an ad into the wider world [as an author, speaker, etc.].
  • Sally was the Creative & Managing Director for Crispin Porter + Bogusky for their Los Angeles office
  • CP+B's LA Office opened its doors on Sept. 10, 2001

    "It's easy to be creative when the world has a big budget and optimism and a love for what hasn't been discovered."

    —Sally Hogshead

    Tweet This

    "In order to be a creative leader, you have to be able to lead people through the darkest times."

    —Sally Hogshead

    Tweet This

    "It's impossible to have creative ideas in an oppressive environment."

    —Sally Hogshead

    Tweet This

"Revisions suck my soul. Creation enlivens me."

—Sally Hogshead

Tweet This

Tools Techniques
  • Don't let the Creative Director and Managing Director be the same person; there needs to be a healthy tension between the two.
  • Remark not only on awards won and praise given, but hard times which shape your character
  • Examine any project via its priorities "Quality of Work", "Quality of Life", or "Quality of Compensation."
  • Pursue the areas of work that feel like a "wellspring" of creativity; avoid "creative agony"
  • Create an Idea Wall, and hang up your projects as you think of them
  • Block time (at least 3 hours) to sink into writing
  • Listen to music that reflects the sort of writing you're aiming for
  • Designate externally- and internally-focused work (email vs. writing content)
Habits
  • Write down the words you use when mentoring, and which you need to hear
  • Appreciate craft, even if it takes slightly longer
  • Periodically examine your work and your agency to align with influence: Creative, Financial, or Cultural
  • Shape expectations around you; follow the type of work that suits you best
  • Take advantage of "swiftness"; don't analyse or think about ideas and instead just act (especially on side projects and writing ideas).
  • Go to bed early; write in the morning.
TRY AUDIBLE.COM FREE FOR 30-DAYS

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get Fascinate by Sally Hogshead as a free audiobook

Jun 20 2016

Play

How Victor Yocco Uses Everyday Psychology in User Research, Testing, and Design

Podcast cover
Read more

Victor Yocco, PhD (@VictorYocco) is a writer and researcher, working in the field of digital design. His background in psychology gives him unique insight into how people interact with websites and applications, which in turn helps his design team build intuitive, functional projects.

In this conversation, we discuss methods of user testing, stumbling blocks that design studies make regarding psychology, and a bit of his studio workflow and habits.

Use code pcyobusy to receive 39% off the cover price for Victor's book, Design For The Mind

Show Notes & Links

  • Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug on Amazon

"There is a point of 'Good Enough' in digital design."

—Victor Yocco

Tweet This

Tools Techniques
  • Layer Cake approach (low level, medium level, high level)
  • Respect the users' time by making simple interfaces, functions
  • Don't just show your designs to other designers — they think differently, which might not see what the lay person sees
  • Include additional team members, representing design, writing, project mgmt., etc.
  • Record user testing sessions to easily refer other team members to particular moments
  • Conduct a UX Assessment or heuristics Review before beginning a project
Habits
  • Build in heuristics (mental shortcuts) into your work
  • Look to Usability testing to reveal users' instinct or assumptions
  • Provide challenges for designers and creative staff; they naturally want to wrestle with problems and their solutions
  • Search for methods to stay with a project until the end (even if you get bored with it)
  • Set aside time in the evening to write
TRY AUDIBLE.COM FREE FOR 30-DAYS

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman as a free audiobook

Jun 06 2016

Play

Taking Risks and Leaving New York to Build a Family Publishing Business, with Bryony Gomez-Palacio of UnderConsideration — The Busy Creator Podcast 84

Podcast cover
Read more

Bryony Gomez-Palacio (@BryonyGP) is a co-founder of UnderConsideration, an all-purpose publishing and design business based in Austin, TX. Along with husband Armin Vit, Bryony publishes several blogs including Brand NewQuipsologies, and FPO, in addition to publishing several books, and hosting the annual Brand New Conference.

Armin was a guest on episode 3 of The Busy Creator Podcast back in Februrary 2014, making this chat an unofficial sequel. In the intervening years, Bryony and Armin have refined their workflow, taken new risks such as planning a version of the BNConf in Amsterdam, and still manage to balance family life with new creative endeavors.

In this conversation, Bryony discusses the origins of UnderConsideration and how she and Armin transitioned out of their New York design roles, moved to Austin, and managed to create a viable business in spite of a few close calls financially.

Show Notes & Links Tools Techniques
  • Integrate your workouts with other errands (e.g. biking the kids to school)
  • Find someone "on the ground" if you're doing business in a foreign country
  • Plan, perhaps using a spreadsheet that spans 20 years
  • Split your household income between one full-time and one freelance salary
  • Plan your move based on where winter can reach you
  • Divide business duties based on who can handle interruptions (admin/finance vs. creative)
  • Keep it real when providing design feedback, especially to your partner!
  • Collaborate on a spreadsheet or document, concurrently even
  • Stagger which marathons/half-marathons you run as a couple; two partners training can be overwhelming
  • Use running time to work through problems
Habits
  • Keep a structured daily schedule (down to the minute)
  • Explore where you can multi-task to be more efficient
  • Work at opposing standing desks for easy collaboration
  • Don't get attached to designs or ideas; move away quickly if something is not working 
  • Integreate your home and work calendars; keep it sacred
  • Don't work on weekends
TRY AUDIBLE.COM FREE FOR 30-DAYS

Visit BusyCreatorBook.com for your free trial

Get The Long Run by Matthew Long & Charles Butler as a free audiobook

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Leave a comment below to participate in the conversation.

May 23 2016

40mins

Play