Our Blog

Drifting Creatives ~ The Interview

I'd like to welcome today's guests Gavin Braman and Martin Hooper of driftingcreatives, a mobile design firm, featured in yesterday's Motivational Monday because of their adventurous spirit in making the most out of their situation. They would have been featured even if we had not crossed paths during their detour to Memphis for the national AIGA conference MAKE I THINK last week. This interview though likely springs from having them stay as upstairs guests and, I guess, researching everything possible about them before trusting them with the key to our apartment :) The questions I formed during the search are below.

When did you graduate / what was the date of the very first video "day zero"? {see previous posting to see video.}
Day zero was May 20th about 3 days after we walked across the stage (may17th?). Day 1 (first day on the road) was three days later.

I am sure you've already thought about this but it seems that working with clients with the use of the internet and email with graphic design can probably be done remotely without ever meeting face to face, why are you traveling? What are the advantages?
We work remotely on most projects, even if we connect with a client in a city we pass through, we typically finish the project remotely. We travel because we can! The mobility of design is really incredible because as designers we need to experience as much as we can. We're always exposed to problems in new fields/professions/cultures/environments/cities/etc. We solve them through research and experience. Traveling is just a tool.

We also travel to meet designers around the country. The number of people we've been able to meet and talk with in the last four months has taught us more than any experience in our life so far. Hopefully we're giving a broad perspective of what kind of design is out there for students. Sometimes it's good to get outside the comfort ring and explore. We're just trying to make it easier for that to happen.

I can see networking is probably one of the answers to that. How important is that to your business?
Networking is KING. Without twitter this whole trip wouldn't have been possible. Since we haven't done any direct advertising for ourselves, nearly every every cent that has gone into DC has been the result of some sort of networking. Every person we meet, online or in person, has the potential to blossom into a very awesome connection. It's definitely important to our business, but it's also just awesome to build relationships across the country. We've made some great friends.

What are some interesting observations you've made or things you've learned maybe from only being out on the road?
We've grown incredibly as designers, but we are most inspired by the amazing nature of people. Everyone has been unbelievably nice, welcoming, trusting, supportive, and we are amazed every day by how generous people can be. (Minus the person in Memphis that broke into our car and stole our gps, although we have to thank you for not stealing our computers.)

How do you plan what cities to visit?
The first round we didn't really plan very well at all. We just kind of got in the car and left, we had a few cities that we knew we wanted to stop in but other than that our travel was really organic. i.e. "Where do you want to go today?"

Since this system obviously had its draw backs we decided to switch it up a bit on the second round. We set up a Google map and asked people to put a pin in it if they had one of three things, a place to sleep, a designer/firm to meet with, or a little work to help us out. This worked out wonderfully and we ended up with a loop around the U.S.

You've visited large cities and small but I like how you stressed the small town concept of needing smart design? Have they been receptive?
Most of the towns we've visited have been very confused not only by what we're doing but by design in general. That being said we've done a few jobs in small towns, but most of the time you strike out. On the other hand, some of our remote work comes from small towns in Texas. People in small towns need smart design and are willing to trust you, but that relationship can't always be built in three days. It takes a while for business owners in small towns to come around to what design can do for them.

Do you take suggestions for places to visit? The small town-design need idea above reminds me of the architecture projects in one of the poorest counties in Alabama via the work of the architecture students at Rural Studio. I would suggest that Newbern and Greensboro where the Rural Studio mainly works, as a place you should visit and maybe collaborate with them on a project.
When we started the second round we took suggestions of places to visit, we're not sure when round three will happen but if it does we'll make sure to check it out.

What's the greatest motivation to take on an "adventure" like this? If money, name the 2nd :)
The "adventure" part of the trip was a big factor for both of us. We also really wanted to help students like us. We had no idea what design looked like around the country and we wanted to help ourselves and other students learn and grow. Money isn't on the list!

Does one of you work in the car during the drive? Do you have any drive time where you are both looking for ways to pass the time? Do you play the typical road games or do you play any innovative road games that only graphic designers would only create?
Most of the time, the person in the passenger seat is drawing or working. We don't really play too many games. We also spend time talking about the most random subjects you could ever imagine. We're going to continue to operate as a firm when we get back home, so we have a lot of time to talk about business also. Here are a couple of silly videos of us in the car — a little word association among other randomness in the car and some terrible singing

Who takes the great photograph series of you guys holding the laptops?
Gavin is the photographer, usually with the help of our backpacks in a pile and a timer.Our original promo pictures were done by our good friend Savannah Smith.

What was the result of your "guerilla graphic design" exercise with the massage studio? Did they contact you and take you up on the new logos? Would you do that again? {click here and see posting "Take these Logos"}
We never heard from them, it was just for our entertainment though. We had been cold calling all day and needed a little creative excitement. We might do it again, it was fun.

Martin, how will getting married affect this endeavor? Well, as of now, we have about six days left on the road. Right now there are no def. plans for Round Three, but you never know. My fiancé is really understanding about what I'm doing so if I can't video chat one night, she normally forgives me. We're setting up our own firm and we'll probably stay put 10 months out of the year, I think she's okay with that. haha

Thanks for the interview Gavin and Martin. You're welcome to stay upstairs apartment anytime you're in Memphis {if it's not rented of course.} Also thanks for the cool t-shirts you left for us.

You can buy the t-shirt pictured above here to help them on their adventure or donate here.


driftingcreatives / driftingcreatives@gmail.com
Martin Hooper / mhooper627@gmail.com
Gavin Braman / gavinbraman@gmail.com
On Twitter @driftcreate

Photos from driftingcreatives.

No comments:

Post a Comment

norococo Designed by Templateism | MyBloggerLab Copyright © 2014

Powered by Blogger.