I recently had the chance to read Justin Dauer’s latest book CULTIVATING A CREATIVE CULTURE. The book centers around the premise that when dealing with employees having a human first attitude is key, especially creatives. By having an environment that is more open to embracing the person with all that they offer rather than filling the position, you may be surprised at what you get in return.
What I loved about this book is that Dauer gets it. I have worked for A LOT of employers as a graphic designer, an artist, & an assistant. The places that got my best work were the ones that truly embraced me as a person as well as an artist. They got to know who I was before sitting me down at my desk to typeset a 100K manuscript or design a cover for a dystopian religious themed novel that I knew absolutely nothing about but needed to have a sniper scope on the cover. The employers that greeted me on my first day with a chat and a cup of coffee got my creativity as their reward. I felt as if I were a valued member of the team.
However, this is not the case with most of the places that I worked. The lack of a human-centered workspace is why I started my own company and have continued to work for myself the past 10 years through VMC Art & Design. I know what it takes to get the best from myself. Because of this, I am able grow as a creative and give my clients a more unique and artistic solution to their design needs. No. I am not doing a sales pitch here. I am just stating that a number of things that the author mentions are true and should be embraced by employers.
If I may be so bold as to offer a suggestion. Read this book. If you are a business owner, manager, and/or creative director, read this book. If you are an artist, graphic designer, and/or future creative employee, read this book. You may learn from it. You may even find out new ways to enhance your business by doing as much as possible to cultivate a creative culture.
We create human-centered interactions and experiences in our field. Empathetic purpose drives our every decision. Mobile First? In reality, it’s humans first. This same mentality, turned inward, forms the cornerstone of something amazing: a creative culture.
Designers and front-enders have a unique advantage in solving the cultural problems in business that are sucking the life out of us. Several, in fact. The principles discussed in this book derive from the perspectives and skillsets we already use daily: empathy, objectivity and, yes, ample creativity.
Find the book at Amazon.
About the Author: Justin graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago at a time when the job title “Web Designer” was an ethereal mystery to our moms and dads. Through bloodshot tunnel vision, he’s drawn from career experiences across agency side, client side, design studio, and pure tech to foster healthy, dynamic, supportive creative cultures.
Paperback: 102 pages
Publisher: Lead Hand Books (June 13, 2017)