I studied Journalism at Deakin University, when I graduated all the big news organisations were laying off staff and there were no jobs for experienced journalists, let alone a graduate.
I started writing for any online mag or street press I could, I also took some jobs writing for small business websites, which I soon found was a different discipline from writing for papers and magazines. So I went to RMIT to study copywriting and loved it instantly. I then interned for small agencies, just smashing brief after brief and while it was quite monotonous, it was the perfect way to sharpen my skills.
I eventually picked up a copywriting job at a major Not-for-profit just as they entered a restructure, a lot of the marketing team were made redundant and I absorbed all their different jobs such as social media, email marketing and digital communications which really helped me learn the full spectrum of marketing and set me up for my career.
I first met Kody (co-founder) in 2011 while we were flipping burgers and making minimum wage at Grill’d on Bridge Road in Richmond. I was new to Melbourne, so in an attempt to make friends I asked around if any co-workers wanted to check out a folk-punk gig at The Corner. Kody agreed, he liked the band and we have worked on creative projects together ever since.
“The Child in Me” are lyrics from that band. We love the unrestrained creativity of children, the type you can only capture because you are unaware of the constraints of society and the doom and gloom of paying taxes. We start our creative process by asking what would the child in me do.
Our days are always different, which is a big part of why we do it, I think the variety keeps us sane. We’ve recently migrated to a smaller studio on Brunswick St which has 200% less ping-pong tables than our previous space so naturally productivity is through the roof. In terms of process or work, we typically work on identity and web projects so a big part of our time is working with clients to determine user-profiles and journeys. We try to be as collaborative as we can so it’s not uncommon for us to have multiple meetings in a day or join forces with other creatives in the studio.
1.Let my People go Surfing - Yvon Chouinard
The studio bible. We constantly reference this book with our clients and re-read it when we need guidance. Yvon seems about as genuine as it gets and his approach to business and sustainability is incredibly inspiring.
2. A smile in the mind
Probably one of the more well known graphic design books but has always been a huge source of inspiration for us.
3. Frank Chimero’s Blog
Frank provides great insights into a combination of design, writing and website development in an in-depth style but with a very pragmatic manner. You’ll find some great snippets of wisdom in his blog and youtube videos.
We’re passionate about taking on paid interns whenever we can. We love teaching and see it as part of our job, we had great teachers and we believe it’s important to keep passing that knowledge on to empower young writers and designers. We’re also very big on making sure interns are properly paid. It blows our mind that big companies are still offering unpaid internships, if a small studio like us can pay our interns than anyone can.
I interviewed Bob Saget from Full House and Funniest Home Videos as a young writer and he said something that has always stuck with me:
“Go like a tank, put your blinders on and keeping going forward. It’s not a talent show, it’s not a lottery. Do it because you love it”
Although the tank thing is a little ambiguous, I think it means to be brave in your work and your career and to not worry about what anyone thinks. If you believe in it, just keep working hard.
We’re working on the brand and website for Tradies for Fire Affected Communities. The project started in January after the Australian bushfires when one tradie started a Facebook group offering help. It quickly escalated into thousands of tradies volunteering their skills and time for the communities that were affected. It is now a massive operation run completely by an inspiring group of volunteers, and we’re just grateful we can use our skills as a studio to help connect these tradies with people who need help.
Work hard, be kind and have fun.
And learn how to write a good email.