When it comes to owning a business, people can be protective and pretty cut-throat (after all it is their livelihood), your business puts food on the table and a roof over your head. However, this doesn’t mean we ought to shut people out in the fear they will steal business or clients.

Isle of Man creative industries

I am lucky enough to be amongst many talented creative people and organisations who I would love the opportunity to work with if the right project came along. Whenever I say I am a graphic designer, the responses I often hear are ‘I’d love to be able to draw’. Whilst visual design is no doubt heavily image based, that isn’t all it is about – it is about function, purpose and user friendliness; how it looks aesthetically is a combination of all of these elements.

Creative minds

When I was studying design, one of the aspects I enjoyed most was being able to work alongside 25+ other creative minds – how often do people get this opportunity? I had an insight into each individual’s workspace; what inspires them, how they enjoy working, what they deem usable for their portfolio and what didn’t make the cut. I found flicking through people’s sketchbooks and research fascinating. To this day I love being able to discuss ideas with other creatives, just because we’re deemed ‘competitors’ doesn’t mean we have to keep everything top secret and avoid sharing insight, that’s not what being creative is about!

Creative disruption

Creative disruption is a word quite commonly used within marketing, I like to think of it as another way of saying ‘shaking things up!’ – if you work on your own 24/7 you may unintentionally start to form a series of habits. This may not be a bad thing, but working with others brings people together from all walks of life, people who think differently because of their experience, interests and history. It breaks your way of thinking and equally, breaks theirs.

Delegate and collaborate

Being able to delegate is a task in itself and something not everybody is keen on, but it is important. With me being a graphic designer I focus on the project and how it works for its intended audience – a great example of a collaborative project is a website.

To conceptualise a website from scratch, visual design, functionality, develop/code, optimise search terms and then market online would be a huge project to tackle by yourself. In order to do it to a high standard I prefer to conceptualise and design as this is my specialist area, then pass my designs to a developer to work their coding magic, the website would then be up and running and a marketing specialist would know the best methods in order to get this website in front of its intended audience.

One project that has involved three people is a great achievement and something that shouldn’t be avoided or thought of as ‘lazy’, simply because you didn’t do the project yourself from start to finish. When a car is designed – do you think the person that sketched the concept car also builds it? It’s the same principle, delegation is a great process to meet people that work within your industry and share your interests. Collaborations are a great way to get varied results!

Words: Jennifer Wood