Working for myself has been a challenge. I've made mistakes, took risks, and grown from the experience. The community I have found myself turning to - for advice, to bounce ideas off, chat through issues and to collaborate with – has become one of the most important aspects of my freelance life. I'm only a phone call away from several trusted voices, and that next coffee shop meeting.
My community is made up of people I've grown close to + trust. Conversations spark up through blogs, Instagram, Twitter, in coffee shops...These interactions can quickly turn into planning trips to meet up with people who share a similar interest; be that in a town I know well or a city I feel a stranger in. Repeat contact with these familiar faces, in turn, makes the community stronger and introduces you to whole new side of the industry.
Sure, meeting these people does definately makes for more meaningful content, but that's not always the motive. For me it's about making a connection with intelligent, funny and inspiring people – allowing us to collaborate and develop new skills through understanding different disciplines.
Early the next morning we spent an hour at Waste Studio, a multi-purpose creative agency with one of the coolest offices going. I could spend hours chatting to Norm + co, if time allowed it... Hearing about some of the design work, brand lookbooks and community projects these guys have worked on gives me that extra push to work on those passion projects I've been putting on the back-burner. Next door to Waste Studio is Ideas on Paper – an independent book shop filled wall-to-wall with hard-to-find magazines, art books + graphic design inspiration.
We also finally got to meet the team behind Lane, an independent homeware and design brand based out of an old school building, Primary Studios. The studios are artist-led spaces that help support local businesses through various creative programmes. It's a great sign of Nottingham's entrepreneurial spirit.