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Thursday, August 22, 2013

WMC Fest: Kern and Burn

This past weekend I volunteered as a photographer at WMC Fest 4. Last year, Weapons of Mass Creation motivated me to quit my job, leading me to a new life and career all the way across the country in Seattle. Needless to say, I headed to Cleveland last Thursday with pretty high expectations.

My expectations pretty much got thrown out the window before the end of the Friday night meet and greet.

This year was different, at least for me. It seemed more honest, more raw, more "hey, sometimes freelancing is hard and here's why. AND here's why we still do it and enjoy it." What I absolutely love about WMC is the intense community it creates. It's a space where it is safe to be that honest and open. A space to collaborate and share. A space to be inspired. (Cheesiness over now, I promise.)

So in the next week or so I'll be sharing a handful of posts about things I learned there, books I learned about and more.

Starting with Kern and Burn.

Tim Hoover and Jessica Karle Heltzel spoke on Saturday morning about their collaborative side project Kern and Burn. They created a book full of wonderful conversations with 30 leading designers. Kern and Burn: Conversations with Design Entrepreneurs is also just beautiful.

The book is completely two-toned and full of illustrations you'll be tempted to rip out and paste on the wall above your desk.

Tim and Jessica say about the designers they interviewed,
Our hope is that you can learn from themnot to follow in their footsteps, but to chart your own course in parallel, one that allows you to thrive, add value to the world and love what you do.
I meant to grab a copy of the book at the fest but time seriously just seemed to speed by and I only made it out of the gallery with a single purchase (I'm sure my wallet is pleased). Kern and Burn: Conversations with Design Entrepreneurs is available in both print ($30) and ebook ($15) form from their website.

And a small plea, don't buy this book on Amazon. For all their hard work, Tim and Jessica won't see enough cash back. Plus, their website is better looking than your Amazon shopping cart.

And a bonus lesson I took away from their talk:
A job is defined by others, versus a project, which is self-defined. Which means I need to start thinking of my work as a series of projects instead of one big job that seems suffocating. It also means I get to set the goals and the timeline. 

See also:
+ a few interviews with book cover designers
+ over a year later, I finally have one of these beautiful Storybook Posters framed on the wall above my desk. Peter & Wendy are keeping me motivated.


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