The Speakers Speak: More Insights From Emily

If there is one in-house expert you want to pay attention to – it’s Emily. She’s consulted for both agencies and in-house teams of varying sizes and working in a range of industries. No one possesses a greater grasp, in both breadth and depth, of the business aspects of managing a creative group.

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1. What factor plays a bigger role in a new project – lack of time or a small budget?

In-house creatives mostly struggle with fast turnarounds and, most teams, work in fire-fighting reactionary work environments. Few in-house teams and their clients think about planned initiatives, even though we find on average that most companies can indeed plan at least 70% of their work if they had the right systems and procedures in place.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to be a graphic designer?

Actually, for me the opposite happened – I realized I didn’t want to be a graphic designer! Initially, I went to art school and naturally, since I like making money, I moved into the more commercial aspect of the art world – graphic design. But, after working about 5 years as a graphic designer, I realized that I wasn’t good at it and would never be a truly great designer. But I still loved the profession. After asking everyone I knew for advice, what I uncoverd was that what I was really great at was the business side of design. So I was very lucky, I stayed in a profession I adored, while still leveraging my hands-on work experience and translated that to the business-side. It was a win win all around!

3. What was your first job in the design field?

I can’t tell you – as it will show my age : ) . Enough to say it involved a wax machine, rubylith and other archaic tools….

4. Do you have a pet project – a side business or a charity to which you donate time or services?

I have a daughter who is an Junior in high school, so my “side business” or “charity” is looking at colleges! Luckily, she’s interested in marketing with a minor in design, so it’s something I care about!

5. If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?

A world traveler and richer…

6. Can you tell us a little more about your Conference topic? What personal or professional experiences led you to this topic?

As a consultant to creative professionals I once had a client who had a 15+ team, each in their own open cubicle. Because he didn’t trust them, especially the younger team members who he felt were always on Facebook, he made them re-arrange their offices so all their computers faced out. In this way, when he walked around the studio, he can see what they were doing all the time. That is the exact moment I realized that the generational gap was getting wider and wider and there had to better ways to manage different generations!

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