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Is the recession just what creatives needed?

About a little while ago I sat down with Richard Christiansen the Creative Director and Founder of Chandelier Creative and Commonwealth Utilities at their purple piano, latex sofa and life size horse lamp adorned studio to talk about their latest work. About 15 minutes in to the conversation he said something that has rattled around in my head ever since which was “the recession is the greatest thing that ever could have happened to us”. It’s one of those statements that catches you a bit off guard and you struggle to get enough time to process the comment in the flow of the conversation. I prefer the direct route so I just dug in to get an explanation.

For Chandelier it has broken down the class system and egos of designers, photographers and artists who wouldn’t return their calls a year ago. I started to think more and more about the statement and it is true for me too.  For my professional life I have seen more of the agencies I work with are more willing to collaborate and invest in our relationship and in my personal work I have found photographers who work for The New York Times are now returning my calls and working with me on my projects. I look at this as a silver lining and needed reality check among all the bad news of the past few years. I know that I am very, very lucky to have those opportunities and the toll the recession has taken on my team and the industry is something no one would celebrate. I am curious to hear your thoughts on this and if you have seen the same thing in your work or your home market.

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Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

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