Document Over Create

Recently, I’ve been following Gary Vaynerchuk, the marketing genius behind his personal brand and company, VaynerMedia. Through his content and daily vlogs, which he titled DailyVee, he shows the value of documenting your everyday life and the rich content this is originates organically. Watching is his actions, opened my eyes to the many opportunities that documenting creates.

1. There is valuable content in everyday life. Based off Vaynerchuk’s DailyVee video series, Sparq Designs has been documenting everyday life at 15090 Perry Highway. The episodes featured on the Sparq Designs’ Youtube Channel, show the company culture, an insight into the creation of campaigns, industry-related input, as well as feature the office dog, Jack; a fan favorite. The episodes show the behind-the-scenes elements of the business, as well as capture valuable content that is authentically discussed throughout the day. Without even giving it a second thought or creating a theme that the video is centered around, documenting allows us to create content effortlessly.

2. People are interested in other people’s lives. In recent years, vlogging has become an increased trend on YouTube. Vloggers like Casey Neistat, Sarah Dietschy, or Erik Conover to name a few have brought us along on their daily life, whether they’re living in New York City, starting a new business, traveling around the world, or just chillin’ with friends; they tell their story through documenting their everyday life.

Casey Neistat started daily vlogging because he had the urge to create something everyday, as well as share and document his journey of starting his technology company, Beme. People instantly became obsessed about the way he documented his everyday life working and living in New York City. He made an average day in the Big Apple feel like an engaging movie by the way he shot certain angles, his commentary, and his jaw-dropping timelapses. Everyday wasn’t necessarily an adventure, but all 7 million of his subscribers were captivated by the way he documented his life. The interest in his vlogs opened many doors for him, even drawing the attention of CNN, which later bought his technology company, Beme for $25 million.

3. In documenting, you see the journey. Ever since I was young, I’ve been carrying a camera around wherever I go. I was obsessed with the capturing moments that would become memories. Nowadays, it’s even easier to document because of the quality of the cameras on our phones that fit perfectly in our pocket.

When I started at Sparq Designs in May 2016, there was only five employees. In one short year later, there are now fifteen employees, and we not only inhabit three offices, we now fill the entire floor. It’s interesting to dig back through my archive of footage and photos throughout that year and see how much we’ve grown. Throughout the past year, everyone has been working non-stop and it is sometimes hard when you’re fully engaged in the work to remember where we started and the journey that has brought us to where we are today. I look forward to continue documenting my journey working at Sparq Designs and capture the moments leading up to when we aren’t only filling an entire office, but an entire building.


Practice might not make perfect, but it does make for a better product

The old saying practice makes perfect is hard to justify. Perfection is something you can strive for but there will always be something that doesn’t quite add up to make it perfection. AND THAT’S OKAY. One of my favorite quotes to date is one from Gerard Way, “Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” And the imperfections are kind of what make design so beautiful. You’re not going to get it right the first time or second time, maybe not even the third or fourth but with every iteration you will learn something and it will improve into the masterpiece you envisioned.

What makes you stand out

I’m a firm believer in what makes you different is what makes you an asset. You see you can be the guy that wakes up in the morning and eats frosted flakes, with his black coffee, then take the bus into work everyday at precisely 9:15. Or you can be the guy that wakes up in the morning and eats frosted flakes with strawberries, with a coffee with one cream and sugar, and bikes to work. Pretty similar scenarios but those slight differences are what make each individual interesting and separates them from one another.

So first things first, learn to embrace those imperfections when it comes to design because once you do that you start coming up with your own niche.

Design with courage

Now once you are okay with messing up and trying new things you can sculpt yourself into a better designer. I think the most important thing is to do something completely random and out of your element. Challenge yourself. If you’re not challenging yourself you might as well not practice.

Be better tomorrow

Always push yourself to be better than the day before. I think the best way to learn something new is to push your boundaries and this is very important in the design world. There are so many things that your professor can teach you but there are 10 other skills they cant to every 1 skill they can. Its just not possible in the timeframe that college offers. And this is where practicing comes in handy.

Expand your resources

Watch videos (Youtube, Lynda, etc.), reach out to the people who inspire your designs, follow tutorials. There are countless ways to sharpen your skills and countless people who love design as much as you do and would be glad to teach you what they know. When watching these videos or following these tutorials be sure to not get frustrating, you are elevating your skills as a designer, its going to take time. The more videos you watch and tutorials you complete the better product you are going to produce for your agency.

We all want to be perfect but sometimes perfection isn’t always the way. I would much rather sit the person who has a bigger heart and willing to learn and push themselves over the perfectionist any day of the week, and at Sparq we are all pushing each other as one collective unit each and every day, which is what makes this place such an incredible place to be and work with.