I was recently asked why I’ve stayed at Owen for 5 years. The answer is really quite simple: I stayed because of Rusty. He’s a great guy, and he makes everyone at Owen feel like they are all a part of his family. He's involved, he cares, and he works hard to maintain a casual but incredibly productive atmosphere. He has a knack for bringing together great teams, and over the last five years I've had the privilege of working with some of the most talented individuals in the industry. Honestly, it's not hard to be happy at a place like Owen, even after all this time.
So, why have I now decided to move on? It’s a fair question, and one that I’ve been thinking about. A lot. I’m giving up a lot of seniority, a great relationship with my boss, loads of flexibility, and a team that is super talented. It’s a little terrifying to leave all this for the Great Unknown, because Owen excels at so many different things.
Still, I think this is the right move for me, for two reasons. The first is that I’ve always maintained a very strict line between my professional life and my personal creative interests. I've come to realize that this boundary I've created for myself is holding me back, and the health of my future depends on bringing those two worlds together. It's time for me to apply the skills I've developed in this industry to my art, and create a wider avenue for self expression. And although I respect the work that is being done at Owen, it's not the place for me to create those avenues, and I needed to look elsewhere in order to put this plan into action.
Secondly, I want to be selective about the challenges I face in the future. Because of Owen's size, it's important that everyone focus on being increasingly efficient. There's downward pressure from the industry to deliver bigger work in shorter timeframes with smaller budgets, and creatives are often in the position of deciding between lowering their personal standards for work or making up the difference on their own time. I want to be proud of what I produce, so like many creatives I know, I fall into the latter camp and put in whatever time is needed to ensure that I'm doing the best work I can. It's fun to face a challenge, and it feels great to deliver great work. However, when the industry pressures are multiplied by client expectations or managerial pressures, it stops being fun for me. It gets hard - the type of hard that brings stress, not growth.
I’m glad that Owen has such a great team to get through the upcoming challenges during the transition from building marketing sites to delivering functional ones. It's not a challenge I've chosen to take on, but even though I know I'm doing the right thing for myself, it's a bittersweet leaving. I’ll definitely miss everyone here; they’re super great, super talented people. I've learned a lot while working at Owen, and I am thankful that I was given the space to do that learning.
I start with Parliament in a few days. They have a beautiful black building that they have been renovating that has three floors filled with exciting opportunities, including an event space ripe for installations. My time includes a healthy chunk for internal projects, with which I’ll finally be able to dig in to Cinder and openFrameworks. I’m really excited about the team and the opportunity, and can’t wait to see what 2015 looks like in the new world where both sides of my brain are being used.