September 20, 2017

Pride, Work and Necessity of Side Projects: Designers Rashi Birla and Nicklesh Soni share Photo Essays about Their Wanderlust

What are you working on—on the side?

Found Nouns is our discovery of the people, places and things along our travels. We use a combination of photos and words to create photo essays that share those discoveries. Sometimes, they are very specific, about a person or a favorite meal, and other times can be about several days in a region or city.

How do you manage to work
on your side project(s)?

We spend so much our time traveling taking photos and journaling, that focusing our creative energy on Found Nouns allows us to create something more rich and beautiful. During down-time abroad, we begin editing and writing, which forces us to slow down and reflect upon our time in that place. We both take the photographs, but Rashi takes on the heavy lifting of editing, while Nick writes, designs and curates the website. When we are not traveling, we use the time to catch up on the backlog of photos and posts that have piled up.

Why have a side project?

It’s important for both of us to always learn new skills, and Found Nouns is so closely related to our design work—this side project has taught us complimentary skills that we use more and more in our regular jobs. It’s an opportunity for both of us to experiment without worrying about failure or deadlines. Most importantly, it’s a chance for us to work on something together, which we don’t get to do much in our daily lives.

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Diptych courtesy of Rashi Birla and Nicklesh Soni.

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Read more about the joy of side projects.

This series, devoted to side projects, is delivered in association with Chicago creative agency 50,000feet—dedicated to helping brands and businesses soar.

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