November 21, 2017

Pride, Work and Necessity of Side Projects: Ngaio Parr Launched “Make Nice” to Elevate and Inspire Creative Women



What are you working on—on the side?

In my “spare time,” I’m the founder and director of Make Nice, an Online Community and Real Life Un-Conference for, by and about Creative Women.

I built Make Nice as a way to, well…make nice. To make things easier and better. To provide practical advice for working in the creative industries, promote the importance of a thriving and supportive professional ecology and foster an ongoing dialogue between women.

The online platform provides the immediate and much-needed answers to those shitty questions (often in GIF form), like “Is this price OK?”, etc., creates impromptu drinks in cities worldwide, and has started more than one collaboration. The site showcases the work and practice of the women we love to elevate and inspire our community: illustrators, writers, photographers, designers, makers, bakers, curators, singers and songwriters, gamers, painters—any and all female-identifying creatives. And our conferences bring all of these women together for keynotes, panels, town-hall discussions and our patented ‘not-gross networking.’ We Make Nice because we think it’s the best way to make change.

Outside of my studio, I’m also a contributor to Women of Graphic Design, and teach at the University of Technology Sydney.

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

It is hard work, and it requires a lot of summer swims, movies, sleep-ins and dinner parties sacrificed. Side projects are important, but the only way they work is if you care about them so much you don’t mind the sacrifices.

Why have a side project?

In my experience, side projects have helped me meet new people, learn new skills, heightens my confidence in my abilities, improve my productivity, and help me make a difference to the issues I care about. They have also provided me some amazing opportunities that I would not have been possible without creating new ideas.

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Diptych courtesy of Ngaio Parr.

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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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