October 4, 2011

“Make or else”: Chicago CreativeMornings with Jake Nickell of Threadless

In his presentation at the fourth CreativeMornings event in Chicago, Jake Nickell emphasized from start to finish: make, make, make. As co-founder of the “monstrous” (per Jim Coudal’s description at Chicago CreativeMornings’ debut) community-driven t-shirt designer and maker Threadless, Nickell lives up to his call to create. His demonstration of making not only involved the satisfaction it can bring, but also the fun, which shined through in his company’s in-house Airstream trailer and other business-casual reminders to not take your job too seriously. Here are some of Nickell’s thoughts to motivate you to be a proactive maker, and not just a messenger:

Ideas are meant to be seen. If they don’t reach paper, screen, whiteboard or another surface, they can’t be visualized. Jason Fried of 37signals, and who spoke at the second Chicago CreativeMornings, recommends sketching with a Sharpie.

This may not sound readily intuitive, but it has a start-local rationale. Friends can be the foundation for collaboration.

Nothing made means nothing to share and, in turn, nothing to promote. The only result is the unknown.

The implicit refrain running throughout the presentation by Jake Nickell (above) about making was: Persist.

• • •

See Jake Nickell’s presentation “Never Stop Making” at TEDxBoulder.

• • •

Big thanks: to organizer Mig Reyes, videographer Craig Shimala, photographers Chris Gallevo and Rosario Edwards, and Admin of Awesome Victoria Pater for their great work on making CreativeMornings happen in Chicago.

Especially big thanks: to Tina Roth Eisenberg—Swissmiss—for inventing CreativeMornings in 2008. The fifth chapter was launched in Chicago, June 2011—my write-up and photos.

• • •

Typeface of quotes is Massive designed by Shawn Hazen, who also makes awesome typographic illustrations for series Creative Roles.

• • •

• • •

2011 was Chicago CreativeMornings’ debut year. Download the entire collection of selected insights.

Please consider supporting Design Feast
If you liked this lovingly-made write-up, show your appreciation by helping to support my labor of love—Design Feast, which proudly includes this blog. Learn more.