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I was immediately intrigued by the idea of working on something that at once felt so far removed and so close to fashion. I wanted to create something that mixed the rich nostalgia of the lottery’s history with the future of where it’s going and what it can do,” said Mr. Saturday founder Joey Gollish. “Thank you for dreaming is the physical manifestation of dreaming what we’d do if we won the lottery. In some ways, we have – it’s exciting to be able to work on something of this scale and give back to an organization that helped me get to where I am and consistently creates opportunities for young creatives.

  • Dom Lisi

Thoughts on creative work during the lockdown

It’s June 2020. I’ve been working from home for roughly 4 months with zoom meetings back to back and long solo working sessions. When the final call would end, I’d find myself sitting alone in my apartment, well partially alone; my dog Frank was often at my feet, my soon-to-be fiancé returning home shortly from work. It didn’t help that weeks earlier, I severed two tendons in my hand, cleaning the dishes, and had to learn the left-handed mouse. It was a weird time, so much to complain about, but so much to be grateful for.

As a self-taught creative director, you’d think that working alone was something I was used to. I thought the same thing going into the pandemic — I was even looking forward to more “Dom time” and less social obligations. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Around June, I started to notice the difference in my workflow, I was churning out ideas, but there was no magic. Satisfactory was a word I’d use to describe the concepts I was creating for campaigns — they got the job done, but I wasn’t jumping out of my seat; it was more like “ya, that works”. At the time, I started to question my ability —” is this what I’m truly supposed to be doing? If I can’t do this alone, am I good at what I do?” These thoughts continued for months as the imposter syndrome blocked my rational thinking.

I’m sure this was a common experience for creatives during the pandemic. Our jobs changed. For my photographer friends, gigs completely disappeared. For those lucky enough to be able to work remotely , we were thrown into a whirlwind of video chats and Slack messages. Being locked in my apartment for the better part of a year started to show me how much I took my environment and collaboration for granted. I was missing an essential element and my process wasn’t the same without it. My team was the magic, and without them in the room, the energy wasn’t the same. Sure, we did brainstorming sessions over zoom — but people were on different wavelengths, in different time zones, and experiencing different levels of stress and anxiety surrounding the lockdown.

It wasn’t until this August, when we got back into the office, that I realized how severe the impact of the pandemic had been on me. Only days into returning to the office and I felt like Austin Powers when Beyonce got his mojo back. New ideas started flowing, not only work ideas, but stupid new nicknames for friends, ridiculous business ideas, all types of thoughts and dreams. 2020 taught me that energy is a real thing — especially for creative people or really anyone who’s coming up with ideas for work. Being in the room, feeling the body language, tossing out crazy thoughts and bouncing ideas across the table. The simple act of ordering pizza after work over an argument about cannabis branding. These were essential parts of my process.

So what am I trying to say? Collaboration is key? Creative work is easier in teams? These are obvious statements. The truth is, I took all of these things for granted. I didn’t pay enough attention to how the energy in the room impacted my team’s work. I didn’t work hard enough to replace the collaborative environment that we loved in the office. Now, every day I remind myself: Appreciate your team, cherish their energy and their ideas, even if you’ve got ideas of your own. Get back in the room, be safe but don’t be lazy, it’s easy to hop on a zoom call, but it’s also easy to give a zoom call half of your attention. At the end of all of it, realize that good creative isn’t built in a vacuum, it’s built holding hands in a field or eating pizza in a boardroom.

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