gskinner goes to CAMP

In September, we sent our design team and a developer (to keep the designers in check) to Calgary, Alberta for CAMP Festival. CAMP runs for two days, with 20 speakers sharing presentations on creativity and technology.

CAMP logo

Our gskinner CAMPers were Chris Caldwell (Creative Director), Matthew Willox (Developer), Chris Kohanik (Designer), and Yoon Lee (Designer).

Below, they’ve shared some of their CAMP experiences.

 

Which CAMP Speaker/Talk was your Favorite?

CHRIS CALDWELL

Elvira Barriga had an amazing talk on what it means to be a creative leader. I’ve rarely seen a talk that candid about what it takes to be effective in that role. Her points throughout the talk really resonated with our approach to creative leadership.

I empower and help foster our creative culture at gskinner, so it was great the team had the opportunity to see another perspective on this.

 

Elvira Barriga's CAMP talk

Elvira Barriga speaking to a leader’s impact on their team

MATTHEW WILLOX

Elvira BarrigaGo big or go home with your technical challenges! It was refreshing to see how hands-on her team’s developers and designers can be with their ideas.

Stephen Martell: When you’re going through hell… keep going! Not all projects are perfect, and even in the face of impossible odds, keep pushing until the bitter end. You might make it, you might not… but you didn’t quit.

Jamie Kosoy: A better approach to learning and developing in parallel. I study and practice a lot of art and music, and I see his approach working. I have always sort of worked this way, but Jamie delivered a very clear process to follow.

 

Emily Oberman’s talk had an energy and passion that resonated well with me. Deep research is the first thing Emily and her team does to find great insights.

 

CHRIS KOHANIK

A combination of Jessica WalshLauren Hom, and Jamie Kosoy. I always have project ideas or started projects, but they usually don’t go anywhere. These three talks gave me the tools to start, finish and share them.

  • Constraints keep projects smaller, prevents feeling overwhelmed, and let you be more creative
  • You don’t need production-level equipment to produce high-quality work
  • Working with smaller goals gives you wins to stay motivated along the way
  • Oversharing a project’s process will get you valuable feedback, inspiration, and engagement

 

Jamie Kosoy's CAMP talk

Jamie Kosoy’s talk focused on creating a culture through a process of sharing

YOON LEE

Emily Oberman’s talk had an energy and passion that resonated well with me. Deep research is the first thing Emily and her team does to find great insights. Those insights are then developed into a design that seems to not have any other solution. I’ve always thought that research and insights are the most important part of the design process. This talk helped affirm that belief.

 

What inspired you while you were at CAMP?

CHRIS CALDWELL

A highlight for me was how much this event strengthened connections between our team. I could not be more proud of them for the support and commitment they showed to help each other grow. This team is going to bring our company to the next level.

MATTHEW WILLOX

Hanging out with the team outside of work, and seeing how much Calgary had changed since I was there last. Studio Bell! Theatre Grand Junction, the talks, the sunny weather. It’s difficult to pin down one thing. I was ready to see inspirational talks! I needed to be inspired! So I went into CAMP like a dry sponge into the ocean and soaked it all up.

 

It’s kinda obvious, but clients aren’t going to pay you to do the work you want to do if they don’t know you can do it.

 

Lauren Hom's CAMP talk

Lauren Hom on finding something you’re passionate about and turning that into being paid

CHRIS KOHANIK

Find a way to make and share the work you want to get paid to do. The work Jessica and Lauren do for clients has a blunt overlap with the work they want to do for themselves. It’s kind of obvious, but clients aren’t going to pay you to do the work you want to do if they don’t know you can do it.

YOON LEE

The craftsmanship and passion! Every speaker showed a confidence, devotion, and deep affection towards what they do. It was a great chance to re-motivate myself and take pride as a designer.

When PES mentioned that his team spent 3-4 days coming up with an idea, that only ended up being for a few seconds of video. I realized that good things are not made with magic, but through hard work, patience and passion.

 

What’s something you’re bringing back to gskinner from CAMP?

CHRIS CALDWELL

I’m bringing back a renewed passion for the work. It’s so easy to get used to the day-to-day routine. CAMP gave us the opportunity to shake things up and in the process, it filled up our team’s inspiration bucket.

I’m eager to push myself creatively with new insights, techniques, and perspectives. These will help us find new ways to embody our values of making, sharing, ownership, and leadership.

 

gskinner team at CAMP

Matthew Willox & Chris Caldwell with one of the interactive installations at CAMP

MATTHEW WILLOX

I want to start lending my creative and technical experience to the design team as often as possible. This conference taught me that I see development as a designer, but with all the technical skills to back it up.

CAMP opened me up to the idea that I can be a much better developer by becoming a better designer.

 

CAMP gave us the opportunity to shake things up and in the process, it filled up our team’s inspiration bucket.

 

CHRIS KOHANIK

I enjoy creating, designing and experimenting. It’s why I became a designer. The many other roles I’m tasked with can sometimes prevent that. I’m committing to giving myself time to making sure I do something design-related every day.

 

Jessica Walsh CAMP talk

Jessica Walsh on getting gratification on making something that matters to you.

YOON LEE

It’s so easy to become complacent with yourself when you’re going from one client project to another. CAMP became a great turning point for me to refresh. I was able to take my confidence and passion home and start to think about my attitude as a designer. What do I love? What am I interested in? What can I do with them? What do I really want to do?

I value the professional development time I get at gskinner to explore these questions. Can’t wait to see what I can come up with!

This is CAMP’s 4th year running, and it has only improved year over year. We’re excited for this conference to keep growing and continue to inspire us.

Keep an eye out for Part 2 of our CAMP series, where the team will share their experiences with the CAMP Adventure Workshops.

Chris Kohanik

Designer at gskinner. AR, VR, 3D, cartoons, and pizza is what I'm all about.

@corpulentchris

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