Elliott and I graduated from the same design program in June of 2013, we started working at design firms in Seattle on the exact same day in July, not even a month after graduating; and that's about where our similarities end. He's majorly outgoing, wants to befriend everyone and anyone, he's in a Seattle scooter gang called The Soldiers of Destiny, and he just embarked on one of the scariest and hopefully most rewarding journeys of his life (thus far). His curiosity about the world we occupy and his desire to discover more of it, make him a perfect candidate for The Creative Unconscious --we'll have to catch up with him again when his trip comes to a close.
The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Elliott Snyder: Elliott Snyder, 23, Who-the-hell-knows, Self-Employed
TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?
ES: Lately I've been really interested in seeing how close I can get my personal hobbies to my professional work. I think my biggest inspirations are getting outside in nature and meeting new people. This month I'm beginning a road trip that will take me around the states as I do freelance work out of my van (and no, it's not a Westfalia -total soccer mom whip). I've partnered with a good friend of mine, Jesse Morrow, and the two of us have formed a mobile studio of sorts. Every day we'll be somewhere new and hope to seek out people who are passionate and inspiring as clients. I figure money might get tight but with the constant change of scenery and passion-based projects -the inspiration will be flowin'.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
ES: I think this is one of the dilemmas that led me to leave my agency job -I was finding myself using a lot of my time and energy on projects that weren't creatively fulfilling. This led to a lack of time, energy, and inspiration for the projects I was passionate about ...So the answer is yes, but it's something I hope to change as I merge my professional work with what I'm personally passionate about.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
ES: The late afternoon/early evening is when I find the most creative energy. It's that time when you're only still working if you're stoked on what you're doing. You can spend a few extra hours crankin' and then still have tim to go out for a beer afterwards, feeling accomplished.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
ES: I'm really hoping to push on this work/life balance problem. This next year is an experiment to see if I can turn the things that excite me (travel, socializing, meeting new people) up to 11 while maintaining freelance clients that are both inspiring and have a great product. It's a lofty goal but if I can pull it off I'll be doing something I've always dreamed of.
TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?
ES: Man Man Van is the big project right now. Jesse and I have packed up most of what we own, bought two tiny motorcycles and thrown it all in a minivan. We definitely aren't the first to do the mobile studio thing, but it seems like a good model for our lifestyles. The process for the whole thing has been really spontaneous -currently I'm writing this from Bend, OR and we'll be headed to Utah next week with no plans of who we'll meet or where we'll stay. I think that's what will keep us inspired, taking things day by day with the next mission hidden just around the corner. It's the excitement of not knowing next that will really keep us going.
TCU: Anything else you want to add?
ES: If there's something you've always dreamed of doing - see what happens if you pursue it for a little bit. The timing isn't always right, but if you give it some space in your brain you'll be surprised about what things start to make sense and what connections get made. Before you know it it'll seem like the only option and it doesn't seem like as much of a risk. Take things day by day, knowing that no matter how defeated you feel - tomorrow could be your day.
Also, if you know where I can find the best breakfast burrito in America, let me know. I'll plan the trip around it.
If you want to see more of Elliott's work or follow his travels, check out www.manmanvan.com