Why You Should Consider Working Out of a Shared Space with Other Creatives

As artists and creatives we thrive off of energy, at least I know I do. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies and talk ourselves out projects we want to do, want to come back to, or have almost given up on. I've been on this end of the spectrum, holed up in my editing bay whacking my head against the wall on my third cup of coffee. When there is no one around to talk through the details of a project, it can start to become extremely daunting. This is why working out of shared spaces can be a life saver for some creatives, like myself. Let's take a look at what benefits come with working in a shared space. 

A Place for Ideas

Going back to the point I was making in the first paragraph. When you are in a creative shared space you have an abundance of people at your fingertips. They are going to be your best places to pitch your ideas and vice versa. Go in and start conversations with everyone, they are probably just as curious about your projects as you are theirs. You'll be surprised at how quickly your network grows. 

Honesty is the Best Policy 

Just over a year ago I started freelancing out of a company called We Make HEART. When I went there I knew no one and had been introduced to the founders via email. That aside, the folks and I hit it off quickly (going back to point one) and we built a relationship. Within that was the policy of "unsolicited advice" which is where the owner would come around to everyone and ask what they were working on and give you his honest opinion on the project. He pulls no punches but is willing to get his hands dirty.

Take this into the same shared space, don't just go around picking everything apart, but ask questions. It's the best way to get honest answers from other creatives.

Collaborate

Now that you've introduced yourself, met a few people, and hung out outside of the shared space. It's time to start collaborating with the folks you've met. Keep in mind, not everyone is going to be a photographer or videographer. I've met folks who are CnC machinists, break dancers, interior designers, and brand strategists. I'm sure you'll find your fair share of people you never thought possible. Now that you've met them take advantage of your new working relationship. Sit down and be honest and come up with a project you can both work on. As the old saying goes, "two heads are better than one." 

More and more of these places have started popping up all over cities across the world. Some are more well known, like WeWork, and then there tend to be some more local shared spaces. So, have you ever worked out of a shared space, what was your experience like?

 

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10 Comments

Justin Haugen's picture

Every time I think about doing this, I come to the conclusion I don't want overhead outside of my living expenses working out of home, and I don't want to keep office hours or feel an obligation to be somewhere else simply because I've invested in it monetarily. I do like the idea of it, but I come back to my home office as the most pragmatic solution at this current time.

I would like to be surrounded by more creatives, it's always fun to talk shop.

Miles Bergstrom's picture

I can totally understand this. When starting out it can be hard to live outside your needs. I think for me it's hard to work out of my home because I think about all of the other things I could be getting done around the house etc.

Justin Haugen's picture

I've come up with a compromise for myself so I don't spend all my work hours at home. I've got a laptop with little performance drop off from my desktop and I've set up a VPN so I can work remotely and access file/emails while I'm posted up in a hotel lobby or a coffee shop.

I get stir crazy if I'm in the house all day and haven't stepped outside =/

michael buehrle's picture

so is it a monthly rental fee ? if so what's the average ? and do i get my little corner or is it first come first serve on desk space ? how secure is it ? i see a bunch of computers out.

Keith Hammond's picture

a photographer friend of mine has just started doing this share space thing and he said it was such a good move, rent is a lot lot cheaper than an office to yourself and he gets to share all the place has to offer and the massive plus is working around other creatives

Anders Brinckmeyer's picture

It's by far the best move you can do for yourself. I've worked at several office hotels and shared spaces. Shared spaces are by far the best and most fun. You'll get 'pseudo' colleagues and your work performance will increase just by being around other working people.

In my experience, the shared spaces are much cheaper. I pay around $370 each month for at stationary seat with everything I need from elevated table, great chair. internet, meeting rooms etc. And I'll have a key so I come and go as I like 24/7. I have a super attractive address in the Main Street of Copenhagen (Denmark). Just the morning bike-ride to the city makes me happy...

Yes, you can save the money (I've tried it several times), but really when you think about it, it's an investment in yourself. You will actually be more productive, be inspired, meet new people, get relationships, often get more jobs and a feeling to be a part of something.

It pays off, a lot.

Geoffrey Badner's picture

I did this for 3 years. It was great and I'm considering doing it again. The only reason I gave it up was to buy into a shared studio space that allows me to book a day every week to shoot.

Keeping "work hours" is not an issue in most places because they usually allow 24/7 access with a keycard. One thing to be mindful of, depending what you shoot, is that some people might not want to see you zoomed into 100% while you retouch stubble out of the bikini area on those boudoir photos you just shot.

In the space I had, my door and wall in the hallway were all glass. I preempted any complaints by putting up an 18" strip of opaque window film along the glass at eye level so that people weren't forced to see what I was doing all the time. You could duck down and see my screen, but if you were just walking down the hall the film blurred your view.

Kristi Woody's picture

We have a great coworking space in my town. Someday I want to be a member! I took a business class there this winter and it included a membership for 3 months. I got to meet with a lot of my wedding clients for this year in that space, and it was SO NICE. So much better than a coffee shop. If I ever quit my day job, I'd definitely enjoy this environment.

Ruskin Bond's picture

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Jacob Thomas's picture

Creativity is a born talent and it cannot be inherited. So, numerous persons have different creativities that they want to expose in that field to achieve the name and fame. Certain persons mix up and bring a combination of creativity and as per said above that "Honesty is the best policy" is perfectly right to my point of view. Every artist needs honest hard work to get success. He in his life attends numerous creativity events and enhances his knowledge and experience in that field of creativity. Also some make group and start a mini company as creativity services and help the society by their creativity act. For more information regarding shuttles for creative event services contact on this URL:
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