Artisan Blog

Artisan Creative’s 5 Favorite Co-Working Spaces in Los Angeles

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Artisan Creative’s 5 Favorite Co-Working Spaces in Los Angeles



Working from home can be a luxury for many people and let’s face it; spending time at your home office instead of a traffic jam is never a bad thing. Sometimes there are those days when you just need interaction. Whether it comes in the form of friendly conversation with a guy one desk over or soaking up inspiration from beautiful architecture and surroundings, it’s good to have a change of scenery.  With that in mind, we decided to share some of our favorite spots across the city to inspire your creativity and pique your mood.

The Unique Space
Arts District, Downtown
Living up to its name, The Unique Space is a beautiful historic factory turned co-working spot home to innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. We love their library filled with helpful resources and the fact that they even have bikes to borrow along with a rooftop terrace to take a break. Did we mention this spot has everything?

The Hub LA
Arts District, Downtown
The Hub is 7000 square feet of open plan flooring and tall windows allowing plenty of light. What’s great about The Hub is that they have Media Lab which boasts post-production suites, spaces for filming and screening. You’ll also find a host of General Assembly events along with film screenings and workshops.

Kleverdog CoWorking
Chinatown
Kleverdog is an Artisan favorite and a regular place for us to hold company events and meetings. The atmosphere at Kleverdog is relaxed and as such, feels like a home away from home. With 24/7 access and a favorite with developers, designers and writers you’re never short of finding new conversations and even a friendly office dog.

Blankspaces
Santa Monica, Downtown, Mid-Wilshire
One of the original co-working spaces opened its doors at Mid-Wilshire and most recently, Santa Monica and Downtown. The architecture of their buildings is beautiful and clearly a lot of time and effort went into the construction and layout of their spaces (owner Jerome is also an architect). We’ve used both Downtown and Mid-Wilshire locations and they’re great for meetings, co-working and events.

Opodz
Little Tokyo
Opodz blends technology, community and culture into one cohesive space which allows co-working, art events and lectures. This week they’re hosting a UX Strategy lecture and they even feature their resident co-working colleagues on their website which is a thoughtful touch.

Do you have a favorite co-working space of your own that hasn’t been featured? We’re always on the lookout for new places to explore so share your recommendations in the comments.

Laura Pell | Talent Acquisition | Artisan Creative   


Vacation Planning Best Practices

Tuesday, September 09, 2014



We asked our team to share their pre- and post-trip planning process.  Even though the summer holiday season is over, we hope the following tips help you plan for any time away from the office.

 Vacation Planning Best Practices

  1. Be Proactive. Contact clients and key stakeholders a few weeks ahead of time to let them know of your upcoming vacation schedule.  This will give everyone an opportunity to address any project needs and plan accordingly.

  2.  Status updates. If you are mid-project, or have direct reports, make it a point to meet with your team before leaving and within a day upon your return for status updates.

  3. Prioritize & Delegate. Create a step-by-step process of all pending projects.  Prioritize for your team and clearly assign tasks that require a follow-up.  Tools like Basecamp make it easy to keeps track of the communication and makes it easy to get caught up when you get back.

  4. OOO. Set your out of office response with the names and contact info of colleagues who will be supporting you while you are away.  This alleviates frustration and any lag time for urgent needs.

  5.  Inbox planning. Use Rules and Filters to manage your inbox while you are away. Unsubscribe from non-essentials newsletters and notifications or direct them to a specific folder.

  6. Minimize travel day stress. Pack your bags, print out travel itineraries and make sure you're ready a few days prior to travel so your last working day isn't affected by any pre travel stress.

  7. Plan your first day back to work before you leave so your expectations are set beforehand.  Have your to-do list ready to go!

  8. Tidy your desk & desktop.  Coming back to paper or digital clutter is no fun.

  9. Your body and mind need time to recharge. Trust your team to handle urgent issues while you are away.

  10.  Have Fun!

Artisan Creative Team


Virtual Office Best Practices: 5 Tips For Working With Your Pets

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Virtual Office Best Practices: 5 Tips For Working With Your Pets

 

Trust me, nobody loves your 'work from home' job more than your pet. Despite being surrounded by all your loveable pooches, work is work no matter where your office is.  You know that, your boss knows that, but guess what? Your dogs have a different scenario in mind and the majority of their plan involves play time. I mean, why else would you be at home?

Before you break the gangs' hearts and send them to the dog hotel for the day or call up the pet sitter, read these tips on how to work with your dogs and make them your best co-workers.   

1.  Differentiate Between 'Crunch Time' and 'Break Time'

Make a habit of taking your dogs on a long morning walk before you begin your work day.  This will provide the exercise, stimulation, and bonding experience they need to take them right into a happy nap or quiet time while you attack the pile of emails waiting for you come 9am.  For the same reasons, opt for a game of fetch during lunch time to help cruise into the latter part of your day.  Your pups will soon learn play time is only when it is most convenient for you.  Make sure to have dog toys or other stimulating activities available during "quiet time" so they can entertain themselves while you work.

2.  Schedule Your Day Wisely
You certainly should not plan your day around your dogs but if they get excited every time the mailman comes, do not schedule any calls during that part of the day.  Be respectful of other's valuable time and eliminate as many nuances as possible. You may not mind the sound of dogs barking in the background but many people may find it distracting and unprofessional.

3. Have A Dog Free Zone

One of the biggest benefits of working from home is the ability to work in any Wi-Fi accessible space in your house.  As comfortable as these areas may be, they are an open invitation to your dogs to hang out with you.  While this is great, make sure there is an accessible space with a door you can go to for important calls, video meetings, or just an area for when you need to dedicate 120% of your attention on a task at hand.

4. Take Tiny Breaks
Instead of two 15 minutes breaks throughout the day, take several smaller ones.  These will allow you to let your dogs out and an even better opportunity for you to get some fresh air, clear your mind, and come back refreshed. The best ideas and creativity flows when you relax and allow your brain time to let information settle in and "click" while you roll out one of your infamous belly rubs.  Your dogs will thank you and your brain will reward you.

5. Enjoy Them!

Working from home can get lonely, but it doesn't have to be.  Your dogs will soon become your favorite office mates as you spend your days celebrating the highs and venting about the lows.  During slow or routine parts of your day, let them hang out with you.  Give them treats every now and then and scratches never go unnoticed.  

Before you know it, your dogs will crave this structure and look forward to play time while simmering down during quiet time.  They will play a vital role in boosting creativity and lowering stress levels so take advantage of your ability to work from home alongside your best furry friends.

Jen Huynh, Artisan Creative Recruiter and Dog Lover


Team Building Activities Outside the Office

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Team Building Activities Outside the Office

 

How often do you spend time with co-workers outside of work? Whether it’s each quarter or each year, team building activities are not only an opportunity to get to know colleagues better and form lasting relationships, it’s also a fun way to explore Los Angeles and San Francisco attractions. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite events. Share your favorite places in the comments!

Paint Nite
Artisan Creative recently spent an evening eating, drinking and embracing their creativity at Burbank’s Paint Nite. The premise of the evening is to hone your creative skills in a social environment. Armed with paint, brushes and a canvas, you spend the evening following the direction of an art instructor and painting step-by-step (with oodles of wine). The finished result is rather remarkable and allows an opportunity to create individually and independently while working in a team environment – it’s perfect for all personality types and super fun!

Groundlings
Groundlings is an improvisation and sketch comedy theater based in LA responsible for training a whole host of comedians including Will Farrell and Lisa Kudrow.  As a non-profit, they are one of the go-to companies in the country for improv comedy which makes them a great place to spend time with co-workers. The Intro to Improv is a one-day workshop aimed at building confidence and creativity through games and exercises.

The Gentle Barn
The Gentle Barn is an animal paradise and the perfect way to get up close and personal with rescued animals. Their repertoire of animals includes some very relaxed cows, friendly turkeys who love to be cuddled, pigs, llamas, chickens, goats and horses. Each animal has a history of abuse and was saved by the organization. Based in Santa Clarita, you spend the day learning about each animal by feeding and snuggling. They also have a delicious vegan BBQ and cupcakes.

San Francisco Nerd Night & Los Angeles Nerd Night
A once-monthly event with engaging lectures on a whole range of subjects from 3D printers to crosswords and spacecraft. With beer and grilled cheese sandwiches at hand, the evening is relaxed, informative and entertaining. Tickets tend to sell out fast so make sure to book in advance! They’ve also just launched a Nerd Night North Bay which you can find here.

Farallones Marine Sanctuary
A non-profit based on the gulf of San Francisco, Farallones Marine Sanctuary is a haven for teams who want to get out of the city for a day and spend time in the great outdoors. They have a whole host of activities including fishing, whale watching, surfing, kayaking and boating.

Los Angeles Conservancy
LA is steeped with history and beauty but sometimes you just need to know where to find it -- that’s where LA Conservancy comes in. They hold regular walking tours with skilled experts who know everything there is to know about LA architecture and culture. Our favorite tours are their Art Deco and Renaissance walks where you can explore the historic downtown areas across the vibrant city.

San Francisco Food Tours
Taking a culinary journey through the heart of San Francisco sounds like our idea of heaven. San Francisco Food Tours takes you to local artisan companies from Little Italy to the oldest bakery in China Town to authentic Western Saloons.  There’s something for everyone with these types of tours: delicious coffee, exploring old Beat neighborhoods and handmade chocolates. They also cater to group bookings of all sizes which is perfect for every company.

Laura Pell | Talent Acquisition | Artisan Creative 


Having an All-Star Job Search Team

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Having an All-Star Job Search Team

We are on teams at work, collaborating on projects and inspiring creativity in one another. Teams are becoming more and more important, even in academic subjects, at school. We are also on teams in our personal lives, whether we practice sports or do DIY projects at home. 

Have you ever been on a job search team? We all need people to help us along, especially when we are looking for that perfect new role. Who should you be scouting?

A Pitcher

A friend who is not averse to getting in there and making big moves is a great motivator. She has great ideas and unafraid of risk. Brainstorm with this team member for new strategies and energy. And let her take the lead if she has great connections.

A Catcher

Good advice is always welcome and this colleague always knows when you are in need of a little pep talk, help handing a particular situation, and a calm voice. He can also throw the ball back to you when it's time for you to be proactive.

First Base Umpire

When you are between interviews or waiting to hear, she can keep you steady on the road to landing your new job. Someone with great focus on your goals can help you stay focused as well. Is it time to take a breath or time to head for home?

Mascot

No matter what, your mascot thinks you are the best. Staying positive is one of the hardest things about looking for a job and you definitely need someone to cheer you on.

Coach

A recruiter can help you see the big picture, improve your resume and presentation skills and get you out there interviewing for the jobs you want. 

Do you have everyone you need on your team? Don’t job search alone. Pull your team together and go for the win!

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative


Feeling Lucky? Pass it on!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Feeling Lucky? Pass it on!

There are probably people in your network who are on a job search and you are probably helping them. You have endorsed them on LinkedIn or even written them a recommendation, if you have worked with them in their field. You have introduced them to the people you know at their target companies. When they land, you will be part of why they were successful.


Those people are lucky to have you and they know it.

There are probably also people in your network who are in a field you have no connection with, who are friends rather than work colleagues, who are targeting companies you’ve never heard of. What can you do improve their luck, too?

Be uplifting - Your friend’s self-talk is most likely critical and second guessing. The best thing you can do is not add to it, even if you think he could do better. Find out what he feels is working and encourage more of that.

Do what you can - Even if you know nothing about and no one in your friend’s field, you can proofread her resume or cover letter, help research target companies, and brainstorm strategies for her search.

Network together - Networking events are never a waste of time and they are much more fun with a friend. If you go to his, he’ll go to yours. And follow up if you meet anyone interesting.

Raise awareness - When you hear your friend being negative, point it out. We often don’t realize that we are talking ourselves down and only remembering the bad moments.

Practice - The secret to great job interviews is good preparation and you don’t need to be in your friend’s industry to help her refine her answers to common interview questions.

Luck can play a role in landing a new job, but you have to be at the right place at the right time with the right mindset and always ready to bring your A game. We can all help each other with that.

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative


Reflections: Competition

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Reflections: Competition

It’s competition season all over: for actors and others in the entertainment industry, for Olympians across the globe, and even close to home as show choirs on the west coast have a contest almost every weekend for the next few months. With so many vying for honors, we have been struck with the different ways we can handle competition as creative entrepreneurs.

Oscar Style

“It’s an honor to be nominated.” But the nominees do a lot of branding and marketing to try to get more votes. The ones who sit back and let the chips fall where they may are more likely to go home emptyhanded unless their work is truly stellar.

On the other hand, they never say their competitors’ work is worse than theirs and they seem to generally get along on a personal level. After all, the actor you mocked could be across the table read from you in a month or two. And you hope he will because that means you’re working.

As creatives, we need to pay attention to personal branding and marketing and keep it positive, too. You never know whom your next client might--or might not--be.

High School Style

Teenagers can be mean, but I’m around literally hundreds of kids in active competition in the performing arts, and they surprise me all the time. They support and encourage each other. What they don’t like is injustice, for themselves or their competitors.

They’ll fight for points, but equally for the deserved points of others. They love to win but they cheer (almost) as loud for other groups. They know that the most important thing in a competition is to do their very best every single time and leave the rest of it to the judges.

We all live in a sometimes unjust world where the rules seem to change while the game is still being played. All we can do is our best work and keep our cool and hope things turn out well more often than not.

Olympic Style

“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.” The Olympic Creed says it all. My favorite stories from the Olympics are not the Gold Medals, the perfect scores. My favorites are when the athletes stop and help each other. Wait for an injured athlete to catch up. Share water. The struggle is the same for everyone. Some will win, some will lose. Being human and struggling together is what makes competition a worthy endeavor.

As part of a team, and between teams, we can help each other over the finish line. Mentor, network, give advice. You might be the one who needs an arm around your shoulder next time.

Competition is exciting--it stirs the blood, motivates us and offers the potential for tangible rewards. If we rely on the quality of our own work, the energy and commitment we put into it and sometimes even the kindness of others, we can all succeed.

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative


Leadership Lessons from Presidents

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Leadership Lessons from Presidents

Not all of our mentors have to be here in the room, having lunch or networking with us. If we are open to learning, we can find mentors anywhere, even in history. This Presidents’ Week, we thought we would get a little mentoring from some past US Presidents. Turns out they have a lot to teach us about leadership.

Team Building

Abraham Lincoln is well-known for creating a “team of rivals,” making sure that not everyone around him agreed with him. Instead of choosing those he knew shared his views, he chose the very best in their field, whether they agreed with him or not. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall in some of those cabinet meetings, but there is no doubt that there was some great brainstorming going on in the Lincoln White House.

“Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?” --Abraham Lincoln

Taking Risks

I’m sure there are Presidents who didn’t take many risks, but funny, I can’t remember which. Whether in bold initiatives, controversial foreign policy or changing the direction of the country, real leaders are memorable for what they try to do, what they are passionate about, what they make others want to join them in trying to accomplish. Playing it safe is not on their list of qualities.

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly …” 
--Theodore Roosevelt

Being Present

With important and sometimes lifechanging decisions to be made at any moment, Presidents have needed to be able to focus on what is going on right now, deal with it, and move on to the next thing. Leaders are fully present, listening, processing and making choices. Right now, I feel lucky that the choices I have to make are not life or death.

“Come now, let us reason together.” --Lyndon Johnson

Never Giving Up

Throughout history, some people have run around saying “It can’t be done! It will be the end of the world! Too much too fast! We’re not ready!” Great leaders don’t pay attention to naysayers or the fearful. Change is inevitable, though often uncomfortable. Some will always need to be gentled into it, but leaders are right up front, ready and willing--and persistent.

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” 
--John F. Kennedy

Leadership is difficult and sometimes unpleasant. But when the risks are worthy, when decisions are made with intelligence and expert advice, when the moment is right and we are determined, we can be leaders that everyone will remember.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” --John Quincy Adams

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative


5 Tips for a Great Office Holiday Party

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

5 Tips for a Great Office Holiday Party

The holidays have arrived and office parties are looming on our calendars. Artisan’s annual holiday luncheon is today, as a matter of fact. As much as we want everyone to have a great time at these festive events, we all know someone who has embarrassed themselves by making some unfortunate choices. Instead of sending a wish list to Santa this year, we would like to send you our list of ways to make your holiday office party what it should be--fun and successful.

  • Dress up--A little or a lot, depending on the specific event. Choose a festive accessory and do keep professionalism in mind.
  • Think ahead--Take the time to remind yourself of the names of co-workers’ spouses and children. Ask about activities they or their families like outside of work. Have a brief story ready for when you are asked, “How’s it going?”
  • Ask before you take photos--If you love to post pictures of life events on social media and want to take some here, make sure you have permission first, unless you are the company’s Social Media manager, in which case they’re probably used to you!
  • Keep it positive--The office holiday party is not the place for gossip or badmouthing. Happy holidays is the theme of the day.
  • Say thanks--The person in charge of the party has probably been under a lot of stress about it being perfect. Make sure to thank him or her for a lovely time.
Office parties are an opportunity to get to know the people in your company who may not be in your department, strengthen bonds within your team and make human connections that you don’t have time for during working hours. I know I’m looking forward to getting together with my Artisan colleagues today. Everyone at Artisan hopes that you have as much fun great time at your professional holiday gatherings as your personal ones.

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative


Bilbo Baggins, Entrepreneur

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Bilbo Baggins, Entrepreneur

We recently came across an article about how starting a business is like The Hunger Games. We hope that is not the experience most people have. That book is pretty brutal.

At Artisan Creative, we think a lot about entrepreneurship and we think starting a business is more like The Hobbit. At least when it works. Further in and further up...

You start out on an adventure, on your own at first (don’t forget your pocket handkerchief), but soon forming a team with a single, clear mission. You don’t know each other very well and it takes a while to assess everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. You run into obstacles (trolls) pretty early on and could easily decide to give up and go home right there (the kettle is on the hob). It turns out that having a mentor is incredibly important (Gandalf).

As you progress, your team breaks off into smaller groups with specific tasks to achieve, each of which can make its own discoveries--maybe not a magic ring, but creativity breeds innovation and innovation can be magical indeed. You will need to be clever and brave and take risks.

You will have to do battle with the entrepreneur’s worst enemy: fear of failure (that fire-breathing dragon). Surround yourself with talent who will support and encourage you, as well as have the skills to swoop in and solve problems.

Leadership can come from the most unlikely sources and you never know who will be the hero of your journey, but keep your wits about you and the rewards could last the rest of your life.

Starting a business isn’t quite an Unexpected Journey, but the path you will take is unpredictable. Put the right people on your team, practice active listening with them and your mentors, take the surprising opportunities that come along and you, too, might go There and Back Again and maybe even come home with a little chest of gold.

Wendy Stackhouse, Consultant for Artisan Creative



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