noun: unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group.
In recent years, “solidarity” has become our watchword: the guiding principle and spirit of our growing studio. Suddenly the idea of solidarity has taken on new urgency, as we disperse to our respective shelters-in-place, and sacrifice the proximity that supports creative collaboration in exchange for the health of humankind. We’ve all been bombarded by rapid-fire news and updates from companies we didn’t even know had our contact information, and we don’t want to add to the static. We simply want to provide a quick report on the state of our studio for our friends and collaborators around the world.
First, we are filled with gratitude: to have our health, to have the ability to continue our work remotely and with relative ease, to have incredible projects underway and clients determined to push forward with us, and most important to have an incredible team of people currently situated everywhere from Brooklyn to the Catskills to Austin to Seoul, all throwing themselves into this new world of work with the grit and consideration our clients deserve.
Second, our main priority after the safety of our staff is the caliber of our work. We’re determined to provide our clients the same standard of service, quality, thoughtfulness, and craft that we’ve held ourselves to for the past 16 years. Luckily, we work in a fundamentally digital field, and have plenty of experience collaborating across time-zones, which we’re now applying to smooth the transition into this new arrangement.
Third, we’ve been inspired by the response of the greater creative industry, but have in our thoughts those freelancers and independent contractors who don’t necessarily have a network of co-workers to share the burden. We believe that now is not the time to turn inward, and are continuing to bring in great talent from around the world to support our projects as needed. We’re also thinking of those without shelter, sustenance, and companionship, and plan to do our part in keeping our neighbors and community afloat.
Finally, we are focusing on the silver linings of this abrupt change in pace and place: flexible work environments, more time with family and pets, unburdened social calendars, more space for reflection and creative exploration. As Leonard Cohen wrote, “There is a crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in.” Amidst so much suffering, there is reason for hope.
During these difficult, uncertain times, we will no doubt go back, time and time again, to the concept of solidarity as our north star for action and behavior, and our guiding light for how we treat those around us. So let’s weather this storm together. Onward and upward.