Sitting Down with Glow Up Cast

Short info:
Creative Connect Seattle
Chris Gallegos :: Co-founder
Link Tree
Medium article:
Creative Connect Seattle Summary
"CC can only be activated by community. By organizing under the banner of "no agenda and no RSVP, come as you are and leave when you want" we organize unconventional gatherings where Creative people can share resources and network without the burdens of traditional networking. We voluntarily serve the community by being accessible and investing in the community through strictly organic methods. We have never paid for advertising and we don't charge for, or sell our members."

Things i’m fucking with
  • Video games. Playing a lot of adventure games, finished some good ones.
  • Local artists, 179, urbanist collective in Bremerton, prairie fire country music. Ambient Village (eyes of xtr),
  • Fall/winter.
  • Getting my finances in good shape. Credit score rising
  • Trying to do some good work. Job. Rise up the ladder.

Who Am I?
It actually started up years ago in phx az. Originally as a way for the leaders of the creative industries to share resources and news in the relatively young region. I was on staff at a local design shop with ties through my CD and the organizer. They made a handshake arrangement to support the cause with a website and some design work each month. As a jr designer, it was my responsibility to generate the work. We’re talking ‘08. And I was just all over it. Web updated and emails. I ate it up. It was indoctrinated pretty early on and went to the events and met people. I really responded to the easy going nature and really loved being able to tour the shops. At that time and I’m still confident this is how it is today. It’s hard to know what you don’t know. So as I visited these places, it helped to visualize how others worked. Like really worked. Even this most simple thing like how desks were arranged was awesome to help me understand my industry. I wanted to know how others did this work. How they surrounded themselves with Creativity. How they decorated the space to foster ideation and big thoughts. I had basically chosen this career not because it would get me money. I was not really on the side of tradition. At this time, I didn’t have the context of Mad Men where I'd be a big shot nor did my family have the background to share that being an artist was the way to go. They were so fucking supportive but didn’t really have that same ring of being a doctor or lawyer, you know?. 

So while I'm visiting these shops, seeing, learning and talking. I was well on my way out of AZ. After we decided on Seattle. I had to bypass my priorities to make sure we had rent paid and food. I have nothing to hide, I'm not the best of the best in design. I’m pretty good, but there are so many amazing designers who admittedly work harder than I do. These feelings marinated giving me all kinds of anxiety. 

Co-Founding and Core Philosophy
It was, maybe a couple years after moving here that the organizer in PHX called me up to connect with this person he met who was asking if there was a CC in Seattle. I was still helping remotely with emails and things, and he connected me with Ashley Hoffman, who would suggest we should start one here. The idea is pretty simple besides what I mentioned earlier. With the second Tuesday and 6-9 in a different creative place. The idea was always intended to be modeled on open source. One of the reasons we use the Swiss cross in the logo. And it’s taken a bunch of forms since we got a beer in early 2017 to today. But it’s got a couple of very simple rules. Come as you are, leave when you want, drinks and snacks provided from 6-9 on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, in a different Creative space each month. So expanding on the philosophies—we have some organic effects. The anxiety to be ON and ego are missing, and new ideas are shared freely and collaboratively. The teamwork concept thrives. I’ve said this so many times. “Seattle is now more than ever, one big workplace. We will likely work together whether it’s a contract or a great new project. So we need to treat each other like team members. All the time.” This authenticity is the bread and butter. 

Transparent and Dividends
I am perfectly open and transparent about this part. I want to use CC to further my own goals. I need this to be strong and community oriented bc when I invest here, it pays dividends. Last year when I lost my agency job, I put out the word and the people showed up. It was several days of greatest folks not just putting in a good word for me where they work, but just saying “how's it going, how are you? Are you doing well?” People I have only met a couple times or messaged on our Facebook or we followed and liked their instagram posts. Not blindly but we would read their words and respond carefully. 

Anxiety and the Article
This setup is probably the biggest reason I was into CC to begin with. All the beautiful anxiety. Since I graduated, it was already pretty well established that the surest way to get by in design was to be connected. I’m shit at networking. The formality always ruined me. I failed hard whenever it came to “elevator pitches” I still generally do. It kinda crushed me when I first got here since I was and still kinda am hella awkward. I stumble over formalities very well. I even wrote an article about it last year when I got let go from my agency job. It's called an ABNA (asset boundary narrative analysis) that my good friend suggested. I reevaluated my goals. It was the best time to do something like that with the loss of the job and about a year into CC. I looked back at why I wanted into this crazy idea.

Where We’ve Been
Since then we’ve been in some amazing places like Code Fellows, Harper Studios, Hing Hay in CD, Turnstyle, Seattle Makers, The Collective, Possible, and a bunch of amazing co-working spaces like Collective Chemistry, Industrious, Atlas, and the inimitable Riveter. We want to be in Seattle, but for a lot of people “SEATTLE” is more SLU or Cap Hill, or Georgetown, Green Lake. It depends on the people. I live 

CC needs
Hosts!! We need ~12 hosts a year.
Social media
NPO status
Local artist advocate
Website, We have a UX and Dev—I need to feed them work

Three tips: On how to build a strong relationship after networking. 
  1. Show up—each of us are nuclear networks. We keep our micro social circles and when we cross pollinate, we can easily strengthen both the new relationship and the overall social structure. So doing a little insta story highlighting a new friend’s jam is real. And if you're just chilling with folks and someone mentions they need a photographer or a DJ for something—you’re ready by showing up with a valuable resource. 
  1. Be transparent, honest. People here see right through BS. Be honest with yourself. Like one of my favorite people says “real knows real” and you can’t buy that.
  1. Show good respect for people’s time. We’re all on different schedules and even different time scales. One day for you is a different day for me. We can’t make every happy hour or function, but if we can be at the next. Circles back to showing up.
  1. Goals. Pretty much everyone can lead, but you gotta show up. Find that one thing or person or goal that keeps you hungry. For me, it’s the goal of becoming a Creative Director
  1. Be transparent, honest. People here see right through BS. Be honest with yourself. Like one of my favorite people says “real knows real” and you can’t buy that.