Author: Duke & Duck
We’ve been a remote studio since 2020. In that time we’ve been able to grow and add some extremely talented people across the country to our team. Finally it was time to get everyone together in person! Of course, COVID concerns are present but we tested, quarantined, and made sure that everyone was safe. There is something so intoxicating about being in the same room as your fellow creatives, even if you’re just sharing a cup of coffee and a pastry.
Why It’s Important to Get Together
Working remotely takes a toll on the creative process. You can’t lean over to your co-worker to get quick feedback, or have a brainstorm conversation while walking to get lunch. That lack of communicating in person can also lead into thoughts of imposter syndrome or creative stagnation. Being together reinvigorates the feeling we get when a new project comes in and the sparks start flying. During the retreat we took part in “Speed Pitches” – a fun activity where teams had 15 minutes to conceptualize and sketch up a story based on random prompts. As you can imagine, the results were hilarious.
How Are We Growing As A Company?
This year we’ve worked on incredible projects with partners like NPR, National Geographic, and Nestlé. Those partnerships have no doubt allowed us to grow, flex our creative muscles, and be seen by new audiences.
We love celebrating stories, but grew even more passionate about the intersection of animation and documentary work. Saving Giraffes: The Long Journey Home allowed us to add more of that style of storytelling in our portfolio. Another excellent partner of ours, PLOS, pushes us to think outside the box. Spanning across several scientific disciplines, each PLOS campaign features imagery that remains vibrant and cohesive.
How Do We Make Each Other Stronger & Lift Up Our Team Members?
Our small but mighty team always discovers ways to encourage each other from afar. This year we implemented Discord to connect outside of work. We’ve sparked conversations about recipes, parenthood, and of course, our epic Dungeons & Dragons games. We enjoy being creative with everyone on the team – but we also respect that life happens outside the 9 to 5.
In addition to our regular work, we also implemented Creative Development days to pay attention to what our team wants to work on. These monthly two-day workshops allow the ducks to learn new skills with help from another team member. Being inspired by those you work with can really make future collaborations sing!
What Did We Learn From This Year’s Retreat?
While we already knew it, we reaffirmed that we have an amazing team of people. We acknowledged that systems that work for us, and possibly some things we’ll leave behind in 2022. Overall, we’re thrilled to continue telling stories and to be a part of our wonderful creative community.