Back before time existed, when I was a Lab Assistant at the IADT, I met a young man with a severe case of design talent. He, Andrés, would quietly sit in the class room designing incredible stuff for hours on end. I spent very little time with him back then because he had no need for my assistance; he was making full use of the school-supplied computer lab. But later, when we were both recruited by one of our mutual, former instructors to work at Starpages, as production designers we became good friends. Starpages was a short ride for me, less than a year, so we parted ways. A few years later I was able to recruit Andrés to the design team I was managing for a shop downtown.
How it Started
We maintained our friendship over the years but we were not able to reconnect professionally for more than a decade, in 2014. It was when his role at that downtown shop came to an end that he and I began working together on our own projects, under the banner of Knight & Owl Design. Andrés dubbed me the Knight (due to my name being Lance) and himself the Owl (due to him being a night owl).
Division of Labour
My experience has leaned more towards managing projects and interfacing with the clients. Andrés prefers to sit at the computer creating. It’s really that simple. We each found projects through our networks and pushed them through our system: I find out from the client what needs to be done and feed it to Andrés to get it done, then I work with all parties to ensure the project is on track.
Our portfolio is a combination of work we worked together on, as well as individually, but we’ve removed projects that have gone offline or where the client made changes so significant that we felt it diverged too far from what we intended to create.
Where are We Now?
While working for a regular client Andrés was offered the opportunity to work for that client full time – SCORE! While I would have absolutely loved to have kept Andrés all to myself for use on our projects, it was a sound financial decision for him to improve his situation by accepting the offer. Our little design shop was not pulling in enough for both of us to make it, so we reduced our work load back down to part time, then to none.
As I write this I wish we had not done that because the full time job that I had while we were starting out, that was feeding my family, is coming to an end as my employer faces significant economic challenges. It would be ideal to have Andrés back in my corner now as I start picking up new projects. Such is life – full of challenges!