Married to your Work

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What do you get when you cross two of Spawn’s world-class creatives?
Amazing advertisements, a kick a** wedding invite… and a baby. Oh, and logos… lots and lots of logos.

It all started 7 years ago when our current Art Director, Amy, moved here from Pennsylvania for a Spawn summer internship.

What was it like meeting each other for the first time?

Roland: Love at first sight.

Amy: I thought he looked too “creative” for me.

Fast forward a few years and they’re married. And since then have collaborated on countless Spawn projects and have gone on many, many hikes.

What is one of your favorite parts about living in Alaska?

Amy: I definitely love the hiking and the accessibility to one of the most beautiful outdoor playgrounds. I also love being located in Anchorage because you can literally hike a mountain after work and stop at Target on the way home. Doesn’t get much better than that!

Roland: Like Amy said, Anchorage is a great basecamp for exploring and experiencing so much right in our backyard. Our enthusiasm for hiking differs but our love for the outdoors is the same. That, complemented with a friend group that shares the same interests, and a fire-pit session in our backyard, is as good as a warm meal in a cabin miles away from any road system. 

We like to think of them as Spawn’s very own Jim and Pam (minus the sitcom drama, of course), our prestigious power couple.

And today we got to sit down with them both to ask a couple questions on what work’s like when you are desk neighbors with your spouse.

How much do you work together, versus working on different projects:

For the most part we work on separate projects. Each Art Director is assigned to different clients and then you pretty much oversee only their work. So, while there’s some overlap, when things get busy, we’re mostly staying in our own lane. Which I think helps us not get sick of each other.

Tell us about a project you collaborated on that you’re especially proud of:

Amy: There’s A LOT of projects I work on where I ask for Roland’s advice and so in a broader sense, I think he makes my work better as a whole. But a specific project might be the GCI rebrand. I thought we collaborated a lot on that project and took the brand look to a whole new level. And of course, the best project we collabed on would be our daughter Lily – she’s got the best of both of us!

Roland: One of my favorite projects we worked on was for our wedding. The invitations and collateral pieces were all inspired by the environment and heritage we belong to. A combination of Alaska Native and Pennsylvania Dutch influence to represent the two cultures coming together. It was both challenging and fun to say the least, but in the end, I thought it represented us well.

Tell us how working with your spouse makes your work better:

Amy: I feel like this is easier for me to answer because I really respect and look up to Roland’s creative eye. He truly is the master of layouts and the best designer at Spawn so I’m so grateful to be able to get his input on projects I’m working on.

Roland: Since we’re so FREE to being open with each other and expressing our opinions it challenges our (my) thinking. Which is good. It helps refine our craft and elevates our projects to a place we may not have expected. Working with your partner isn’t for everyone, especially when your work can be so subjective. But I do love that what I do in collaboration with my wife makes me better and excited.

First, give us your love story in three sentences or less:

Roland: Of all the advertising joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.

What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve faced working with your partner?

Amy: We definitely have different creatives processes which at times can be challenging but, in the end, I think our styles really complement each other and our work is better because of it.

Roland: Scheduling a vacation together. 

Amy: Agreed!

How do you keep work at work?

Amy: This is a tough question because so much of our lives are centered around Spawn in some form or another. Our friend group is largely made up of Spawners and with so much overlap it is kind of hard to keep work at work. But I think a benefit of living in Alaska is that there’s so many adventures waiting for us outside – it makes it easy to keep a balanced work-life. We always try to carve out time away from work to enjoy this beautiful state.

Roland: Agreed, it’s hard not to think or talk about work outside of work. As a creative, a great idea for a project may not present itself between 8am-5pm but may come out of a conversation we have at dinner or pillow talk. Now that we have an 8-month-old it’s easier for me to switch gears and concentrate on being a dad in the evenings and not worry about resizing a 300×250 web banner.

What’s your True North when it comes to working with your spouse here at Spawn?

Amy: I think for me it would be to enjoy our work life together, have fun and be a great team. We understand each other’s jobs so well and I don’t think that’s true for many married couples. While it can be challenging, I think it also allows us to be really helpful to each other’s work which is pretty cool.

Roland: Happy wife, happy life.

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