In today’s episode we have a very special guest: Cornelius ‘Hank’ Washington. Hank is an art director, designer and illustrator born and raised in Mississippi. We chatted about what he had to go through during the past 10 years to make it as a designer and build his creative business… So without further ado, let’s get into the show!

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Show Notes for This Episode:

[1:00] Did Hank and Dustin meet at Creative South?
[2:20] Here is who Hank is in a nutshell.
[3:00] 10 years of paying the bills with design.
[4:00] Hank’s work is vibrant and bold.
[5:00] Find Hank through his website and Instagram.
[6:00] Lisa Condon and Andy J. Pizza inspiration.
[7:00] Feel good art.
[8:00] The three dimensional feel of Hank’s work.
[9:30] Growing up in an area with little opportunity.
[10:30] Hank walks away from factory work to find a better path in life.
[11:20] A creative friend introduces Hank to design.
[12:00] Hank realizes what he wants to do in life.
[13:00] Realizing a living can be made through design.
[14:00] What motivated Hank to continue with design?
[16:00] Hank’s brother was his inspiration and biggest fan.
[17:00] Growing up in the era of “The Starving Artist”.
[18:00] Art is a hobby not a job.
[19:00] Creating while living in an area where life is slower.
[20:10] Do you have to live in NY, LA or Portland to make it in design?
[21:00] Getting a lot of love in your own hometown builds success.
[22:00] Live anywhere and succeed.
[23:00] 5G is going to open the world to so many creatives.
[24:00] Creative explosion coming soon.
[25:00] Create with what you have not what you want.
[27:30] Tom asks Hank for golden nuggets that propelled his career.
[28:00] Knowing we are just as important as other careers.
[29:00] Networking, connections and relationships are key.
[30:00] Network with people you’re aligned with or fake it?
[31:30] Networking as the shy guy.
[32:30] Tom’s Creative South icebreaker.
[33:00] Stop psyching yourself up for networking jitters.
[34:20] Put yourself in a position to win. Surround yourself with winners.
[35:00] Doesn’t matter how skilled you are, be skilled at kindness.
[36:00] Finding your style. Lost in the desert of opportunity.
[37:00] Separate what you love to do for yourself and what you love to do for others.
[38:00] Focus on the ideas and concepts.
[39:00] Avoiding shiny object syndrome.
[40:00] Find your “I feel good about what I’m doing spot ”and promote that.
[41:00] What inspires Hank’s ideas?
[42:00] Inspiration pours from being present in life.
[43:30] You will find what you are looking for. Look for the good.
[44:00] What makes you a great human will make you an even better creative.
[45:10] Hank talks social injustice.
[46:30] Growing up in a racially divided area.
[47:00] Hank sees a difference in the design community demographic.
[48:00] Feedback that doesn’t elevate.
[50:00] Becoming the creative person you were meant to become.
[51:10] Hank would like to see this happen within the creative community.
[52:00] How do we make strides forward?
[53:30] Hank doesn’t know what one thing could change the creative world.
[54:00] Empathy by knowing where students are coming from.
[55:00] Relative teaching styles and techniques to reach young creatives.
[56:00] Talent is not an issue.
[57:00] Teaching kids how to build relationships that gain you work.
[58:00] Artists are the mirrors of the world.
[59:00] We can challenge people to think differently about race.
[1:00:00] More conversation and more empathy.
[1:01:00] Clarifying the creative racial divide.
[1:02:00] We have the talent, but we need to help them find opportunities.
[1:03:30] Relationships bring more opportunity.
[1:05:30] Creative South cancellation was a brave move.
[1:07:15] Tom talks about Southern American food.
[1:08:10] Ian’s Chicken and Waffles experience.
[1:09:30] Special thank you to Hank for coming on the show.
[1:10:00] See more of Hank here.
[1:11:30] That’s a wrap!

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“A must for every creative freelancer (or those aspiring to freelance). Thank you for being so… honest! Such a wealth of information from people I admire who have ‘been there and done that’. Listening to the podcast every week feels like I’m among friends. Can’t wait for more episodes!”AG_GD