This post didn't go as planned.
We try to mix things up. Putting out good stuff is one thing, but people need variety too. So we last publish Samantha Miller's customer spotlight, then naturally we think: time to let the spotlight cool down. Post something else.
How silly of us.
We got connected with Corey George and he quickly agreed to send in his responses. Upon seeing them, we quickly decided that, to hell with it, we're doing two spotlights in a row. (Also, Samantha and Corey are separate people.)
But after all, this is why we started doing customer spotlights. If you'll pardon our French, we started thinking: y'all gotta see this shit!
Each person we spotlight is unique and has at least one (if not multiple) talents that make us weep with envy. In Corey's case? Well, your humble author/editor's sharpest artistic skill is drawing straight-ish lines without a ruler—so yeah, tiny bit of envy. (But Corey shares with people! Read to the end.)
The following questions and answers have been gently edited for clarity.
1. What is your notebook philosophy?
"I don't really have a 'philosophy' as far as my notebook goes... unless ADD is a philosophy!
"My code&quill is part idea book, part task list, and part sketchbook. Any given spread could have serious notes from a meeting, or a marketing campaign planned out in detail—while the opposite page could have some lettering practice or drawings of snakes with wings."
2. What's your "creative weapon" of choice?
"As a graphic designer and art director, I'm on a computer most hours of the day. So, I've typically got a mouse in my hand while working in Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign.
"But when writing in my notebooks, I typically go to my .7mm Pentel EnerGel pen. I've had the same two pens for several years and I just keep buying refills. They're so worn now that you can barely see who makes them! I just love how they write."
3. What does being a creative mean to you?
"Getting to do what I went to school for, and love to do, is pretty humbling. I realize that a lot of people aren’t as fortunate, even those with literal fortunes.
"I'm super blessed that I get to 'play' and have fun creating something new every day. For me, I think being a creative means that I’m attempting to solve problems by doing what I’m good at. And I think that way of thinking could apply to anyone—not just designers or artists.
"I believe creativity has to do more with how you think than what your job title says."
4. What do you do?
This doesn't have to mean your profession!
Do you design, create, build, dance, help, organize...?
"I've been a graphic designer for a long, long time and I LOVE it! I've worked on large-scale trade-show booth designs, layout and art direction for three national magazines, freelance work for record labels, and a ton more.
"Currently, I have the privilege of leading a small team of designers within the marketing department of a heavy-equipment manufacturer—basically an ad agency that gets to focus on just one client!
"I lead projects as varied as—let's see—brochures, catalogues, t-shirts, stickers, instructional and product videos, webpages and U/I projects, and a whole lot more (just off the top of my head). It definitely keeps my work fresh and fulfilling."
5. What do you do with your notebooks once they're full?
"I have a collection of old notebooks on my desk that I reference every so often. While working on a project for a certain product line, or a certain time of year, it's nice to go back and re-examine my old ideas and the thoughts behind them.
"My C&Qs are full of notes and task lists, but just as often they're used as sketchbooks and idea books. So it's cool to see how techniques and ideas started and progressed over time, just by flipping through my own books."
6. What would you lose if you lost your Code&Quill notebook?
"Wow! This would be... well, kind of devastating!
"I have my notebook with me in meetings or at my desk all day, every day. It keeps me on track with current tasks. I include tons of project ideas, creative brief backgrounds, strategic marketing planning notes, and everything else.
"If one was lost, it would take a LOT of time to readjust—and years of ideas would be gone. Yikes! (Should I be digitizing these???)"
7. Why Code&Quill?
"I've used several different notebooks over the years. But when I used my first Code&Quill, I was immediately swayed!
"The Origin is my go-to. I LOVE the size—big enough to work out ideas, small enough to keep with me all the time. It feels really high-end but doesn't cost a ton. I really like that it lays flat.
"Also, because I'm always drawing ideas to go along with my notes, I really appreciate the mixed layout with one page grid and one page lined. It adds a little structure to the chaos!!"
8. Last Things About Corey
"I am surrounded by creative people all day, every day! I am doing less of the day-to-day design work at my job, but the flipside is that this allows me to focus more on expressive projects outside of the office.
"After I leave the talented people I get to work with, I go home to my super-creative wife. She has an interior-design and home-organization website called Polished Habitat—we're constantly doing fun, creative projects around the house.
"I've also been inspired lately to try and use the gifts I've been given to give back. I've started issuing challenges on my Instagram page to help me find the people, charities, non-profits, and/or churches whom I could bless with pro-bono design work or a consultation.
"I'm continuing this, every month, for the foreseeable future—so, if you know (or are) someone that I could help, drop me a line!"