ADAM R. GARCIA & RICH TU
Overshare is a new Working Not Working event series and podcast that features honest conversations with our favorite creatives about the tough stuff we don't talk about in public often enough. In the third episode, WNW co-founder Justin Gignac travels to Portland during Design Week to talk to three WNW all-stars: Kate Bingaman-Burt, Rich Tu, and Adam R. Garcia.
Housed in Outpost, a 13,000 square foot industrial building, the trio give Justin the rundown on the creative scene in Portland. "One thing about teaching here is that the community is just so generous and their doors are so open," says Kate. "It’s kind of ridiculous to not tap into the community, especially when you’re a design student and you’re teaching at a design program... Even though I’ve been here for 8 years, I’m still so in awe at how generous the community is. It’s a game-changer." Adam adds, "This place really does exemplify the idea of openness both creatively and collaboratively...there’s a cutthroatness that doesn’t need to exist here because of the creative infrastructure of this city."
Rich, the newest Portlander, shares the challenge of retooling some of his New York City tendencies. "I’m struggling with shedding a bit of the New Yorker out of me. I remember when I first got here, I was riding the train and I was like hoodie, sunglasses, don’t fuckin talk to me. Thinking 'have to be in the zone, on the way to work.' But then of course, going to work at the Swoosh, every one takes the same fuckin train. Inevitably, you’re seeing everyone at work and then you start opening up, you start becoming a human being…my next hurdle is really to become an outdoorsy guy."
Kate, Rich & Adam also open up about about their personal definitions of success and failure, and how they try to build on success and embrace and rebound from fears and failure. Rich reflects on the idea of not letting his parents down, and carrying the torch of success. "Being the child of an immigrant is a really meaningful thing. They came to the United States from the Philippines when they were twenty years old [supporting their families back in the Philippines]...and I think, 'Shit, I've got to live up to that. My mom ended up being a doctor, my dad ended up being an architect, doing amazing things off of pennies in the Philippines. I look at that, I'm like 'I can't not fail that legacy. I've got to at least do something with my life.' Having them see my success is the anti-failure for me."
As the conversation winded down, Kate was asked what advice she would give to her younger self: "It's okay to be loud. I think about the way that I was just spending a lot of worry about what people are thinking of me, trying not to have people notice me, trying not to have people listen to me. It was a lot of time that I wasted being up against the wall. It's really important to me, especially to my female students too, that it's okay to be loud. So be loud."
For those of you who couldn't join us, we have good news: you can listen to the entire conversation below on our new podcast, sponsored by FreshBooks. Subscribe to Overshare on iTunes, Soundcloud, or with any other podcasting app via our RSS feed.