In 2020, during level 4 and 3 of Aotearoa New Zealand’s COVID response we launched Take 10 With… an article series with you – to do a pulse check on how our community was feeling, working, what you missed, and learn about your hopes for the future.
We had feedback that you really enjoyed the series so we have tweaked the questions and invited more of our friends and peers to participate in these candid profiles of Aotearoa NZ designers today as we navigate this lockdown throughout August and September 2021 in levels 4 and 3.
1. Who are you? What’s your day job and where do you work?
Andy Wright. Day job, CEO of Streamtime. Nights and weekend jobs, Creator of Never Not Creative and Co-chair of the Mentally-Healthy Change Group.
2. Who’s in your bubble this lockdown?
My wonderful wife, Vanessa, 3 kids, Freya, Duke and Sonny, and a new addition to the family… Buddy, the Bordoodle. We also have regular, socially distanced over the fence cocktails and chats with the neighbours.
3. What do you like about lockdown?
First time around it was different. I love different. It felt like a challenge, a novelty. Everyone had to do things a bit differently. We had the challenge of working out homeschooling and work, it was fun. This time around though, not so much!
4. What do you miss in lockdown?
Choice. We all work from home now permanently. But having the choice to go and catch up with members of the team, a customer, a member of the community was nice. I’m always having conversations and coffees with interesting people that have reached out and that I’ve never met before. I’m still doing it, but only on Zoom.
5. What are you working on this week?
A few things… We’re working on a mental health check-in function in Streamtime. That’s the royal ‘we’ of course. Our very talented Head of Brand and Product, Sarah Nguyen is leading the charge. We want to help agencies run more healthily, so we’re looking at ways for teams to give each other feedback and also monitor the happiness of people. We’re also making improvements to quoting and invoicing.
NNC Circles, our mental health support groups program for creatives is just coming out of its first pilot program. I’ve been rejigging the website ready to take registrations for programs starting in September and October:
AND we’re launching an initiative addressing empathy in the creative industries. It’s called the Different Shoes project and starts with some research to get a better understanding of our definitions of empathy and how we do (or don’t) practice it with each other:
6. What are you struggling with at present?
Energy and motivation. It’s hard for everyone right now. The kids have been pretty good at homeschooling, but it can get very same-same and mundane everyday. It’s pretty tough on them, they’re not getting to see their friends much, screentime is through the roof and that just turns into a pretty temperamental cocktail for everyone. Trying to keep things in perspective and be kind to each other, no-matter-what, is the challenge.
Buddy, the Bordoodle claiming his territory
7. What did you do this week to relax?
Getting out for a walk with Buddy really helps. We’ve also been doing our Monday morning team stand-ups on Zoom while walking. Good for everyone to get out of their houses along with some alone-time – ‘for work’.
8. How are you taking care of yourself and others?
I’m doing 4 days a week for the next couple of months. Splitting the week up by spending time with some different ‘off-book’ schooling activities with the kids on Wednesdays. This week we did a Procreate tutorial, and a science experiment with water, pepper and soap. Look it up it’s 🤯 (editor’s note: definitely worth a few minutes of your day!)
My wife and I have started watching The Walking Dead again. Nice little reminder that things could be worse! 😉🧟
My workspace and view
9. What’s a book or podcast you’re enjoying at present or one you’d recommend and why?
Just one?! I’m going to cheat and give you a few:
I’m on the last book of the Hidden Iceland series by Ragnar Jonasson. I love Nordic Noir and it reminds me of trips to Northern Norway and Iceland.
Humankind and Utopia For Realists by Rutger Bregman are the best non-fiction books I’ve read in the last 5 years!
Podcasts – you’re going to let me plug Never Not Creative right? (editor’s note: Never Not Creative is a community of creatives who want to make our industry a better place – they hope to support, inspire and get together to create the ideas, tools and solutions that improve the wellbeing of everyone in the industry and promote the value of creativity in the world)
But also, the football season has started back up and so I listen to the fans phone-in after the weekend on the 606 podcast.
10. What’s a movie or series you watched this week or one you’d recommend and why?
Mr Inbetween is one of the best series I’ve watched for a long time. The lead character is completely unique. A smiling, endearing, brutal hitman that you love and fear in equal amounts. I don’t know why he hasn’t been in more shows! And of course, the Paralympics. Always in awe and complete admiration of these amazing athletes.