2 years ago the folks at FastCompany interviewed Ryan and Tina Essmaker, the married duo behind The Great Discontent, in which they share what they've learned by going deep and taking full-time what began as a side project back in 2011. It’s a really great piece that nicely encapsultes their journey and towards the end of it, Ryan’s response to the question when asked what scares him the most really resonated with me because quite frankly I think it’s something so many people wrestle with, especially the creative types. He said, "My biggest fear is not being able to work on the things I’m most excited about. That’s a reason for taking this leap [with TGD]. Something inside me dies when that happens."
In 2014 they both quit their jobs and fired up a Kickstarter campaign to launch TGD as a print magazine which I was a proud Backer for and still currently have laying nicely on the coffee table in the home office. Fast forward to now and a lot has happen. In fact, probably too fast that all you really seem to have time for is to be so excited for them because they’ve truly built an influential and moving platform that has provided us all readers greater access to minds, the process and approach from people who do creative work for a living. With a new in-depth interview that publishes every Tuesday, it’s quite frankly impossible to not walk away inspired by how much people are willing to share, to be so transparent about their work, their life and ultimately encourage you to end up tweeting a passage that resonated with you the most so as to share your enthusiasm for it.
Recently I had the opportunity to attend the very first of many #TGDlive Shows which was held at beautiful Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Tina Essmaker & Brad Smith hosted the show and on the guest panel were Chip Kidd & Jen Mussari. Both Chip and Jen were so charismatic, so hilarious in recounting their trajectory in their careers and I just got this sense from them that I tend to notice in so many creative people which is that they see through the eyes of a child and never seem to lose a sense of wonder. For them, and I’lll include myself in the bunch even though I have a hard to classifying myself as a creative person, life is about mystery, adventure and their minds are a non-stop machine fuled by intense curiosity. It’s ultimatley the source of some crazy fun activies and in this case so fun conversations.
With life in general, the more questions you ask, the smarter you’re going to get, the more creative ideas you’ll have and so as exciting and scary as this new live show platform might have been for both Tina and Ryan, I can’t imagine a more natural direction for them to have taken in order to grow TGD. I’m very much looking foward to attending future shows. I just gotta make sure I’m quick enough to RSVP in time and while the first show was essentially free, I’m be more than willing to pay for my entrance in order to show my support and make the entire endeavor sustainable in the long run.
Thank you Tina & Ryan for the Reserved seat and the opportunity to capture some moments from this new journey of yours!