Howdy Corporate Coworking- Part I

A Bit About the Journey to Corporate Coworking

This is the first in a five part series on corporate coworking here at Conjunctured,  We have been in the kitchen now for quite some time, and are starting to take some goodies out of the oven.

Over the past couple of years we have been exploring various ways to grow our business.  On several occasions we came frighteningly close to signing leases on BIG and very costly spaces.  It makes sense, it seems, that if a coworking space aims to grow it would want to open a second or perhaps bigger location.  For quite some time we were driven to have multiple spaces here in Austin.  Not so much any more.

Thing is, there are such awesome coworking spaces (Vuka, Link, Posh, Plug and Play, Soma Vida, Capital Factory, Center 61, Golab, Tech Ranch, to name just a few) already spread throughout Austin, that that need is already being met.  Overall, we have one of the most balanced and vibrant coworking ecosystems in the world.  Just another of many reasons to love Austin!

As we explored various options and directions, it became clear that the coworking world, both here and around the world, is healthy and thriving.  However, there are other parts of the world, particularly many of the world’s large companies, that are in desperate need of cultural renewal.  Recent research by Right Management Consultants shows that 86% of corporate employees surveyed indicated that they are looking to move jobs in the coming year.  This is horrible (and costly news) for human resource managers across the corporate landscape.

Meanwhile, other firms, such as Macquarie Bank in Sydney, are embracing Activity Based Work, a workforce/workspace management solution that is eerily similar to traditional coworking. In ABW workplaces, all employees (including the CEO and other officers) forgo offices and are instead armed with a laptop and a locker.  People come and go and work in one of 8 Neighborhoods or Cafes, and move around from space to space on a daily basis.

one shelly street Howdy Corporate Coworking  Part I

What Macquarie discovered was that the design of the space actually became a lever, or mechanism, for initiating significant change in the company.  Participants cite the accessibility of the CEO (who works out in the open space with everyone else), and the elimination of meetings (because everyone is accessible all the time anyway) as drivers of what they refer to as the democratization of their workplace.  What starts as a design project becomes a cultural change project.

Coworking spaces are not encumbered by all of the toxic politics that define so many companies.  Rather, we all work in spaces where we choose to go.  If companies could possibly tap into the energy and vitality that thrive each day in coworking spaces around the world, there is no question that this would make the world a better place.  The values that the coworking community stands for ( autonomy, community, transparency, accessibility, fairness, collaboration, innovation, authenticity), as has been pioneered and exemplified over many years now by New Work City, Indy Hall, Office Nomads, Citizen Space, etc., are in short supply in much of the (corporate) world.  Our vision for launching corporate coworking (our version of Activity Based Work) stems from this recognition- working in a large firm does not have to suck!

Hopefully this is just the beginning of a long journey that has many passengers.

Efficient, Cheap, and Soulless: The Global Afterlife of Capitalism

Donating to the problem

 

afterlife of clothes Efficient, Cheap, and Soulless: The Global Afterlife of CapitalismIn an NPR story this morning, The Global Afterlife of Your Donated Clothes, we learn yet more about the dark side of our cultural addiction to cheapness.  Some 80% of donated clothes ends up in the hands of the textile recycling industry, which simply puts those materials back into the wicked cycle.  Twice in the past half-year manufacturing facilities in Bangladesh have collapsed/caught on fire, killing scores of innocent people in the process.  In what can only be described as slave-labor conditions, workers in this Bangladesh facility were required to return to work even when employees at the bank in the same building were told to stay home because of safety concerns with the building.

Cheap costs dear

Sadly this is nothing new.  This is the stuff of Wal Mart’s “everyday low prices,” or of its more recent promise- Save Money, Live Better.  In her book, Cheap, Ellen Ruppel Shell documented the interconnections between bangladesh collapse afp670 Efficient, Cheap, and Soulless: The Global Afterlife of Capitalismour addiction to cheap and the global labor conditions that make cheapness possible.  Her book is informative, depressing, and important.

At Foxconn’s manufacturing facility in Shenzhen Province, where yours and my iPhones were made, 17 people committed suicide in 2010-2011.  With little to no social mobility, and unable to ever buy the products they make, workers there are caught, like their peers in Bangladesh, in the crossfires of our love of cheapness. And efficiency.

What’s Wrong with Efficiency?

So why is this a problem?  From a managerial perspective, of course, this is not a problem at all.  Rather, it is a reality, the realization and application of principles of efficiency carefully taught and learned in business schools around the world.  Even more to the point, it is the realization of a management agenda dictated, in large part, by the triumph Wall Street and their Economist lovers (see the Chicago School here).

Ronald Coase, 1991 Nobel Laureate in Economics, has recently been worrying about this too.  In his 2012 Harvard Business Review article, Saving Economics from the Economists, Coase challenges the hegemony of economistic thinking, suggesting that what he calls Blackboard Economics has replaced our understanding of how people and culture, not numbers and statistics, actually sit at the center of any economy.  “Coase argues that in the early 20th century, economists began to focus on relationships among statistical measures, rather than problems that firms have with production or people have with decisions.”  “It is suicidal for the field to slide into a hard science of choice,” Coase writes in HBR, “ignoring the influences of society, history, culture, and politics on the working of the economy.”

Humanistic Economics

As a remedy, Coase and a few colleagues have proposed a new economics journal, one that focuses on the human side of global business, in addition to (and not necessarily opposed to) the more narrowly defined principles of efficiency that tend to predominate today.  At the end of the day, the challenge of humanizing economic transactions won’t occur in the classroom or in a new academic journal, it will happen only through the behavior of American (and other Western) consumers.  If we were to care enough to break our addiction to Cheap, and in doing so stop rewarding the scientists of efficiency, fewer real-life tragedies like those in Bangladesh and Shenzhen would occur.

DJ

Code for America’s Civic Innovation Hackathon to be hosted at Conjunctured 2/25/12

We’re thrilled to be hosting Code for America’s big hackathon event Saturday, February 25th, at Conjunctured! Code for America is an AMAZING initiative started with the goal of “helping governments work better for everyone with the people and the power of the web.” They’re a non-profit, non-partisan, non-political 501(c)(3) organization that is bringing together tech communities and local governments across the nation to bring about innovative problem solving.

codeforamerica banner Code for Americas Civic Innovation Hackathon to be hosted at Conjunctured 2/25/12From the KXAN article: “Last year, Code for America developers in Boston helped create an app that let parents track school bus routes in real time. The app not only provided information to parents, it also helped free up city staff who routinely handle a large number of calls about delayed school buses during winter weather events in Boston.” How cool is that?! I’m excited to see what the Austin folks come up with!

Code for America helps governments become more connected, lean, and participatory through new opportunities for public service — both inside and outside government — so we’re not only making a direct impact everyday, but also creating the relationships and network for lasting change. – “How we make a difference” Code for America

Austin is one of eight cities participating in a coordinated hackathon on February 25 called “Code Across America: A National Day of Civic Innovation.” In fact, even our mayor is a big proponent of the organization’s efforts:

“I think it would be good if Austin could work with Code for America fellows and create new applications for our community… I know Austin’s tech community will be very interested in the Fellowship program – it’s a great opportunity.” – Mayor Lee Leffingwell

The all day event at Conjunctured (on a hopefully beautiful Saturday) begins at 9:30am and will go until 7pm. It’s free to participate. If you’d like to come, here’s the info page with the RSVP sign up link:

Code Across America ATX: A Civic Innovation Hackathon

Relevant Articles:


If you have an idea for an event you’d like to host at the Conjunctured house, we’d be happy to have you! Check out our event booking page for information.

The Death of the Press Release

If for some reason you decide you want to irritate me by email, there’s a very easy way. OK, the easiest is telling me I’ve won the UK lottery or that you’re a Nigerian prince in a tough spot (unless there’s a funny typo in there — I’m a sucker for a good typo). But the second-best way? Send me a press release. It doesn’t matter if it’s on a topic I write about or one I’ve never heard of — I hate press releases with a burning passion.

Journalists are supposed to be impartial and unbiased, so when someone approaches me who’s being paid to promote a specific product or service, I’m instantly wary. The moment I see a press release, I give it a scoff of irritation and and quickly hit delete.

I admit: Sometimes press releases work well. Newsworthy topics can get a positive response, and online journalists use press releases frequently. But if you’re pouring money into press releases that aren’t getting you any publicity, maybe it’s time to re-examine your strategy.

Now for the good news.

There are other ways to get your name and your company’s name in front of potential customers — and they’re free. Journalists spend a lot of time looking for sources to interview. If you’re qualified to provide insight, you may well get better exposure than any ol’ press release could provide. Think about all the expertise you’ve gained in X during your X number of years in the X business. Surely these topics are in the news from time to time.

Maybe you’re an underwater photographer, and could comment on the decline of a particular type of fish. Or perhaps you’re a teacher who runs a pet-sitting business on the side, and could comment on how hard it is to make a living wage as a teacher these days. Giving the media insight into any of these topics can help provide valuable exposure for your business.

I’m not suggesting you pretend to be an expert when you’re not. I’m suggesting you think about the ways in which you genuinely are an expert in something, then find the journalists who are writing about these topics.

So how do you find the right journalists? You may already know some of them. Think about the blogs, newspapers, TV programs and magazines you already pay attention to that cover your field. Consider sending the journalists an introduction email, perhaps commenting on a recent article or report they’ve done. (We love knowing that people are paying attention to our work!)

Here are some other ways to up your odds of getting quoted:

  • Make sure journalists and editors you meet know what you do. If I’m looking for a bakery owner to interview about the rising cost of flour, and I remember someone I met a few months ago, I’d rather go to him or her than spend time searching for someone else. Likewise, sometimes a magazine editor will provide the name of someone I should interview, so even if an editor you know doesn’t do any actual writing, he or she may be a useful contact.
  • Use social media. If you know me, you may know that while I’m liberal with the F word, I don’t take the T word lightly. So believe me when I say that in this case, both Facebook and Twitter are your friends. Find journalists who specialize in your field. Follow them. When they tweet about needing to interview someone who fits your description, let them know. (Bonus points: If you know someone else who fits the description, make the introduction. We will love you and be 10 times more likely to use your expertise in the future).
  • Sign up for Help a Reporter Out, Reporter Connection and News Basis. Here’s how it works: Journalists post a description of whom they’re looking to interview, and potential sources can email them with why they’d be perfect. Just make sure you really do fit the bill before responding to a query.
  • Lastly, follow up. If you initially get a positive response from a journalist but then don’t hear back for a couple of weeks, write to him or her again with a polite reminder. Be persistent but not annoying, and you may strike gold.

SXSW 2011 Brings Together Global Coworking Community

Despite the geographic distance between coworking spaces worldwide, coworking space owners and community managers have done remarkably well at maintaining and building an online community of support to help one another grow the coworking movement. It’s not every day that you get to take a thriving online community and see it happen first hand in the real world. The Coworking Unconference and the Coworking Happy Hour brought together the coworking community like never before.

Coworking Unconference

To coincide with SXSW, the very first U.S. Coworking Unconference was organized and brought to fruition by the fine folks over at LooseCubes. LooseCubes helps people nationwide find a “friendly place to work.” Attracting space owners, coworkers, and community managers from all over the country (and a few global folks too), the Unconference was a rousing success! The event ran smoothly all day, filled with breakout sessions run in a casual, lets-have-some-real-conversations approach. In addition to the breakout session there was also a keynote led by Tony Bacigalupo, founder of NYC’s New Work City and a moderated panel to close out the day. Here’s a clip of the panel moderated by Alex Hillman, founder of (Indy Hall), where he interviews a panel of other coworking space owners from across the country, “Who coworks now and in the future?”:

0081 SXSW 2011 Brings Together Global Coworking Community
Source: GoneCoworking.com

Here’s a great article from a Shareable writer who attended the Coworking Unconference:
Visions of the Future of Work at the Coworking Unconference

SXSW Coworking Happy Hour

coworking happy hour e1301690149636 SXSW 2011 Brings Together Global Coworking Community

With the flood of coworking enthusiasts already in town, we figured there was no better time than SXSWi to invite all attendees from the unconference as well as others passionate about the coworking movement over to our coworking home, Conjunctured, for a party. (Here’s the attendee list) So we partnered with local coworking spaces (Link Coworking & Creative Space) and a variety of we-love-coworking company sponsors to host a happy hour, 4-7pm on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in the Texas sun.

The coworking movement is huge

It’s crazy to think about how much coworking has grown in the last years. There were people visiting from all over the world, and we soon found out people are coworking all over – some as far as Berlin and Stockholm. And, the coworking movement has become so huge, spaces are popping up all over. Below is a map that shows everywhere our happy hour attendees have coworked. (We sketched a basic map on the dry erase board and attendees started filling it in!)

photo 300x224 SXSW 2011 Brings Together Global Coworking Community

We met owners and community managers from all over the country – some with big, open spaces that can fit 80 people; others with smaller spaces that are better for just a few freelancers.

Coworking unifies people

One of the biggest things that was evident was how much coworking unifies people. Regardless of where the space is located, its general vibe or personality, coworking brings together people who may not have otherwise worked together. It gives them a reason to go into “the office” and get work done because that’s what everyone else is doing – and they know there’s a supportive community waiting.

Coworking is going to keep growing

Here’s a video of Liz Elam, owner of Link Coworking, here in Austin talking about the likely continued explosion of coworking spaces:

If you missed the 2011 Austin Coworking Happy Hour, take a look at some of the photos captured by Deskmag and some more here too: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=18547482893&aid=277409.

We want to give a huge thank you to the following companies that made the 2011 SXSW Coworking Happy Hour possible:

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Sponsors

We’d like to thank the following sponsors for supporting copartying.

Premier Sponsors

turnstone SXSW 2011 Brings Together Global Coworking Community

Partners

hparty SXSW 2011 Brings Together Global Coworking Community Sam Logo SXSW 2011 Brings Together Global Coworking Community emma SXSW 2011 Brings Together Global Coworking Community
sfco SXSW 2011 Brings Together Global Coworking Community    

Co-Sponsors

deskmaglogo SXSW 2011 Brings Together Global Coworking Community losecube SXSW 2011 Brings Together Global Coworking Community popchips SXSW 2011 Brings Together Global Coworking Community linkcoworking SXSW 2011 Brings Together Global Coworking Community
conjunctured SXSW 2011 Brings Together Global Coworking Community cs SXSW 2011 Brings Together Global Coworking Community cocoa coder SXSW 2011 Brings Together Global Coworking Community LiquidSpace SXSW 2011 Brings Together Global Coworking Community
small business labs SXSW 2011 Brings Together Global Coworking Community zanbyLogo SXSW 2011 Brings Together Global Coworking Community    

14 Reasons Why Joining a Coworking Space Beats Renting Your Own Private Office Space

For the past two years I’ve heard loud and clear (direct from Conjunctured members) why coworking is the way to go for them. We’ve been open for a little more than two years now and I’ve spoken with just about everyone that has walked in the front door. Members, visitors, and I have discussed all kinds of things. Specific to coworking, we’ve talked about what they’re looking for in an office, complaints about their previous setup, their experience working from home, the positives of being in a coworking environment, the negatives of being in a normal office, etc.

I decided I would share some of these things I’ve learned in a top list of sorts for coworking. I tried to make it general and not super specific to how Conjunctured does coworking. Every coworking space does things a little bit different, so I tried to focus on the commonalities. This list will be good for those of you out there that are considering coworking, but you’re just not sure if it’s really the right solution for you. Or perhaps you’re trying to convince a friend (or spouse!) of yours they need to get the heck outta the house! Feel free to send them this list to nudge them along and direct them to the nearest coworking space in their city or neighborhood. There’s coworking locations all over the globe, with a coworking space in pretty much every major USA city (see graphic below). No excuses!

Screen shot 2010 10 17 at 11.25.19 PM 14 Reasons Why Joining a Coworking Space Beats Renting Your Own Private Office Space

So, without further adieu…14 Reasons Why Joining a Coworking Space Beats Renting Your Own Private Office Space

  1. No lease! Coworking is month-to-month.

    Most commercial office spaces require you to sign at least a one year lease and many times even longer. Commitment issues? Flexibility is the name of the game in the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship.

  2. Working alone sucks: the need for social interaction.

    In your own private office, yes, you can shut the door and concentrate. But the lack of human interaction for some is very difficult. After all, human beings are naturally social creatures. Simply being in a coworking spaces will give you that social element without you even having to try.

  3. Office spaces are expensive! Coworking grants you low startup costs and low overhead

    As much as people join coworking spaces for social reasons, it is hard to deny the logical reasoning. Moving into your own private office costs money. Furniture, equipment, monthly utilities, internet access, fridge (and everything to stock it with) —- all of it costs money! Wouldn’t you rather spend the money investing in your company and simply borrow all the office stuff? Coworking gives you that option.

  4. A unique place to meet clients.

    Yes, a private office gives you the opportunity to do this too. Many times, though, coworkers enjoy bringing clients by and sharing what an innovative workspace they work in. Choosing to headquarter your company in a coworking space shows your client you’re on the edge of innovation and apart of the small business community in your local city.

  5. Make professional contacts.

    There’s something about coworking spaces that attract specialists in their industries. As a result, working in a coworking space rather than a private office space allows you to weed through the mediocre professionals and jump straight to the best. It’s very common for people to hire each other as contractors, establish mutually beneficial partnerships between member companies in related fields, and even to start up companies together. It happens more often than you think.

  6. Make friends.

    There’s something about being around the same people every day that allows you to slowly get to know one another. Friendship is pretty hard to guarantee, but it’s pretty easy to make a friend or ten when you work in a coworking space. It’s very common for people to go to lunch together, grab drinks after, do weekend trip together, etc.

  7. Receive pro-bono consulting.

    Need an opinion on your company’s new logo? How about you lean over to the graphic designer next to you and get his quick opinion. Need feedback on your new headline for your soon-to-be-submitted advertisement? Ask the copywriter down the hall to give it a quick read. The scenarios are endless. Certainly, you don’t want to bug someone and get free advice all the time. The law of reciprocation definitely holds true in a coworking space. With a spirit of giving, often you get much more in return.

  8. Learn about and become a part of the local entrepreneur, social media, tech community.

    Many coworking spaces host events for local meetups and get togethers. And if they don’t, many times the members are attending them, so all you have to do is keep your ears open and you’ll naturally learn the inside scoop on the important events to attend.

  9. Share important contacts

    Coworking is a perfect example of the “six degrees of separation” philosophy. Example: At Conjunctured, we share media contacts we have good relationships with so that when one member needs to get some press attention it’s just a matter of an introduction.

  10. Build yours and your company’s brand and reputation.

    Often times coworking spaces will promote their members to the local community. Conjunctured has a specialists page where we promote freelancers, a members directory, and also have a weekly featured member that is spotlighted on the main page.

  11. Have a cool place to host company events, workshops, parties

    Often times if you were to get a private office, it wouldn’t be as spacious as a coworking space. Most coworking spaces allow their members to utilize the space however they want as if it were their own. At Conjunctured we’ve hosted company launch parties, a book release party, organization meetings, workshops and more. Members have a free for all and genuinely feel like it is their office.

  12. Be more productive.

    It seems counterintuitive that being around other people would cause you to be more productive, doesn’t it? There’s this interesting phenomenon coworking seems to have discover: social pressure. There’s something to be said for being surrounded by others who are working hard, staying focused, and making big things happen. There’s something about overhearing your coworking neighbor close a big deal on the phone that’ll get you motivated to make big things happen too! It’s hard to daydream and stare off into space too much when you’re around others.

  13. Experience a pet-friendly work environment

    Many coworking spaces allow pets. Animals bring a new dynamic to the workplace. There’s something about having pets around that keeps things fresh and fun. See our blog post: Coworking’s Best Friend.

  14. Learning little things you wouldn’t expect.

    Many coworkers at Conjunctured have learned to make a barista quality latte on our commercial quality espresso machine. It’s a fun talent that many enjoy sharing with others. No doubt there have been a few that have brushed up on their chess skills and their guitar skills at Conjunctured, as they’re both just there, waiting to be played. We even had one member start trying the crossfit workout program after another member spoke so highly of it. And we have shared library where members bring in books that were integral to their professional and personal growth. With a spirit of sharing and community, learning comes naturally.

I hope this list was helpful to you! If you can think of more ideas I forgot on why joining a coworking space rocks, then by all means comment below!

Recap: Two Years of Austin Coworking – Anniversary Party

It was definitely great to see some old friends as well as getting to meet some remarkable new folks too at our Two Year Anniversary Party on August 21 (205 RSVP’s!). It always AMAZES us the exceptionally genuine people we’ve been privileged to meet over time through the Conjunctured community of friends and supporters. So, thanks for the amazement! Also, with your help, we were even able to raise some money for an East Austin classroom.

A word about our kickass sponsors…

We’d love for all our parties to be as great as this one, but can’t do it without generous sponsors. Please let our food and drink sponsors know you appreciated their goodness by interacting with them on Twitter & Facebook:

Tito’s Handmade Vodka@titosvodka, fb fanpage

East End Wines@eastendwines, fb fanpage

KIND Snack Bars@kindsnacks, fb fanpage

Sweet Leaf Tea@sweetleaf, fb fanpage

The Green Cart@thegreencart, fb fanpage

In case you missed the party, or simply to refresh your mind, here’s some highlights from the night:

Video time lapse

- can you spot who spends the most time at the bar? icon wink Recap: Two Years of Austin Coworking   Anniversary Party

Credit: Conjunctured Two Year Anniversary Party from Nick Simonite on Vimeo.

Live Art throughout the night

There was a team of artists set up in the back doing randomly inspired pieces of artwork. Each were improvisational, and some even were based on a MadLibs-esque suggestion system. Special thanks to Zach Taylor for organizing the artists and helping to create some unique visuals

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Good eating

Special thanks to Green Cart, West End Bistro, and KIND Snack Bars.

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Good drinking

Special thanks to Tito’s Vodka, East End Wines, Sweet Leaf Tea & of course Mando and Sharlee (bartenders extraordinare!)

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Music by Andrei Matei

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Chatting it up in the back

We turned our back parking lot into extra space for the party. Some christmas lights go a long way! This was the first time we’ve opened up the back for a party, and it turned out great! We had the music from inside piped to the back too.

4924434059 81dddb428d Recap: Two Years of Austin Coworking   Anniversary Party

4924565631 3c257490e2 Recap: Two Years of Austin Coworking   Anniversary Party

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Chatting it up in the front

A number of us were hanging out on the picnic tables or on the front porch enjoying the nice cool breeze.

4924436521 5b0516d878 Recap: Two Years of Austin Coworking   Anniversary Party

Chatting it up inside

Nothing beats a lil a/c and good people

4924539781 612242b96e Recap: Two Years of Austin Coworking   Anniversary Party

4925067314 11368322a8 Recap: Two Years of Austin Coworking   Anniversary Party

More Photos:

Flickr Photos:

www.flickr.com

 Recap: Two Years of Austin Coworking   Anniversary Party conjunctured’s Conjunctured’s 2 Year Anniversary Party photoset

Conjunctured Party Facebook Photo Album – Feel free to tag yourself!

Conjunctured Party photos on TwitC – The founder of TwitC stopped by and took a bunch of photos too. Check ‘em out!

Drawings by Honoria Starbuck – did you get drawn and eavesdropped on by our live sketch artist guest? Take a look and see!

Help A Classroom Out

donors choose chess Help A Classroom Out

Mr. K.'s Classroom

On our 2 year anniversary party RSVP Eventbrite invitation we asked generous party attendees to contribute money to East Austin Schools. We are thrilled to have raised $85 via this casual request for donations. To top it off some, Conjunctured is going to pitch in an additional $25 to the cause. What is the cause exactly?

Mr. K.’s mathematics class at “Austin Can! Academy” a school for at-risk students, located 5 minutes away from Conjunctured, needs color and black ink cartridges for their classroom printouts. We’ve donated the $110 in donations we raised from the party and want you to take this project on home.

If you have not already donated or would like to donate more, please go to Donors Choose right now and donate a small amount of money to this cause. If money is tight, please use their social media links on the page to promote the cause.

Thanks again to everyone who came out to celebrate our 2 year anniversary and very special thanks to everyone who donated!

Featured Artist, Lavanna Martin – Austin Guerilla Coffee Shop Portrait Artist

Featured Artist, Lavanna Martin – Austin Guerilla Coffee Shop Portrait Artist

This is a guest post from new featured artist on display at Conjunctured, Lavanna Martin, who was featured in the Austin American Statesman, Artist devoted to ‘guerrilla’ coffee shop portraits.

I started painting “live” in coffee houses in Austin in the spring of 2008. I had thought about doing it for years, and had always drawn people with my mind’s eye in public.

After almost a year of terrible stagnation in the studio, I began formulating my first attempts at “live” painting. I chose the coffee houses because I knew that the bohemian “anything goes” attitude would afford me the comfort and cover that I required. (I had worked at the legendary, original coffeehouse, Les Amis, profiled in the movie, “Slacker”).

The first day, I set out for Epoch Coffee, the 24-hour hipster hang-out closest to my house, and painted until time to pick up my daughter from school. I went back that evening. I was hooked. The first day, I did 9 paintings. I was in my element.

By August, I ran into another former Les Amis waitress at the Spider House. She got a kick out of what I was doing, and told me to start a blog. I didn’t know the difference between a blog and a website, and didn’t have a clue how to begin. While researching places to practice my “guerrilla painting” (a moniker given to me by local graffiti artists that thought I was their age), I found out about Cafe Caffeine, and the “jelly”, originally started by the Conjunctured boys. Well, I went there, hoping that they could hep me start a blog. From there, I followed the trail over to their new location on East 7th.

David Walker helped me set up my blog “I Stare At People” on WordPress, . Since that time, the blog has grown “organically” to a Page 4 ranking – pretty shocking for just a local art blog.

I’m still doing it – painting live. I keep a record of everything that I paint. At first, by journal entries pasted on the backs of the paintings, and now, my blog serves this purpose. I even record my color palette for every painting.

The paintings are all live, with no touch-up or re-dos in the studio.

I would really like to branch out of the coffee house to do “guerrilla painting” anywhere.

In the past, I have refused to sell them, or give them away. I’m rethinking that.

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If you’d like to come view Lavanna’s artwork at Conjunctured, swing on by 1309 E. 7th Street M-F 9a-6pm.

What’s Conjunctured Coworking been up to lately? July 2010 Update

What’s Conjunctured Coworking been up to lately? July 2010 Update

june newsletter header.1 Whats Conjunctured Coworking been up to lately? July 2010 Update

Howdy!

There’s been a few things going on here at 1309 E. 7th Street. Here’s a few nuggets of info to keep you in the know:

  1. We’ve been consistently building our community of members. Lot’s of new faces around here! Check out our updated members and alumni page here: http://conjunctured.com/members
  2. Last Friday, we hosted our first ever "Help a Coworker Out Night" – a roundtable discussion with members and alumni centered around one current member, in this case, Nik Daftary of Moodfish.com. We collaborated together to help brainstorm creative solutions to current business issues. It was a great success and a lot of fun. Here’s a few photos:

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=181169&id=18547482893&ref=mf
  3. Speaking of Moodfish…they’re in the running for "Coolest New Austin Company!" You’ve probably met Nik Daftary—he’s actually our longest consecutive member. Help a fellow coworker out by voting for Moodfish by clicking on this link: Voting closes TODAY (friday), please vote for Moodfish now

    http://abjentrepreneur.com/contest_nomination.html
  4. A month or so ago we launched our first "Launch a business night" where seven of us all got together at Conjunctured and launched a business in just one night—it was pretty crazy and random, but lot’s of fun. Read the blog post here, that Shelly Leonard (Owner of SparkNight) was nice enough to write up.
  5. We’ve been starting to use the Conjunctured Facebook fan page quite a bit to share news and invite friends to happy hours, etc. If you’re not a fan yet, "like" us here:

    http://www.facebook.com/conjunctured
  6. Back in March, We were featured in USA Today, on the front page of the "Money" Section. It’s the 2nd link on our press page:

    http://conjunctured.com/press
  7. We got all new furniture in April thanks to the generosity of Conjunctured friend, Drew Jones, and author of "I’m Outta Here: how co-working is making the office obsolete". Stop by and check it out if you haven’t yet!
That’s it for now! Cheers to you—look forward to seeing you soon!

Much love,

The Conjunctured Crew