Almost a year since I started The Work Project, I’m thinking about closure. The only aim when this all kicked off was to discover whether, in twelve months, I could remove myself from all of the usual structures of work and find a living. It proved itself possible. In a great way, that has left me open and out there to continue with my re-evaluated relationship with work.
But what about the people I started this to help? At the moment is the project doing enough to provide something useful?
Recently, I was sharing a beer with someone whose opinion I regard highly. She suggested that I ought to do something to mark the end of the original year. It’s an exciting idea and, as I’m also looking at how I can do more with all the insight I’ve gained while involving more people in The Work Project, I thought I’d share some ideas here, in the spirit of working out loud.
Here’s what I’m thinking… I’d really appreciate your feedback:
- The Way Forward: Opening The Work Project to Everyone
We all work and we all have different ideas, experiences and insight to share. In fact ‘work’ means something different to each of us, as I discovered when I did a short video project earlier in the year. There have been some ideas bubbling under, but I think that after twelve months The Work Project should continue to share resources and insight I’ve gained, but encourage contribution and participation from others far more widely – and in more interesting ways.I’ll separate out the project from myself, give it its own Twitter Account and Facebook page, focussing on promoting more widely the free resources it can share to help anyone and everyone rethink their relationship with work in a positive way. Things like The Work Canvas. Finally, I’ll launch the t-shirts I’ve been threatening for months and support The Amber Foundation with every sale.I’ll then launch the creative submissions pieces based around creative writing, personal insight, photography and other insightful and artistic projects. More on that to follow, but the aim would be to use creativity to help everyone change their perspective on ‘work’ and understand what it actually means to them.
There will be admin costs around all of this, but I’ll find creative approaches to meet these, which will further the project’s insights. Things like Patreon.
- Closing the First 12 Months in Style
For a while I’ve been mulling over a creative project that crosses over digital and physical art forms, combining formal with creative. I think The Work Project would provide a really interesting platform to try this out.The Work Project was started when I met a man named John at a barbecue and was taken aback by some statements he made around his work and the reasons why people work. He became a cardboard cut-out character that illustrated the plight of the faceless worker.I’m thinking about tracking down the real John.
Interviewing him over a beer –about his views on work, the project he inspired (which I don’t think he knows exists) and how he could rethink his work- I’ll record the conversation. The recording will be edited and I’ll write piece of music to set it to. I’ve been inspired by Public Service Broadcasting’s work with NASA’s Mission Control Recordings for this.
I’ll have the recording pressed onto a 7” vinyl and put together a collection of faceless worker photographs and a booklet providing a written perspective on ‘work’ that will complete the package. I’ll also create digital versions of the music, the full interview and other additional content, which will be downloadable via a code that comes with the vinyl. This will all be strictly limited edition and only ever pressed once.
This would be an amazing way to bring the year full circle, while continuing to explore work in new ways. I’m currently working out how to fund this – I’m leaning towards Kickstarter, but would appreciate any thoughts and feedback you might have.
When I set out on this journey, I quickly realised that to get anywhere I’d need the help of others. Your feedback now represents just that!
Whatever happens, I’ll be sharing everything with The Work Project newsletter subscribers first, so make sure you sign up for nothing more than a single weekly update, sent out on a Monday to give you food for thought for the week ahead. You can do that here!