How to Get On James Sommerville's Watch List

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Last month, we held the 2nd HOW Design Live @ SCAD (Season 2) interview with HOW Design Live 2017 speaker, James Sommerville, who started as a pavement artist in the U.K., ran his own world class design agency for more than 20 years and today is the VP of Global Design at the Coca-Cola Company.

(You can watch the video of the interview here -- with me and Zac Petit, fellow HOW Design Live Programming Partner, Editor in Chief of PRINT and Content Director of HOW Magazine on how (and what) large global brands can learn from entrepreneurial, start-up culture to continually evolve, transform and attract tomorrow’s talent.)

While James was in Savannah, Zac and I joined him and a few graphic design students for lunch, during which he mentioned, in passing, that he and his design team have a "Watch list" of artists and designers they're keeping an eye on for possible future projects.

One astute student asked, "So how do we get on the Watch List?"

Of course, he suggested following and connecting and tagging them on social media. 

But then he suggested something I'd never heard of before: start a native file with a relevant idea and send it to him to work on.

"We love to collaborate so what would really get our attention is if you monitor our channels and you have an idea about something that relates to them – say the Olympics or music – and you just start a piece of work and send us the native file to take a look at and work with. If we think, 'Hey, this is really cool," why wouldn't we work with you?"

“That’s all it takes?” said one of the students, in disbelief.

“Yes, that’s it. Show us you’re interested by reaching out to us. Otherwise, we probably won’t know you exist."

Did you hear that? Show you're interested by reaching out! Try it, with any prospect you want to work with. And let me know what happens!

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