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Media freelancers were the early adopters of a work style that recognizes the importance of
relational connections and collaboration as vital to their survival.
Free-range Workers Seek Opportunity Wherever They Land
Cities are a cultural supercollider where different viewpoints, ideologies and ethnicities
inevitably spark creativity and imagination. However, there are other cities that provide a
respite from overstimulation and allow for the kind of internal reflection that later emerges in
invention or imaginative recalibrations that allow for change. We are all given choices about
where we want to live some ideal and some not. A city, whether vibrant or dull, is only
one factor that contributes to the socially constructed success of the free-range worker.
The space that is really innate to the freelancer is one of finding an unusual juxtaposition of
where their talents can be useful and getting up to speed quickly in order to produce,
create or consult. Many media freelancers may have little familiarity with a topic but they
have a willingness to explore, research and quickly learn. This is where they get excited
and their creative ideas start percolating. Alan McElroy writing projects range from Spawn,
Halloween 4 to a videogame Hellgate London or developing a television series about the
CIA and their use of special effects. These participants have the courage to jump in quickly
because they have the successful experience of learning new skills, receiving recognition
for their work, and this reinforcement allows them to enter new domains with greater
confidence.
Steven Tatar, displaying an entrepreneurial eclecticism, has worked on large-scale art
installations, designed furniture, built a house, and was also the creative director of
American Greetings and MarchFIRST. He has also spearheaded
branding/marketing/planning for the International Children’s Games to the neighborhood-
based retain Lebron James campaign. Now he’s moved into the entrepreneurial real with
Ohio Knitting Mills while working on freelance. Steven produced the Ohio Knitting Mills
Kinitting Book (http://www.ohioknittingmills.com), which celebrates four decades of
American sweater style (Tatar with Grollmus, 2010), and used this as a promotional vehicle
to entice investors, but also help them appreciate the beauty of this vintage American made
knitwear collection. In order to share a vision and bring people on board, it is about “being
inspired by those things worth valuing. Appreciation draws our eye toward life, stirs our
feelings, sets in motion our curiosity, and inspires the envisioning mind” (Cooperrider &
Whitney, 2005, pp. 26-27).
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