Colorado Creative Series: Joe Horton

Colorado Creatives Series

In support of #AIGAatHome, we have launched the Colorado Creatives Series, an opportunity to celebrate and showcase local creatives in our area. Our Colorado Creatives will share a little about their creative process, some of their most worthwhile investments, current reading lists and more. Enjoy!


Joe Horton


He, Him, His

Where can we find you?

How have you adapted your creative process during this time?

Adapting to the current COVID-19 pandemic has been a little tricky. Typically, my process is much more collaborative, assisting the creative team at Circuit Media and having open discussions and critiques. But since in-person interaction is limited, there are a lot more Zoom meetings and phone calls to talk through ideas and develop strategies. Not my ideal, but you gotta do what you got to do!

What are you reading, listening to, or watching right now?

Right now I’ve been listening to a lot of Black Pumas, Gary Clark Jr., Khruangbin, and some oldies like Earth Wind and Fire, Nina Simone, and The Chambers Brothers. Podcasts are also on constant rotation with Creative Pep Talk, 99% Invisible and Being Freelance on the top of that list. 

What is one piece of advice you can offer to other designers right now?

It’s a good time to take inventory of skills you want to build or update your portfolio. Try starting every day off with a creative routine. A lot of us are lacking structure right now, so setting aside time to do things that get your brain going or make you feel motivated might help you push through. If you find yourself in a rut, maybe read something that’s been on your list for a while or create some tactile art. Try to get creative and experiment!

How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours?

For me, failure is just a part of being a creative. Failure means that you are pushing yourself, and if you aren’t failing, you aren’t growing. It’s all a part of the process. Here’s a good example: I had a few pro bono clients last summer I was hoping to help while also building my portfolio and refining my client communication and engagement process. It was kind of a disaster. So I tightened up those processes so that I can safeguard my time and effort and still serve the client well and deliver on quality. 

In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?

This is a great question. In the last five years I have learned to be more assertive in my personal and professional life. I feel like there are generally two types of creatives, overly confident ones and ones who tend to get overshadowed. Throughout my career, I have fallen into the latter category, and it has taken a lot of growth to build that confidence in myself. Now that I have a better grasp of that part of me, my ability to execute on an idea or concept has greatly improved.

What are you currently working on?

Currently, I’m working on a couple of internal marketing initiatives for Circuit Media and a branding project for a freelance client specializing in urban food gardens, homestead design and installation. 


By AIGA Colorado
Published June 1, 2020
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