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Regulars / Very Nice Valentine's

First Dates for those who create: Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman talk dating and working (and both)

Jessica Walsh (partner at Sagmiester Walsh) and designer Timothy Goodman’s most famous collaboration is the bonkers performance art/rom-com/design project 40 Days of Dating, which saw the pair try to “date” each other, with the requisite rows, couples’ therapy and of course, well-executed designs to document the whole thing. In the third part of our Valentine’s Day celebrations, we spoke to them about what it’s really like working together, and remaining just friends.

Timothy Gooodman

How did you meet?

We met on email in October 2008. Jessie worked for Print magazine in NYC, and they were featuring my work in the magazine. She emailed me to get some images. After an informal conversation on email, I Facebooked her and then I tried to stir up more casual conversation. I was trying to be charming, but it definitely wasn’t working. From there, we started talking and hanging out more.

How did you know you could work together?

One of the reasons we became friends was because we always respected each other’s work. However, I don’t know if I actually KNEW we could work together. We came up with 40 Days of Dating rather abruptly, not as a design project, but because we had a real question about our relationship problems and wanted to help each other. From there, I think it worked out because we’re both so willing to be audacious and personal with the work.

What’s been your favourite project you’ve worked on together?

Out of our three projects, definitely 12 Kinds of Kindness. We really grew as people and designers and supported each other along the way.

What makes your [creative] relationship special?

We both have the same vision of the kind of work we want to put in the world. We’re both interested in merging our personal and professional lives more by using our tools as designers to have larger dialogues with all kinds of people. On the day to day level, we don’t sugar coat anything with each other. We challenge the hell out of each other and we’re brutally honest and sometimes we want to kill each other. And we both have unique skills that help make the projects more robust.

What’s the best thing about Jessica?

Besides always being there for me as a friend, her confidence and unparalleled courage to do what she wants is very inspiring. She has a unique ability to make you want to do better in life and work.  (And she’s probably my favourite graphic designer.)

What’s the worst thing about Jessica?

We both can annoy each other a lot since we work so closely, but it’s normal. Sometimes I wish she could email all her thoughts at once instead of sending 15 texts. :)

What does your future together look like?

Already have new project ideas up our sleeves!

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Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman: 40 Days of Dating

Jessica Walsh

How did you meet?

I used to work as an art director at Print magazine. I reached out to Tim about featuring him in the magazine. We started chatting quite often online, and after we started hanging out with a group of friends from the design world quite often.

How did you know you could work together?

It happened by accident. We came up with the idea for 40 Days of Dating when we were flying to Miami for Art Basel. Working on that project we realised we had different skill-sets and we really pushed each other to make interesting things through the combination of those skill sets.

What’s been your favourite project you’ve worked on together?

I agree with Tim, would have to be our latest one, 12 Kinds of Kindness. It was an emotional rollercoaster going through this experiment and I could have only done it with Tim as he’s not only my creative partner but one of my best friends.

What makes your [creative] relationship special?

We share a mutual interest in creating work that connects with people and starts dialogues and has depth to it beyond the formal and visual. We’re not interested in creating design or illustration, we see design as a tool like any other (writing, film making etc.) that can be used to enhance storytelling, emotional expression, and content creation. It’s the content that we care about most.

What’s the best thing about Tim?

Tim is easily one of my favourite creatives because of the emotion and humour in his writing and work. He challenges me to think about things from a very different perspective from my own which makes our work together better.

What’s the worst thing about Tim?

Our relationship is a bit like brother and sister as we’re so close. So sometimes he drives me absolutely nuts (and vice versa) and we can fight over ridiculous things. Probably because we know we can say anything and be 100% honest and unfiltered with each other. I think this tension makes our work better.

What does your future together look like?

I feel like we have new project ideas every other day. It’s just about choosing which ones are really worth dedicating our time to.

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Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman: 40 Days of Dating

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Bas Berkhout: Tim and Jessica: