I find it interesting that most folks value skills they consider themselves to be bad at. For me that is definitely art. I can’t sketch, can’t draw, and can’t paint. In fact if you told me to come up with an icon palette, you’d need to get back to me sometime next year for the results. So I’ve always valued folks who are artistically gifted.
Sometime about 2010 while working at AAI I was responsible for growing a new team of software engineers. I felt the team was working really well together, but I wanted them to have something that made them part of my team rather than anybody else’s. My solution was to make a tee shirt. But I wasn’t an artist. Luckily we had a member of the team that was quite creative and produced a design in an evening. He drew up the design and I had the shirts made.
Fast forward to now. That same company that made the shirts back then (customink.com) is still doing its thing. However, the way the art was done was much different. Instead of reaching out to the few friends I know that can draw, I ran a contest on designhill.com. It’s a pretty innovative service. For $400 I have had the privilege of reviewing designs from about a dozen designers. At the end of the competition, I will select a winner. From that point the design will become mine and the designer will get paid.