Why You Should Have a Creative Partner Who is Different Than You

Philip and Alex Hughes engagement

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned that Philip and I were featured in the newspaper. Well, we are getting married soon, so I figured I should introduce him!

Philip and I met in August of 2012 when I moved to Dallas for a graphic design job. I quickly learned a few key things about him: he is friendly, open-minded, athletic, intelligent, creative, self-sacrificing, and he tells the worst dad jokes you will ever hear.

Despite the jokes, we began spending more and more time together, and by 2013 we had started dating. We had lots of adventures together over the course of two years, including lots of traveling:

Hiking in Ouachita National Forest, Arkansas
Hiking in Ouachita National Forest, Arkansas
Hiking in Garden of the Gods, Colorado
Hiking in Garden of the Gods, Colorado
City of Rocks, New Mexico
Hiking in City of Rocks, New Mexico


Our partnership wasn’t just a romantic one; we teamed up on many creative projects as well. Philip is a fantastic person to work with because we approach tasks so differently. I am very strategic and analytical; he prefers to dive right in. So when it comes to making creative decisions, he helps me speed up, and I help him slow down.

Philip and Alex at our friend's wedding

Philip and Alex at our friend's wedding

When it comes to printmaking, our differences come in handy in three major ways:

First, you may remember in my first blog post, I vowed to be better about diving in. This is something I learned from Philip. He believes the best way to do something great is to just get started. Through him, I’ve learned to let go of my perfectionism a little and embrace the process. This has enabled me to be much more spontaneous and intuitive in my process, and I believe it has improved my work a lot!

Sledding in the parking garage of my downtown apartment
Sledding in the parking garage of my downtown apartment

Second, Philip is a master of efficiency. When I’m making prints in large quantities, sometimes I focus in on a detail of the process and get off track…or more often, I see something that I think needs tweaking in the design, and I am likely to stop everything to fix it. Philip helps me stay on track and finish the task at hand without getting distracted.


Philip and Alex in Trinity Groves, Dallas
In Trinity Groves, Dallas

Third, Philip is highly extroverted and great at connecting with people. This makes him a great salesman! He is invaluable at craft shows, because, let’s face it, I’m not the most outgoing person…but he loves it! ?

We also worked together on his book, Miraclist. He wrote it (obviously,) and I designed and art directed the cover and interior of the book, as well as a million other marketing pieces. (Check out the Miraclist website here.) It was a lot of fun bouncing ideas off of him (I went through countless concepts for the cover) and seeing our vision for the book come to life.

Miraclist, by Philip Hughes
The Miraclist book cover

After a little over two years, we got engaged!

We will continue to work together on his books (the next in the series is due out this summer) and in the meantime, Philip is going to help me with Wandering Paper Co. He is a great printing assistant and salesman, so if you come see me at art shows, you will see him there too!


Published by Alex Hughes

I am a graphic designer from Dallas who loves printmaking, travel, illustration, soccer, and psychology.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: