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The Circle of Trust Archive

The Circle of Trust is the paid subscriber content for listeners of the Adventures In Design podcast. Containing over 300+ episodes and 500 hours of design, illustration, printing and business tips n tricks. Hear every episode in it’s entirety! The Circle of Trust has the full Adventures In Design audio catalog, featuring every episode with bonus content added or you can choose to go straight to the bonus content. Every topic possible on following your creative passion as a hobby or career has been covered in this collection and we’re not even close to finishing the conversation adding another 200 episodes in 2016. 

805 - Night Watch Studios Tallboy & Krusty

Mark Brickey


When the right couples work together, they bring out the best in each other. That's precisely the story we have today as Krusty and Tallboy work together to turn Night Watch Studios into a fully realized brand showcasing Tallboy's illustrations and their fun sense of humor. 

Discover More Tallboy In The Circle of Trust

804 - Comment Below YouTube Review Summer 2018

Mark Brickey

803 - Hammer Time 42 "Older Or Younger Than Emilio"

Mark Brickey


Hammer time is back with a special double episode!


More Hammer Time Episodes

802 - The Top 10 Poster Countdown July 2018

Mark Brickey


Top 10 Posters From July 2018


July 2018 Side Stories

What To Listen To Next

More From João Ruas

More From Aaron Horkey

More From Ken Taylor

More From Mitch Putnam

801 - Brand Practice No.02 "Hammer Time"

Mark Brickey

800 - The 800th Episode With Skinner & Alex Pardee

Mark Brickey


Collect All 3 Covers.


It's the 800th episode of Adventures In Design and to celebrate we hit record on a conversation with Skinner, Alex Pardee, and Mark Brickey. The notes got thrown out, and the guys just sorted out how they arrived on this Monday and where they hope they're headed while sharing their experiences of being born in the 70s. 

What to Listen to This Week

Enon Avital


While the AID Network takes a week off for summer vacation, here are selections from the archives, handpicked by COT members as some of their favorite moments.

628 - Redneck Wisdom With Jeral Tidwell

@donebysaturday says:
"I love returning to any Jeral Tidwell episode. It’s always a great kick in the butt"

Workshop Week

Michael Houghton says:
"For sheer nuggets-per-minute, I recommend reviewing the awesome Workshop Week of AID 599 to 603"

537 - Benny Gold

Neil Vilppu says:
"I recently did a binge getting pumped for crop Portland and went through all the Benny gold episodes. Those are all solid listens"


Rob Anderson says:
"I personally love episode 276 with the hood sisters!"

Bob Smith

Michael Houghton says:
"I definitely enjoy going back and listening to the repeat appearances of folks, so I can really see the progress and ongoing story."

The Gambler 500

Mark Brickey


Hey Circle of Trust Friends!

The first Gambler 500 video is now live, please give it a watch and if you can pretty please like, comment and share those metrics help videos and channels grow! Would really appreciate any love you can give the newly growing You Tube channel, and if you can't do it for me or Dan, then please do it for Lil Bandit. 


We bought a Geo Metro for $521 and attempted to drive it 800 miles round trip with 500 of the drive off road. This is The Legend of Lil Bandit.

799 - Freedom Week Part 05: Dan Kuhlken & Mitch Putnam

Mark Brickey


Dan Kuhlken

41 - How To Make A Schedule And Stick To It.

DKNG Studios stays booked solid, and there is no room to let one day fall by the waste side. Therefore it's crucial that every day meets it's demand so that the entire schedule doesn't collapse. Dan Kuhlken shares his technique of making sure each project gets completed in the designated time. 

42 - Style Versus Time Versus Budget.

Dan designs in a system of matching the project style with the allowed time determined by the client budget. Breaking down big pieces into small parts and realizing how much time each element is permitted. 

43 -  Staying Focused.

To produce a high volume of complicated work, Dan trained himself on what creates a productive, stress-free and focused work day. 

44 - Productive Procrastination.

All of this sounds great, but we all know some days you don't feel the magic. Dan studies his schedule to determine which days have the potential to be productive, creative days and which days lend themselves more to busy work. As long as you stay busy, you are always productive even if you're skipping out the part you don't have in your heart that day.  

45 - It Takes Being Obsessed To Be The Best.

If you have ever looked at Dan Kuhlken's Illustrator work and feel like you don't stack up to the level of execution he regularly produces, it might be that you aren't obsessed like he is. Dan shares the highs and lows with his obsession and how he's learned to make deals with himself to walk away. 

Mitch Putnam

46 - When Freelancers Choke On The Big Opportunity.

I've done it before, and you probably have to, you get the dream project, and you freeze under pressure and choke up. Mitch shares how to have a healthy mindset when you finally get that big job you have been working for. 

47 - What Makes An Artist Desirable To Hire.

For the past ten years, Mitch Putnam has been an observer of undiscovered raw talent that he hires for Mondo. Listen to his insight on what speaks to a client to think that someone is ready to work for their company. 

48 -  Can You Say No To A Client And Still Get Hired?

Sometimes the timing isn't right even though you wish you could do the work. Is it best to take it on and risk ruining your significant opportunity or can you say no and get the opportunity again when the timing is ideal. 

49 - What Stops You From Getting Hired?

When you work for a corporation, you represent that corporation, and in the era of the 24-hour news cycle companies are always on damage control and will do anything to avoid controversy. Here's a couple of things you may want to stay away from or clean up online. 

50 - The Key To Long Client Relationships.

Your freelance will flourish if you can keep long-term relationships creating consistent revenue and opportunities that will help you grow. Mitch shares what make Mondo hire a freelancer time and time again. 

Freedom Week Part 04 - Billy Baumann & OKpants

Mark Brickey


Billy Baumann

31 - Role Reversal, What It's Like The First Time You Hire A Freelancer.

As Billy Baumann's Delicious Design League has grown from a two-person shop to an eight-person studio, Billy has learned what it's like to hire freelancers and offers insight and experience on what he's learned from being the boss. 

32 - When To Hire A Freelancer And What To Look For.

Billy shares the situations that have led him to hire freelancers and what he looks for when he needs to bring on extra helping hands. 

33 - Trying To Grow With Your Clients.

Delicious Design League needs a robust workflow to make each month's cash flow, hear how Jason and Billy try to over-service their clients to make sure they keep coming back for more. 

34 - Getting Back To Design.

Once you become the boss and grow into a studio is it hard to get back to being a designer? What does the design workflow look like with more responsibilities? 

35 - Converting Freelance Work Into Utility Clients And Living On Retainer. 

Billy explains how the goal is to get every client on retainer and to create as many utility clients as possible. The strategy for conversion from job to job to monthly retainer is a balance of give and take. 


36 - Riding The Ups And Downs Of Freelance With Captain Pants.

Aaron shares how he's been able to navigate the rough seas of freelance and not let any of it get to him too much because it's all predictable. Understanding the patterns allows you to find peace of mind in the rough times and live prepared in the good times. 

37 - Buying Time With The Product Line.

Aaron finds himself at the busiest moment of his 10-year full-time freelance career. One of the factors that got him to this moment was backfilling his schedule with his self-initiated OKpants product line. Showing the world his full capabilities ironically gave Aaron a full schedule. 

38 - The Secret Resource Every Freelancer Has.

The community you live in is one of your most significant resources. Hear how Aaron has been able to become a celebrated citizen of Cleveland, Ohio and develop business relationships with other community leaders. 

39 - Putting Your Personality Into Your Brand.

Aaron is one of the most beloved AID co-hosts. He shares his decision to allow himself to be a friendly and fun face on the internet and how being a guy you want to hang out with has helped create his recent success. 

40 - Being Brave, Taking Chances And Feeling Like Your Best Day Is Tomorrow. 

OKpants is a restless guy. He loves life and fully expects to get the most out of it, hear how he feels like he still hasn't found his niche or his best days. 

Freedom Week Part 03 - Derrick Castle & Julia Broughton

Mark Brickey


Derrick Castle

21 - Balancing A Full-Time Career With A Very Succesful Freelance Career.

Derrick Castle has a great career that occupies his, but he also has a fantastic after-hours freelance career. Hear how he has managed both sides of the coin for the last eighteen years. 

22 - What Happens When Your Freelance Explodes And You Get Offered Jobs That Need More Than What You Can Offer?

Every blessing is a curse, imagine that your part-time freelance took off so well that you started to get offered projects you couldn't handle. That happened to Derrick and his work around it pretty genius as it allows him to focus on what's fun. 

23 - The Crucial Creative Space.

The Castle compound has a two and a half car garage that's fully finished, giving Strawcastle a dedicated home, at home. The importance of having a creative space that keeps you close to family but separated at the same time. 

24 - The Product Line Birthed By Bad Work.

After several years of burning the candle at both ends on work that looked the same whether it was done at the day job or late at night as a freelancer Derrick decided it was time for a change. Learn how to use the safe space of freelance to launch the best version of you and what you are capable of creating. 

25 - Why Not To Quit Your Job.

Even though Derrick may not have a day job forever, he looks back on how instrumental keeping that position has been for developing his style, his brand, and growing a fantastic illustration career. 

Julia Broughton

26 - Discovering That Thing You Do.

When Julia found her love of being a lettering artist it opened the path and opportunities to become a full-time freelancer. 

27 - Taking Chances And Always Exploring.

Relatively new to freelance hear how Julia is always exploring new techniques and strategies. Hear how she finds confidence it what's working and what people are responding to. 

28 - Getting Hired The Second Time. 

When you do a specific look can you get repeat customers or are you a creative novelty act that a client hires once for "Something different."

29 - Putting A Person Into The Personality Of Your Brand. 

For a long time it was lettering only on @lettersbyjulia, but then one day a hand appeared and soon after an arm. Eventually, we discovered that Julia was a real person when we saw all of her. The importance of coming up front and showing your face as the face of your brand.

30 - Using Freelance To Build Self Confidence, Using Self Confidence To Build Your Freelance. 

It's been fun to watch Julie Broughton come into her own and take control of her career. The more personality she shows, the more she gets rewarded. Hear the importance of building your confidence through your work and in return giving the work more confidence. 

Freedom Week Part 02 - Nathan Goldman & Enon Avital

Mark Brickey



11 - Managing A Perfect Work Schedule.

Nathan Goldman shares how he manages the DKNG Studio project schedule by keeping it simple, tons of communication and planning on the unknown. 

12 - Learning How Long It Takes To Get The Work Done.

Part of budgeting, bidding and managing projects is paying attention to how long the work realistically takes you to complete. Nathan shares how DKNG has learned to place projects into their project calendar to forecast success.  

13 - How To Determine The Budget You Need And The Budget The Clint Will Pay.

How to be prepared to answer the magic question "How much will it cost?"  Learn the multiple steps that Nathan and DKNG take to determine their value. 

14 - Saving Money When You Have Inconsistent Income.

Nathan shares how taking it out of your hands and using automation to make sure the decision to save is made for you. 

15 - When You Say No, Are You Saying No Forever? Do Clients Come Back After Hearing No?

Hear how DKNG knows when to say no and when to figure out how to say yes, even when the answer should be no but the work can't be passed up. How to tell clients no in a way that makes them respect you for respecting their project. 


16 - Designing Your Freelance Schedule. 

When you have full-time day job taking on extra work means finding spare time. Because Enon Avital initially did it all wrong, as we all do, he has been able to create the perfect after-hours schedule for his freelance work. 

17 - Creating Healthy Boundaries For Your Freelance Clients.

Being honest and upfront with your freelance clients regarding the amount of spare time you have to give them has paid off well for Enon on setting boundaries and realistic expectations. 

18 - Making Contracts That Work For You.

After hours freelancers need to not only set expectations of workflow but also create a script for success in the form of a contract that spells out in great detail how the work is being performed when the client will get it, and how much it will cost them. With a full-time job, part-time work needs a short leash. 

19 - Learning How To Pick That Clients That Will Work For You.

There's no time for bullshit when you're staying up late and getting up early. Enon shares how he's learned to judge the clients and the type of work that fits into his freelance availability. 

20 - Supply And Demand Of Spare Time. Determining Your Value. 

You want to make sure that all of the extra work adds up and pays off for you. Learn Enon's mathematical equation to make sure a job is worthy of taking.