John Candy delivers bad news

Sorry folks, Alton Creative’s closed.

I started this little enterprise in August 1997 just hoping to earn a living. I ended up doing that and much more, shutting it down in November 2019 after a fun but draining 22-year run as a business owner. As an athlete would say, I left it all on the field.

Alton Creative wasn’t a “side hustle” or freelancing— it was my full time job for the duration and I somehow made every payroll despite being a lousy self-promoter. I learned immeasurable lessons along the way about design, business, and managing people. I also learned how to do good work and forge productive relationships under just about every circumstance imaginable. I had incredible mentors who set me up for success and tremendous clients who propelled me forward. If you were in that mix, thank you for being a part of it. I was incredibly lucky.

So it was a great experience, but it was also an unrelenting burden. Closing the business filled me with relief... and if I’m being honest, a little glee.

After a period of reevaluation, I pivoted to pursue a type of design that’s more about functional problem-solving than visuals, and discovered a real passion for this type of work in the civic tech space with the great people at Ad Hoc.

To me, one measure of success is being able to earn a living while doing work that’s meaningful to you. I remain grateful for that and excited about where my career might still take me, and hope for you the same. —Ed Alton

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