Meet Matias Corea. He’s the 34-year-old co-founder of Behance, one of the largest communities of creatives on the web—an online space where designers, illustrators, musicians, and more can share work, find jobs, and meet potential collaborators.
Early in his career, the Barcelona, Spain, native saw a need for a thriving community for artists and makers. Unfulfilled with his own graphic design career, he was looking for new opportunities, and found them in a partnership with Behance co-founder Scott Belsky.
Since its launch in 2006, Behance has grown to a community of more than 2 million people. Behance allows creatives to showcase their work via online portfolios, network with other users, and link up directly with creative producers and potential clients. ”
“The model is changing right now,” explains Corea. “When we think about people seeking talent, it used to be the person in charge at a big agency. Now you’re seeing different models where creatives are seeking other creatives.”
He sees this evolution of the creative landscape as an adaptation. People, creatives in particular, are adopting the ability to collaborate. Technology has introduced ways for people across the globe to work together and provide feedback. A few years the idea of putting one’s work online was considered scary because creatives thought others would steal their work, now it’s seen as an opportunity.
In order to better foster that process, Behance recently partnered with Adobe, allowing Corea and his team to be “much more embedded in the creative process. It’s a huge benefit to the creative, as well. It allows us to streamline workflows.”
But it’s also critical that Behance stay true to its mission and goals. So how do you do that as you continue to rapidly grow? In order to build a strong community, says Corea, “you have to be genuine.” To best do this, it helps to be a part of the community you want to create, because users can “sense when something isn’t authentic,” he stresses.
When asked about building an authentic community, Corea reflects on how companies of the past communicated. In reality there was no communication at all, “brands were brands and they slapped you in the face with whatever you wanted.” He feels the future is about how an organization or brand listens and reacts. “Companies and organizations have to become more human.” With the evolution of technology everyone has a voice and they can use it publicly. The power has transferred to the consumers.
Further, says Corea, “listening to the community is really important. But at the same time, you also have to know what your vision is. You can’t design by committee, you can’t design reacting to everything.”
And finally, it’s crucial that the mission of the site is in line with the community, “For us,” says Corea, “that’s empowering the creative. We want to lead people into what will make them successful.”
Looking forward into what is next for tech, design and innovation Corea doesn’t believe we have arrived where we are going yet. Education in the creative world is changing. The old model is no longer valid because there are so many ways to learn online. “I think tools are going to get smarter” and companies creating those tools will have to move even faster to evolve the industry. “Too many things are moving to know what is next, what I do see is people getting better opportunities.”
Story and photos by Julie Gerstein