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Collaboration & Creativity with Brandon Harrar

Chief Creative Director at HRVST |  Montreal, Canada

Brandon Harrar is passionate about design, branding, and the process it takes to produce work for clients.  Although he enjoyed working in advertising as a media buyer & campaign manager, a lot of his free time was spent on freelance design contracts. Since he was spending so much energy on side gigs, he realized he could live a more fulfilled and mindful life if he grew his client base into something of his own. So, he took the leap to try something new, combining his creative passions with his unrelenting desire to build something for himself and began HRVST, a creative agency for growing brands that is passionate about collaboration and creativity.


“I felt like I needed to grow in a different way.”


The Process

Brandon is as passionate about design as he is about the process. “I really love business development,” he told us. “I love process and I love organization and efficiency.” From onboarding, to selling an idea, to executing work, to mitigating risks with a client, to handing off work, Brandon loves every step of the process. Paying attention to where his passions lay, and pursuing a career in that direction, was Brandon’s first step towards living a more mindful life. With a handful of loyal clients already by his side, and a passion for design and business development, beginning a company of his own just made sense.


“I love design and I love functional products that help people.”


A World of Opportunity

Beginning a creative agency was intimidating at first, especially with so many people telling him it was a saturated market. However, Brandon looked at the industry differently. Rather than dwelling on the negative challenges, he focused on the positive opportunities. He told himself, while there are thousands of creative agencies and freelancers, there are even more untapped businesses that haven’t been approached yet or don’t know what they’re missing out on. Plus, with the internet, language barriers and time differences aren’t limiting.


“Your client base is the world.”


Collaboration & Creativity

Brandon prioritizes growing a positive environment at HRVST. Maintaining a unique space where people can work collaboratively, creatively, and find inspiration — it’s the people that make the difference. “HRVST wouldn’t be what it is if we didn’t have a group of really cool, open minded, easy going, incredibly talented, amazing people.” Rather than counting down the clock until it’s time to leave, HRVST is made up of a small, but growing team of creative and hardworking individuals who appreciate and are mindful of one another. As part of a collective, members of HRVST care about the work they’re producing together.


Journaling to Forget 

For Brandon, mindfulness means “being aware of everything you have going on in your life, things that have happened, and things that are coming up.” Brandon uses project management systems like Asana to stay organized, aware, and, therefore, mindful. He also journals. “I started writing because I had so much going on that I needed to get it down on paper or on my phone.” Brandon journals so that he doesn’t have to physically remember certain, specific things anymore. It’s a way to let go and shut off.


“I journal and use project management systems to relieve myself of having to remember things.”


Although phones can sometimes be overwhelming with so much going on in them, they are also an incredible tool. “It’s full of distractions, but it’s full of even more possibilities and opportunities.” Brandon writes whenever he feels the need to get something out of his system and put something down, so having his phone on him whenever the moment arises helps him remain mindful. Journaling, whether on paper or on a mobile device, allows him to organize his thoughts and his life.


“You need a place for yourself, where you can put it all down.”


Brandon Harrar’s Questions for Kyō:

  • What’s the last thing you figured out?
  • What are the next 5 things you want to get done?
  • What would the people who know you well suggest you do?


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