This is essentially why I like to make things: if something is interesting to me, I want to share it with others. For me, it started in the darkroom, watching black and white photos develop. I was instantly hooked on the story that the images could tell. My hands were dirty with chemicals and my eyes were tired from working at it for too long, but I wanted to share what I made with people that I value.
Beyond the darkroom, I’ve gotten to lead teams of designers, coders, writers, and filmmakers to make interesting work for brands and causes. I got my start at DIGITALKITCHEN and, after a lengthy stay, I left as a director. Then, I jumped into the nonprofit world as the creative director of a team of over 20 people working with branding and storytelling for a group of 14 churches* with an online audience of millions, a publishing company, and a record label.
Creative teams need leaders who lead through influence. They need someone to set the tone for a project by articulating the big idea. All of this works best in an environment where it feels safe for even the intern to bring insight to the table.
There should always be a healthy measure of competition among team members. The leader who stays clear about the vision for a project can always curate and cultivate the best ideas from them. It’s an act of care to push creative people harder and harder until something magical happens.
Relationships are forged when people are given something of value that they can enjoy or use more than once. Today, that might be a series of viral videos or an app. Tomorrow it will be something else. My time working in the nonprofit world taught me a lot about worth. It’s worth it for brands to build relationships with people, not just get them to buy something once.
Most of all, this is because the people are worth it.
* Branding for a church? Yes, absolutely. In a sense, the early Christian church was one of the first institutions to be successful at taking something intangible and making it a catalyst for community, relationships, and transformation. They quickly presented their way of life as distinct from other religions and did so through teaching, events, and eventually, design. (See the Gutenberg Bible, AD 1455)
Published in 2009–Fritz Kahn—Man Machine:
Sundance Festival animation featured in Fritz Kahn — Man Machine
Emmy Nomination 2007:
The Path to 9/11 — Outstanding Main Title Design
Emmy Nomination 2004:
Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital — Outstanding Main Title Design
Telly Award 2006:
Jade Empire Advertisement — Silver Commercial Winner
Communication Arts Design Annual 2004:
Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital — Best Main Title Design
Get in touch and ask for a resume.