THE SOULS: A Creative Playground

In Search of Baby Bear

BY IN The Souls

From my years in creating my own content marketing firm and our photo card products, I can tell you with absolute certainty that the one thing which distinguishes a creative endeavor, so that it soars above all others, is the concept behind it.

I say this with all humility and gratitude to the amazing artists I’ve worked with over the years.

You see talent, or the ability to create, is only one part of the equation. I’ve seen amazing output that’s pretty to look at, but if it doesn’t serve a purpose, it’s not a good marketing piece. Our products are very art driven—however, those too suffer from lack of forethought. As we know, art is subjective. The concept helps anchor it, gives it purpose and emotional firepower, and that’s what resonates with a customer—that innate sense of whimsy, sorrow, beauty.

And the thing we do really really well is discovering, then working with our talent to give art purpose. It’s an interesting, and seemingly, contractory mix—find people who have retained their childlike curiosity and imagination, because no matter what we produce, it’s the genuine emotion that reaches people. The trick is to elevate it without losing it’s soul.

One can hire a designer or writer. But without that strategic leadership (with a healthy dose of fearlessness), it often becomes a Three Bears scenario. An art-only concept (Mama Bear) can be too abstract, never fulfilling its role. An over thought, over conceptualized one (Papa Bear) becomes too clinical, often boring, and nothing anyone would be interested in connecting to or buying.

It’s hard work, often times requiring the courage to start offer (left to their own devices, many people will try and bandaid a concept, which rarely works). But when you reach a Baby Bear-level concept, it’s nothing short of magic.

Magic only happens when you let people dream and chase rainbows (vs.non-stop production like little monkeys); give them a chance to be inspired creatively through their own projects, awards/conferences, or good works; and to reward invention (let’s turn it upside down, and then look at it).

How often does that happen in a world where good, cheap, and fast often collide? Well, we’re on a mission to make it matter. Not only to fulfill our creative souls with the knowledge of a job well done, but because the people we care about—the ones we ultimately connect to—it matters to them too.

Don’t settle for anything less than Baby Bears.


6 years ago / Comments




I’m the creator and founder of several Portland-bound companies—from the old Curiosity Group and Scout Creative, to the newly spun off Crush Creative and its sister company, Foto Crush (our stationery and photo card product line). The Souls blog series is based on my love of all things creative.

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