Glow for the Gold

On Saturday night, FoxFuel Creative was awarded Best in Show / Digital for work done for our friends at Glow Motion!

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We are pretty excited to add these golden beauties to our trophy case. A BIG thank you to our friends at Glow Motion for being the kind of client that isn’t afraid to push the envelope. When they came to us, they had a kickass product offering with a less-than-kick-ass website. They were looking for a way to better tell the story of what Glow Motion was delivering on the road at concerts, shows, and venues across the world.

 

“It’s difficult to combine design and function in a way that hasn’t been overdone or ubiquitous; this site answers those challenges with a well-executed and beautiful site.”

– ADDY Judge Jason Lee

 

With a sleek, clean, and responsive layout, the website showcases the quality, versatility, and general badassery of Glow Motion.

Show me the winner.

Congratulations to all our friends who took home awards at this year’s American Advertising Awards in Nashville!

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Investing in Young Creatives

Each year, the American Advertising Federation of Nashville puts on the Student ADDY Awards, honoring some of our city’s most talented and promising young creatives. Naturally, we are allll over that.

We support these students in two ways:

1. Sponsoring awards at the Student ADDYs.

This year’s entries were awesome. We are so glad we didn’t have to judge and just got to watch them get cool trophies. This year’s winners:

Best of Show – $500 scholarship and crystal trophy

Austin Reasonver
Muji Ad Campaign
Magazine Campaign
Nossi College of Art

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Judge’s Favorites – Crystal trophy

Grace Pavlic
Beast
Illustration
Watkins College of Art, Design & Film

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Chris Fornal
The Birds of Astrobrights
Packaging
Watkins College of Art, Design & Film

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Matthew Eason
Hop Tamale’s
Integrated Brand Identity Campaign
Middle Tennessee State University

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Jake Kennedy
Lumen, the Lights Out Buddy
Packaging
Watkins College of Art, Design & Film

Lumen

 

Rising Star – $500 scholarship

Grace Pavlic
Watkins College of Art, Design & Film

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We liked these guys so much that we invited them to sit with us at the big kid ADDY Awards the following Saturday. It was pretty great.

See full list of winners.

 

2. Mentorship through our internship program.

When it comes to creativity, there’s only so much you can learn in a classroom. We give them real-world experience, creative freedom, and guidance that pushes them to see creativity in new ways. We also haven’t made anyone cry yet, so we’re doing pretty well.

Are you a creative student? Do you know a creative student? Do you know someone who looks young enough to be a creative student? Send them our way. We’re always looking for stellar interns to join the team.

Apply now!

 

Hutzel really loves getting his picture taken.

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Five Things I’ve Learned About Growing

by Drew Beamer

Growth is a strange thing. It can be both the easiest and most difficult part of your job. It can happen on its own or need a little push. It can be fun and challenging or it can be stressful and full of anxiety. Growth can show up right in your face or it can sneak on you months later.

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Understanding growth is all about perspective. Sometimes you have it and sometimes you’re flailing hopelessly, waiting for something to catch you or slow you down so you can make sense of it all.

I’d like to explore five aspects of growth in this post. These examples stem directly from my job in advertising, but I would imagine they apply to just about any career.

1. Chickity-Check Yo Self

There are so few things in your life that you have complete control over, but your attitude and impact on your work environment is one of them. I’ll start this section off by saying that I forget this daily. I let the “Me” thoughts through when the “We” thoughts are what I should be projecting. It’s something I’m working on.

We have control over how we show up to work, how we approach a project, how we deal with a less-than-ideal client situation, or even how we handle difficult people that we work with. Growth in this area isn’t easy. We’re inherently self-centered in our thoughts. It takes a lot of practice to calm that 5-year-old inside and bring the adult to the table. The “We”—the team, the work, the company, the client—is so much more important than the “Me” that we all have inside. If you can remember that, then you’re already on your way to gaining the critical perspective that we’re all seeking.

2. Know Thine Peeps

Unless you’re involved in the hiring process, you probably don’t have much control over who you work with, which means you’ve got some work to do. In order to get the best results from your relationships at work, you have to know your team.

Knowing your team isn’t possible if you don’t spend time with them. If you don’t know that they’re a natural introvert or that they’re easily distracted, then you won’t know how to make the most of what they have to offer. You don’t have to be best friends (sometimes it helps, sometimes it hurts) but you do have to understand one another.

Sometimes this knowledge comes from conquering difficult assignments together, from company-initiated events (which I highly recommend), or simply through small snippets of personality that are gathered over a long period of time. Just keep in mind that the sooner you know them and they know you, the sooner both of you can start to push each other to grow.

3. Embrace The Chaos

The work we do is messy. It’s complicated. It’s subjective, and it’s difficult to comprehend sometimes. But as Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”

The tv spot, the outdoor board, the website, the integrated campaign… these aren’t the work. They are the results of the work. They are the delicious steak that resulted from the proper raising of the cattle, the honed skills of the butcher, and the culinary experience and education of the chef. The work is what comes before the thing you put in your book—that is where you should focus your efforts.

For me, this is where most substantial and recognizable growth comes from. It comes from difficult clients, new partnerships, and being pushed outside of your comfort zone. Lobsters are an excellent metaphor for this growth, as the amazingly bearded Rabbi Dr. Twerski explains.

I’ve learned that when you experience adversity in work, it helps to think back on successes you’ve had in the past. Remember the perfect tenderness of the final product and remember the work it took to get there. Then, snap back into the now and recognize that you are right in the throes of the work. Remember that you will make it through and that with time, all of the sharp edges will soften. The more you commit yourself to the chaos of your work, the more you benefit. You have to be willing to be exposed and to fail if you ever hope to succeed.

 “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. Accept That You’ll Find Fame And Fortune—Just Not Yours

Clients come to you for ideas, for expertise, and for you to help them make money. As a creative, sometimes it’s easy to confuse your own goals and growth with theirs. Just keep in mind that clients aren’t there to bankroll your dreams, they’re there because they want your help to reach their goals.

In order to grow, it’s important to be able to recognize the small wins when they come along. The client won’t always love what you love or appreciate your work. In fact, most of your work will never see the light of day. Real growth comes from being ok with that and finding joy in the pieces or ideas that do make it.

So take the small wins for what they are, let go of the reigns a little, and recognize the nature of the relationship between you, the client, and the work. You’ll not only grow creatively, but your perspective and value to your company will grow as well.

5. Gettin’ A Little Somethin’ On The Side

In short, have a side project. I believe that there are two types of side projects with two distinct growth paths. One grows deep and the other grows wide. It’s the classic principle of the T-shaped person. If you haven’t heard of that, check it out here.

Side projects that involve only you will help you grow, but inwardly. For me, they have always been either the technical honing of a skill or study of our craft as creatives.

In contrast, side projects that involve more people and different skillsets will help you grow outwardly. These projects are great because they push you to look at the same problem from someone else’s core skillset or perspective. How would your partner approach your part of the problem? How would you approach theirs? Share your ideas, push each other, and have fun doing it.

Thoughts For The Road

Look at where you are. Are you growing? Are you stagnant? Are you reaching your goals too easily? Are you not reaching them at all? Do you even know what the the hell they are?

If you want to keep pushing yourself, think about your attitude, your partnerships, your work, your client relationships, and your side projects. Are there spots where you can reflect, evaluate, and improve? Chances are, that’s a yes. We all can.

At the end of the day, no one will care about your career, your skills, or your personal growth as much as you do. So get after it.

FoxFuel produces Kid President Live!

We were beyond excited to partner with everyone’s favorite pint-sized politician, Kid President, to celebrate the amazing folks helping kids right here in Nashville. Our team shares Kid President’s belief that everyone has the power to make a difference, big or small, and we want to send a little love to our local difference makers.


We‘ve been working with Kid President on this project for a while now and we were excited to stage, co-direct and shoot an awards show in Nashville’s historic Studio A. The special was joined by a few awesome guests including Mayor Karl Dean, Governor Bill Haslam, Dolly Parton, Rainn Wilson, a Tennessee Titan, and a few other happy faces. We’ve had a blast with Kid President and his team and we can’t wait to show you the finished product!

“Change a little and you can change a lot.” – Kid President

Nurturing Nashville’s Creative Class

It’s taken for granted, especially when we as a community start believing what the “experts” are saying about us. Nashville is the “it” city, or Nashville is becoming “a mecca for creatives.”

At the heart of this surge – or resurgence as some natives would attest – of Nashville’s stature as a place to live and do business, is our creative class. This class has many faces. The media has defined the class of late as more business entrepreneurial, those who use technology to drive innovation in health care and other industries. More recently, there’s even been some attention drawn to technology entrepreneurs who would drive innovation in music development and distribution. But technology without content is nothing.

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The largest element of our creative class is – and has always been – those who fundamentally, in the most elementary sense of the word, “create” the music. Songwriters, musicians, engineers, producers, cartage professionals, and others who more often than not work in the shadows of our local music scene. We see an occasional headline about successes or tragedies of music celebs, but little attention is given to these countless other music artisans who go about their business struggling each day to make ends meet in a local economy that seems to put less and less value on their art.

The “creation” of the music through the art of “story telling” is what’s made us. The lower Broad honky-tonks, large venues or events that drive tourism offer but a small showcase of an end result. The true creators tend to operate in obscurity out of the sight and minds of tourists, as well as many of our local business and government leaders.

No one is at fault for this unintended circumstance. The music artisans are often too busy scratching a living to network or advocate for their craft. And our leaders face daily challenges of staying competitive for investment, as well as job retention and growth in today’s ever expanding global marketplace.

But having spent the past two years immersed among many of these artisans, I have come to appreciate how vital their existence is to helping fuel our local economic engine.

In a prior life I served as deputy commissioner of economic development for the state of Tennessee, and witnessed first-hand how our creative class of music artisans can be a draw for international corporations that seek to find the right stimulating environment for their employees.

Yet, as we look ahead to 2015, we must ask ourselves what more we should be doing to support these artisans. Where are the incentives to “create” the music that makes us? What kinds of investments are we will to make as a society to nurture this class so that can sustain their craft? We have local educational institutions churning out waves of new artisans, but they quickly discover after they leave the cocoon of campus life that there exists little or no support system for sustainable success.

I’m not advocating a single silver bullet government or private sector answer. The challenge demands the strength and wisdom of our entire community, and calls for the same kind of big thinking and dialogue given to those efforts made on behalf of other local industries.

Nashville is blessed with a host of music artisans who would welcome a seat at the table alongside those in business and government who have the proven ability to turn challenge into opportunity. This sector of the creative class are hungry for help, and willing to continue to do what they do here in Nashville if the community will heed their cry.

Who’s game?

 

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Mike Kopp is a partner/manager with the All Good Factory and president of the Music Industry Coalition. He is also an advisor and friend of FoxFuel Creative.