In anticipation of the thought that you, the person reading these words now, might want a little context, I've put together a little bit of my history and perspective. The ideas on this site are just some examples of things I've worked on over the years. Most of them are from my time at Creature with a few from before. Eventually I will use this site to expose what is next. I'm happy to categorize all of this as the result of collective daydreams from myself and others.
I've been a daydreamer my entire life. While prevailing wisdom might have you believe this is a waste of time, I think it's been the key to everything I've done so far. Through my years in advertising and design I've taught my mind to wander freely in the direction it wants to go but with a general sense of purpose. In most cases, this is just simple problem solving. I love the power of great questions and see them as maps to discover unexpected, pristine answers. I've been lucky to have pursued this path of curiosity to fulfill my career path as well.
Long ago I daydreamed for Goodby, Silverstein & Partners where I learned and was inspired by some amazingly talented people. I don't think I would have had the confidence to believe in my mind without the encouragement I found from just being around Jeff and Rich and many others. Later I found myself in Amsterdam at StrawberryFrog learning to wield absurd thoughts into logical narratives that could cross international borders. These experiences, clients, and above all the people with whom I collaborated pushed me to take a leap of faith and so I started Creature in Seattle with Matt Peterson, a longtime friend and creative co-conspirator. Our first client appropriately in this new weird company was the Professional Bowlers Association.
Creature was by far and away my most ridiculous, and rewarding experience. It always felt like a grand experiment. At Creature, my daydreams were legitimized through winning clients, creating strange but smart work. However, the greatest reward was through attracting a group of people with so much talent it was always a pleasure to be around.
At the heart of every remarkable solution is a beautiful problem.
Running an agency is slightly different than just being a writer or creative director. But this does not mean it's a job that where daydreams have no value. The London office was almost certainly a manifestation of this understanding. The daydreams that pushed our agency were far more collective than personal. At Creature this formed the basis for what we called The Beautiful Problem. This was our version of strategy where many great questions led to the right question to inspire a creative solution. And our solutions whether in design or advertising always started with an inspiring narrative.
I like to think of narratives as the practical instructions for an idea. They are the organizing principal and the inspiration for endless forms of expression of any given idea. In essence, they are the creative applications and provocative motivators that allow people to understand, feel and chose to participate in the story. A powerful narrative allows those who encounter it to become the protagonists of the story on their own terms. From them come executions like TV spots, experiences or even just a simple logo or package design. I like them because they seem to keep ideas consistent and are easy to hold accountable to their intent.
Woah, deep stuff? Ha. Well, it certainly doesn't need to be. Crazy things need narratives as much as meaningful things.
As i move on to pursue new daydreams, I do know that narratives will always be at the core. Because a narrative that's born from a truth has the ability to unite people to do incredible things. And I can't wait to do more.
Thanks for reading.
Jim - A.D. 2016
You can reach me via firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss something interesting or perhaps to talk about a project. Even better if those two things intertwine.
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