Changes and New Beginnings
Dumped in the Personal pile on August 4, 2010.
It is with mixed emotions that I [finally] officially announce my departure as a Managing Partner at SUM Agency (a company that started in my and Rebekah’s apartment in early 2004). The start of the new year brought with it renewed ambitions, desire for a new challenge, and a change of scenery. So a few months ago I began looking for career opportunities in Denver, Colorado. SUM will continue to deliver excellent design, marketing, and creative services through a team of highly talented designers and programmers (Rebekah included) under the leadership of agency Principal, Celia Garcia.
Rebekah and I made numerous trips to Denver since the start of the year to network, do a bit of job research, and to look at areas of town we’d like to live in. I’m happy to report that the extra time and effort paid off handsomely.
THE NEW JOB
I developed a self promo piece (more on that later) that was sent to a few select shops in the area. It awarded interviews at four different agencies. All were very great of course but I ultimately took the one that I felt was the most challenging, that I believe offered the best long term experience, and of course had a stinkin’ awesome group of people to work along side of.
So, on July 26, 2010, I started my new position as an Art Director at Motive, a “hybrid” ad agency, right in downtown Denver.
Only one week on the job and I’ve already chimed in on some work for Cartoon Network and Mountain Dew, just to name a few. Other clients on the Motive roster that I’ll be collaborating on include: Van’s Natural Foods, Boingo, Qdoba, Good Times Burgers, and Native Eyewear—again, just to name a few.
The work is top notch, the clients are awesome, the studio is dope, but I gotta say, like anywhere, it’s the people that make “work” a joy to go to everyday. I’m stoked to collaborate with such a close group of awesome professionals who’s aim is to create some of the most recognized and talked about creative content out there.
I accepted the offer just two weeks before my start date. And within the week prior to that, I made two trips up to Denver for 6 initial and followup interviews (mucho traveling). Our house wasn’t even close to being packed yet and to top it all off, right at that time, we had the bright idea to remodel our kitchen. So between the kitchen being in shambles (and unusable) bouncing back and forth between ABQ and DEN, and tying up loose ends with current client work, we somehow managed to pack up our house and [comfortably] fit it all in a giant 26′ Penske diesel truck. Then on July 24th, 2010—which incidentally was my 30th bday (I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a momentous occasion then with a momentous occasion)—we said goodbye to New Mexico, and with our entire life in tow, headed toward our new adventure in the Mile High City.
SAYING GOODBYE TO SUM
The decision to step away from SUM was far from an easy one. I’ve been there since the very beginning and watched (and helped) it grow from an after hours freelance gig with friends, to a highly recognizable boutique creative agency, developing award winning materials for companies around the world.
I was there when we huddled in my apartment, thinking up names for the company and how we would get targeted businesses to hire us. I was there when, out of the gates, our rag tag team of “kids” showed up out of nowhere and represented at the 2004 Addy Awards, walking away with a few golds and Judge’s Choice, leaving the long established agencies shocked, perplexed, and in awe. And I was even there to pull out old, glued down, carpet and scrape up decrepit linoleum in that 600 sq ft cinder block room on Constitution (our first commercial space) so we could paint the concrete floor to make the place more “cool.”
The list and memories go on and the friendships with the team and clients will be lifelong. There have been many successes, challenges, priceless memories, and lessons learned and I consider myself very fortunate to have gone through it all—it’s awarded invaluable experience. I also can’t express how honored I am to have been in the trenches along side of some of this industry’s (and world’s) most amazing people. I love and will miss all those guys—my team, my friends. We’ve accomplished many great things and have experienced so much together. This is certainly not goodbye as I know we’ll have opportunities to see hang and even work together in the future.
So here we go. A new beginning; a new chapter. I’ve set some goals and am determined to make it happen and pursue purpose, calling, and destiny. One bit of parting advice: Know that frustration can be a good thing. Leverage it to help you push the boundaries to do things you’ve never done before. Create challenges for yourself. You’ll be surprised what you can overcome and accomplish. And if nothing else, you’ll come out in the end having gained valuable experience, i.e. wisdom. And that, my friends, is more valuable than anything.
I’ll continue to stay connected to everyone via this blog and all the usual outlets (twitter, facebook, flickr, dribbble). I also have plans to create a different, all inclusive, online home for myself at www.KennyBarela.com (currently just my portfolio). Keep an eye out for that.
With gratitude and humility,
Dumped in the Quotes pile on June 11, 2010.
If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” -Albert Einstein
Nike: “Write The Future”
Dumped in the Ads pile on May 20, 2010.
Brilliant spot for Nike by Wieden+Kennedy, Amsterdam. Appropriately titled “Write the Future,” the ad depicts how the World Cup has the ability to either immortalize it’s players, or label them with shame, disappointment and global embarrassment. The ad is filmed by Alejandro G Inarritu, the director of the films 21 Grams and Babel.
Click here to see another write up about it if you’d like to know more.
Dumped in the Quotes pile on May 19, 2010.
“The same design that fuels mass overconsumption has the power to repair the world.” - David Berman
Dumped in the New Mexico and Personal pile on May 14, 2010.
Picked up the Stella from the shop yesterday. Ahhh, springime.
30th B-day Invite (concept)
The big 3-0 approacheth this summer. Anticipating some type of gathering, I thought I’d explore some invitation ideas. This idea uses photos of me as a kid with headlines highlighting the year I was born.
I’m thinking of an accordion fold with different photos and messages on each panel. We’ll see how it goes.
Sleeveface Music Video
Webdesigner Depot included “Captivating Examples of Sleeveface Photography” in their recent newsletter. A couple days later, I came across this Deepspace 5 video by Dust Brand Films, that showcases this visual intrigue in conjunction with dope beats and a captivating video style.
Cameron Moll’s Colosseo Typography Poster
“What began as a 10-year wedding anniversary to Rome concluded a year later as an artistic endeavor to re-imagine the Coliseum with type.” Kudos for the dedication and excellence, Cameron. Now, where’s my credit card.
Burger King: WhopperFace
Dumped in the Ads and Innovative pile on March 18, 2010.
“Does it have your name on it?” becomes “Does it have your face on it?”
Ogilvy Brazil executes an innovative campaign utilizing a hidden camera and a printer at BK locations.
Dumped in the Ads pile on March 10, 2010.
This spot by TBWA Toronto captures the beauty and elegance of these pups catching a tasty treat at 1000 FPS using the Phantom camera. Stinkin’ awesome. Great emotion grabber. You’ll laugh; you’ll cry…