By thesanfranciscoegotist / /
We haven’t done an Egotist Briefs in a while, so we knew when it was time we’d better come strong. Well, this one is great if you do ask us. We spoke with Brett Lovelady, Founder, Creative Capitalist, Designer and Chief Instigator at Astro Studios. Give it a read.
“Fighting gravity.” It’s your tagline. Where’d that come from and what does it mean?
Fighting Gravity means to elevate above expectations and mediocrity—To work hard to find the power in design to improve the human experience beyond the human condition.
You’ve done work for a lot of big names. What do you look for in a client?
The best ASTRO clients have been people who have strong opinions and convictions about their purpose and goals, but are still open enough to collaborate at the highest level of co-creation—usually, smaller teams of confident decision makers and risk takers. Our work suffers when we have clients who will not make a call during critical decision points or ones who look solely to the consumer/market to make their decisions. We want clients that can see advantage and opportunity in the work we provide and are willing to fight the organizational antibodies to bring something to life.
You guys do a pretty broad range of things – strategy, brand, product development. How do you excel at everything?
To create successful new products and brands, you have to blend strategy, brand and product design together, to create holistic properties. Before you start designing anything, you create a “strategic” point of view about the work; who it’s for, why they need it, how will you make and deliver it, etc. Then you can design and fully commercialize the products, giving them names, branding them, packaging them for delivery, etc. If you develop a strong process for this, then broad range isn’t the activities, it’s really in applying the design process to create inspiring results in broad markets and diverse demographics.
What specific kinds of things do you look for in the people you hire?
Positive, humane work and personalities are critical. Depending on our mix of needs, we’ll consider raw talent all the way to experienced design skill sets too, from sketching to digital storytelling. The key is have a mix of backgrounds, talents and experiences that can work together to amplify each other’s efforts. Our design studio feels more like bands at a music festival with multiple stages of small collaborating groups of talented players improvising on each project to create fresh new work.
You were named on a list of the 100 Most Influential Creatives. What’s your approach to creativity?
Creativity is a people business. I believe that truly creative people have a need to let their creativity out, crosstalk and express it to others, frequently. I think creativity needs some structure to move ideas forward, so I often think of creatives as “free radicals” who need to think they’re always free, but who are willing to submit to a collaborative, laser-focused structure that makes them lethal for a time to create solutions, then releases them back to their free state.
I think commercial creativity needs acknowledgment from other people, mentors, collaborators and working environments that nurture and encourage people to put their hearts on the table with other people and find something worth rallying around, something worth all the hard work it takes to eventually commercialize any idea.
What’s the most recent thing you saw where you thought, “Man, I wish I’d done that”?
As a fan of tech design, this happens daily. Just saw The 22 degree Ocean Jacket and want one bad. Kinda geeking out on the Hydrogen One Phone from RED Camera with holographic display, but I haven’t held or seen one in action, so I’m just being teased by it for now. Also, think the Logitech Crayon is a nice new digi-tool.
Where do you want Astro Studios to go from here?
I want ASTRO to remain design-centric into the future as we continue to amplify our advocacy for human, holistic design. And I especially want us to continue to dive headlong into all the new acronym realities; AR, VR, MR, ML, AI, IOT, BFD, etc.
What inspires you creatively?
Foremost, other creative people. Tangibly and currently, the interplay between machines in nature. Like cars on dirt. Planes in the sky. Wearables on bodies. Glasses on faces. Forks in food.
What are two pieces of advice you’d give any creative?
1) Experiment and craft your own style and process, then own it.
2) Continually learn new things to fuel the progression of advice line #1.