The Legend of Your Dad

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Our friends at Legwork here in Denver just keep kicking ass. They are super good at what they do and they are good guys to boot. Our studio is really proud to call these guys friends and we couldn’t be happier that they are here in Denver and are putting great work out there. It’s a good thing for all of us. This piece is a little older and was created for the Colorado Lottery under the creative direction of local ad agency Cactus. This is by far one of our favorite pieces Legwork has done over this past year and we were really inspired by it.

written by Christopher | tags: , , ,


Bike From Work Bash 2010

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My Art Direction alma mater Cactus is once again hosting the ‘can’t miss’ party of the summer. It’s time again today for the Bike From Work Bash celebrating the end of Bike To Work Day here in Denver, Colorado. The festivities will kick off tonight around 5 and end when Cactus can finally get what I am guessing will be a couple hundred people or more out of their parking lot. We will be attending late after a client meeting we have scheduled at 5. So set aside a cold one for us guys because we can’t wait to see what you have cooked up this year. It’s going to be one helluva party, so don’t even think about missing it.

Here’s where to go at 5pm:
2128 15th Street
Denver, Colorado

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Changethethought in 2010

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I have officially resigned my position as Art Director at Cactus Communications in Denver. My Creative Director and I decided it was time for me to do what has needed to be done and amicably part ways to allow me to begin focusing all of my attention on Changethethought. The nearly 4 years I spent at Cactus has been one of the best times I have ever had in the creative industry. I leave behind some very close friends and people I respect very highly. I will miss them every day as I start out on this new venture. They have been amazingly supportive of my efforts to launch Changethethought as a design studio and I will continue to seek their advice as I start out on my own.

I will begin working on remodeling my studio next week where I will now be running Changethethought. I have a few small creative client projects planned already for 2010. We will also be launching a new website this spring. The new website will be much more robust than the current version offering much more in terms of content and usability. We will also now be able to focus much more quality time on delivering better content. Soon we will be seeking more authors for the blog.

We have full capabilities as a design studio and are currently seeking project work. If you are interested in hiring us for your next project please send an email to hire(at)changethethought.com. We will be focusing our efforts on 3 branches, creative inspiration, creative merchandising and creative services. We will also be focused on enriching the creative community in Denver and are already involved in working toward planning and hosting events in 2010.

We are also currently seeking sponsorship for the next version of the site. Please contact us if you would like to see our current analytics and are interested in supporting us. Cheers to 2010.

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Cactus – Bike From Work Bash

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Next week on Wednesday June 24th, the official Bike to Work day here in Colorado, Denver-based advertising agency Cactus (for whom I work as an Art Director) is throwing its inaugural Bike From Work Bash . I can personally guarantee a seriously kick ass throwdown the likes of which will be stuff of legend forever recorded in the mythical annals of Denver lore. You have to seize any available opportunity to use the word ‘annals’.

There will be Illegal Pete’s burritos, Breckenridge beer, Amp energy drinks (and Amp Energy girls), a live DJ (my good friend Tom Metz), bike stunts by Yellow Designs, bike valet service from Bike Denver along with security provided by the Denver Roller Dolls. I also designed the materials for the event, although it was a collective effort with my Creative Director Norm Shearer, Art Director Matt Chiabotti and Copywriter Lee Perlman (he’s the crazy guy in the helmet in the video above). Consequently, Indyink will have have larger 2-color screenprinted Bike from Work posters available at the event as well. As far of the event overall is involved, it was a big team of us at Cactus who put our heads together to pull this off and we poured the love in all the way to the top.

There will be also be a ‘Revenge of the Nerds-style’ tricycle relay race. The race is being hosted by Ad2 Denver and will benefit Wish for Wheels, a non-profit organization dedicated to supplying bikes for kindergarten students. Relay teams will consist of 5 members and the cost per entry is $100. There will be prizes given to teams with the most creative uniforms and tricycles. Maybe a team of luchadores?

You really can’t miss. There is going to be stunts, food, drinks, pretty people, money going to charity and you can rub elbows with the local creative and advertising people. I will be there for the duration of the party helping set up and break down (I am in it to win it). So, if we have yet to meet, stop by and say hello. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

The mayor said he wasn’t coming but that’s just an added reason to turn the volume all the way up to 11. Especially after turning down the best invitation ever.

written by Christopher | tags: , , , ,


Changethethought News Brief

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Well, 2008 was an insane year. So much happened that I did not expect. I set out, very deliberately, at the beginning of last year to start a whole new version of the site and really push myself both personally in my own work, and also strive to hunt down as much content as humanely possible to create a legitimate blog that can serve as a real source of daily inspiration for the modern designer. It wasn’t easy since I work full time as an Art Director at an advertising agency, and it has been straining many times, but it has been worth it. The site has come so far, and I have plans to keep pushing it further.

Just before the holiday I got word that Uptown Magazine will be publishing a special double issue (2 covers) for the inauguration of Obama that feature two of my illustrations. Currently I am also working on a new television spot for the Colorado Lottery . I also re-concepted and art directed along with all of my hard working friends at Cactus, the new version of the Own Your C campaign along with a new version of the website for which I am still pushing for further development. Thank you to my new writing partner Lee for all of his work on the new campaign. The OYC work included 5 new T.V. spots created with the amazingly talented people at Lifelongfrienshipsociety. I had more fun working with them this year than probably any other project I have worked on. NYC is amazing. I cannot wait to go back. I was also asked to contribute a small piece and make some predictions for trends in 2009 by Computer Arts Magazine. You can see and read this in the current issue (also pictured above). I also appeared in the 50 covers/50th issue of Advanced Photoshop Magazine U.K. this month. I am currently working on printing a new series of A3 posters and continue (outside of my day job) working on creating new posters and work (a recent poster is pictured above).

I am still looking for new partnerships both for the site and for new creative projects. I am still seeking a art/design rep to help me secure more design/illustration work and am always looking for new freelance projects. My work at Cactus is going very well though and I feel blessed everyday to be working for such a tremendous agency and be surrounded by so many talented and kind people. I plan on staying there with people I truly care about for some time.

I am just perpetually interested in growing as a creative and a person and that means taking on as much as I can handle. I will also be pursuing my acting career more aggressively this year and will be getting my first head shots soon. Basically, I refuse to sleep until I pass out.

I am also currently shopping for a house and have decided to hunker down for a while in Denver. Its beautiful here. Its an up-and-coming city and I want to be a part of making it a better place to be a creative.

2009 is going to be a big year and don’t let the media get you down. We can make the world better and turn things around. We have before and we can do it again. Stay positive and keep creating. Thank you so much for the support and keep your eye out because Changethethought is going to charge on.

written by Christopher | tags: , , , , ,


Own Your C 2.0

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Outside of Changethethought and trying to be a decent husband to a very supportive wife, I also work full time as an Art Director for an advertising agency in Denver called Cactus.

We have been working over 2 years on what I would now call a ‘health awareness’ campaign called Own Your C. The campaign was originally aimed at teen smokers, but we wanted to keep the message broad and empowering versus fear-mongering, polarizing and condescending. We thought if we could make it cool and rebellious to be intelligent and responsible versus being dumb and reckless, we might be able to make a difference in helping young people make healthy choices. We are still knee deep in it, and so far it has been an amazing ride.

This year we wanted to turn a corner and start trying to utilize the campaign to get young people both in Colorado and out of Colorado to start engaging one another and talking about the things that are important to them. We are still in the throes of rolling out that idea and the hub of the campaign is the newly launched ownyourC website. We saw the internet taking a pretty hard shift since the campaign started. The internet is finally emerging as a communication tool that has real power to be something young people can use to communicate and proliferate their own culture right under the nose of babyboom generation. So as opposed to fighting it we decided to go there with them and start steering the campaign in that same direction.

We worked with Lifelongfriendshipsociety to help create some quick 15 second spots that would speak to younger viewers about what they could do at the new website and ‘announce’ that the campaign had evolved. We felt it was also important to do something dramatic to attract new people to the campaign. We decided to transform the old ‘destination’ website into a ‘platform’ where users could create their own space on the site and defend their ideas by sharing their choices with their peers. Agencynet was responsible for building the website and they really poured themselves all the way into the project, as did LFS, and we were so happy to get the chance to work with them both. Amazing talent was represented throughout in terms of the creative.

Like I said the campaign is under constant development and as it evolves we are learning more and more about our audience, their ideas and needs. So far it has been a very rewarding experience and I have been really excited to be a part of it.

written by Christopher | tags: , , , ,


The Cigarette Is Dead

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The agency for whom I work as an Art Director, Cactus has recently been behind an ad campaign exclaiming that ‘The Cigarette is Dead” The ads have literally blanketed Denver. The campaign was created for the Colorado Department of Public Health. The campaign has been hard not to notice. Especially since the ads have come in the form of posters, spraypaint and wheat pasted posters over cigarette billboards. It has been an interesting thing to watch unfold since the campaign was approached as more of a social movement than a traditional ad campaign. The motion piece above was created by local motion designer Adam Espinoza. You can learn a little more about the campaign at the official website thecigaretteisdead.com.

written by Christopher | tags: , , ,


Lifelongfriendshipsociety Love

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My friends at Lifelongfriendshipsociety recently released a new spot for MaxMara that is quietly beautiful and every bit as original as the rest of the work in their portfolio. We have been working with them here at the agency I work (Cactus), and I just can’t say enough good things about them. They just kick ass. We shared some good times in NYC together and they have just been doing an awesome job on the series of spots they are producing for us. It didn’t take my writing partner and I long to feel like we had honorarily joined their ‘friendship society’. As good as things have been going, I would love to work with them again sometime in the near future. In short, we love them and if you are in the market for a top notch motion firm, you would be hard pressed to find someone better.

Above you can see an older promo they produced for Lost at E Minor that shows off exactly the kind of sensitivity to style, production, sound and artistic integrity that I was talking about. They pour themselves all the way into everything they do and that’s why we love them.

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Cactus Is Hiring In Denver

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As some of you may or may not know I work as an Art Director at Cactus, an advertising agency in Denver. We are growing right now in a big way and we are currently and for the first time in over two years, seeking some new people for our creative team. Essentially we are seeking an Art Director and Copywriter. We need an Art Director who is quick and capable of producing with a solid understanding of core design principles like typography, composition, color and is able of incorporating those elements into branding and advertising. In turn, you also need to be highly conceptual and able to think through all mediums in terms of creative problem solving such as new media, web, broadcast, print and branding. Our copywriters are quick on their feet and capable of making the most of jobs both large and small for a broad range of clients.The official Cactus description and contact information is posted below (note: we are hiring NOW and looking for people to bring on board as soon as possible so if you have the right stuff do not hesitate to contact us.)

“At Cactus, CREATIVE is KING. Our village is growing and we’re looking for a great new “mid-level” creative team (two-years of great stuff): a copywriter and art director tandem. If you’ve got the book to prove it, and you’re half or the whole team, we should talk. We’re looking for the right duo — a copywriter/AD combination who can throw together concepts that stick. Don’t be shy if you’re only half of the equation, we can do the matchmaking if necessary.While a good resume, relevant experience and strong references are important, we require you have an impressive portfolio and creative work samples to be considered for a position with us. If you’re interested, send your resume to 303.455.0408 (fax) or careers@sharpideas.com This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it with “creative team” in the subject line.”

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Get Lucky

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A fellow Art Director at Cactus, Matt Chiabotti got an idea to make this little Valentines Day video for the Lottery and it is pretty funny. So, consider it my Happy Valentines day card to you vis-a-vis Matt.

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Norm Shearer speaks

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My Creative Director and all around diplomatic nice guy Norm Shearer has granted an interview with the local ad-speak blog, The Denver Egotist. He speaks about our elusive Ad Agency, Cactus. He also talks a lot about his personal philosophy on managing a creative team, which was enlightening to me on a personal note. We are a rough and tumble, super-determined crowd at Cactus and Norm often finds himself in the middle of the rumble. It’s a special kind of chemistry that keeps us all going and a unique brand of glue that holds us together. Each of us is, in no uncertain way, our own individual, and that goes from account side all the way up through creative. The thing that keeps us together is the respect we have for each other. We often agree to disagree. We also measure our success by the end result we achieve for our clients, not our shelf of awards. A lot of people find that hard to believe and think they smell something disengenuine but that is the truth. It is really the only ultimate way to achieve job satisfaction in our industry and that may not seem important right out of school, but it sure as hell becomes important after a few years of practice. Of course you always insert a certain amount of your own agenda and if you do receive recognition from your peers, you won’t turn it down, but client’s could care less if you win some award they have never heard of. They want to see the line move on the graph in an upward trend. We really get in there with them too because good advertising stems from good strategy and it is pretty damn hard to move the needle without weaving them together.

Norm addresses all of these issues and more. So, if you want to know more about what is going on at my day job, head over to the Egotist and check it out.

written by Christopher | tags: , ,