FEATURING: Shabnam & Brian of ADHESIVE&CO
What do the words "Creative Community" bring to mind for you? How do you feel is the best way to utilize members in a Creative Community?
As community builders, ADHESIVE&CO initiated events to stick like-minded creatives together in a casual environment for the last 8+ years. We provide a unique approach to industry functions, reviving face-to-face social networking (over drinks, of course)! The NYC branch was established in August of 2007, the West Coast branch of San Francisco was launched in the fall of 2014 and Boston and LA were born in 2015. Our Member Base extends to a wide range of creatives: consisting of photographers, photo assistants, directors, retouchers, graphic designers, stylists, producers, agents, writers, developers and their assorted creative friends. We believe that putting all these creatives in a room together fosters new relationships and comradery around issues that creatives struggle with every day. And for us, it is vital for our business to know so many talented creatives for future work!
How did you discover your creativity?
SHABNAM: My move to the Big Apple was instrumental to fueling my creativity. Could not have been done without my Mom. Even though she didn't quite understand the creative world, she was my biggest supporter.
BRIAN: I credit my third grade teacher, Mrs. Nelson, and my parents for supporting my creativity very early on. Currently being inspired by my pet project...beekeeping.
Name the biggest challenge you have had in your career to date. How did you solve it?
Kicking off ADHESIVE&CO as a full-on creative agency has been a big challenge in itself. At most of our events, members would ask us advice on their business and needing help with a visual identity or consulting. We realized there was a true need for this consulting within our ADHESIVE community. Leveraging our strengths in branding and marketing in our separate lives, we joined forces and heeded the call of transforming the events-driven organization to creative agency!
What was your first “Big Break” in your profession?
For ADHESIVE&CO, working for PARS EQUALITY CENTER was our first major project. We loved working with a fellow community builder on their online strategies for web and social. Their challenges of voicing the message to their audience and gaining awareness echoed ADHESIVE&CO when we first started out in the industry. Working with them to broadcast their new design and vision was an inspiring collaboration.
What's in your backpack/handbag/tote right now?
SHABNAM: I live out of my Fjallraven backpack; containing my laptop, notebook, a copy of Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg, and of course, business cards....I met so many creatives in my daily interactions that are trying to launch their business but need a visual identity or consultation. We are there to help!
BRIAN: The current book I am reading Hellbent by Benjamin Lorr, business cards, a phone charger, a fortune I received on a trip to Mt Fuji, sunglasses, a sketchbook, and a couple of sharpies (you never know when you will need to write a name tag : )
Do you have any advice for someone starting out in your creative profession?
Work hard to create a solid portfolio. Work equally as hard on developing your network. Relationships are the key to any successful business. Get a beautifully designed website with an established voice straightaway. A defined Elevator Pitch works for any type of creative and elevates you and your brand from the get go.
What are some of your favorite places/books/blogs/websites for inspiration?
We personally love our Sticky Sundays blog, that features a different creative each week. We find inspiration in the diversity of creative folks out there and enjoy celebrating their achievements! Interested in being featured? Send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Who are the people that have been instrumental in your success as a creative professional?
ADHESIVE&CO: We would not be here without our event leads: Jenna Teeson, Zack Brown, Korin Thorig, Lauren Jones & Sam Comen. Thanks to our social lead Danielle Gray for spreading the word to our creative community.
SHABNAM: Goes without saying my family; they still don't really understand what it is that I do, but still brag to all their friends! The key peeps that have helped me blossom: Krista Prestek (GQ) who nudged my high heel into the fashion door, and Kate Ryan (Kate Ryan Inc) who as been instrumental in who I am today; both professionally and personally. My list has endless influencers and I am extremely grateful to everyone, especially to our ADHESIVE members.
BRIAN: My family has been an incredible support over the years, and my many mentors over the years have all had a major influence on who I am today: Roger DeMuth & Cora Lynn Deibler (Syracuse University), Charlayne Murrell-Smith (Boston Children’s Museum), Bonnie Mackay, Kathy Thornton-Bias, Mike Abbink and James Gara (MoMA), Jerry Helling (Bernhardt) and Marco Beghin have all been inspirations! Not to mention all the people I have worked with over the years and our ADHESIVE members!
What would be your last supper?
SHABNAM: Endless amounts of sushi, sake and wine accompanied by great conversation with all the amazing people in my life.
BRIAN: Fitting, as I have a “Last Supper” art reproduction collection… Some combination of a venison steak (medium rare), lobster (somehow), arugula with goat cheese, a fine Malbec, plenty of french bread and butter with honey, and a flat white at the end.
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