Creativity is a core aspect of my identity. Whether it’s music, writing, or business problem-solving, I’m operating at a higher level of energy and engagement when I’m involved in elements of creativity. Below are a few of the projects that keep my creative juices flowing!
Writing – Beyond the blog element of this site, I’m working on two creative writing projects. The first is a collection of humorous short stories paired with general lessons and life advice. You can preview the stories themselves here; the project they’ll be embedded into is called The Little Book of Misadventures. (The second project is a full-length novel, but I’m not ready to reveal details about that just yet:)
- What my involvement looks like:
- Writer – obviously.
- Creative Director – I teamed up with designer Landon Tucker to bring two distinct elements to the project: story illustrations, and a monthly newsletter. The former adds a fun layer to the flavor of the stories, and the latter is intended to create an audience for the forthcoming publication. I cast a broad vision to Landon for how this partnership could work, including cost/benefit and return on investment. Here’s an example our newsletter, The Monthly Misadventure.
- Project Manager – The end goal for this project is to bring a nonfiction book to publication through traditional means (preferably a well-established publishing house). Six months ago I knew nothing about this space. Now, one writer’s conference and dozens of networking interviews later, I’ve zeroed in on literary agents and have a solid marketing plan in place. This includes the website, newsletters, and the audio production of The Monthly Misadventure. All of it is designed to create a cohesive brand and community that leads a trail of enticing crumbs to the final edited manuscript. (I’ll most likely incorporate a social media component when I’m confident in how to leverage it.)
- Who I work with:
- Graphic Designer
- Beta Readers
- Literary Agents
Start-ups – In February 2016 a friend approached me with a crazy idea: would it be possible to apply the learning structure and community of taekwondo with something like guitar lessons for kids? “I have no idea,” I said, “but let’s find out!” Thus, Guitar Champions was born. Guitar Champions is a unique and exciting spin on the traditional approach to teaching guitar lessons, including nuanced differences like group lessons, a merited learning system, and an online/mobile app that helps galvanize the lessons with the student’s practice. They are committed to building character, encouraging confidence, and fostering community all through this amazing instrument!
- What my involvement looked like:
- Content Creator – The owner himself is not a musician, but he has young boys who participate in taekwondo and want to learn to play the guitar. With his knowledge of the structure and community of taekwondo, I helped him create a unique 24-month curriculum designed to help students through the early hurdles of learning a new instrument and on to becoming proficient guitar players.
- Creative Strategist – Beyond the musical curriculum itself, I also developed and incorporated the tiered learning structure similar to taekwondo, trading belts and stripes for different colored guitar straps and pins based on one’s level in the program. In addition, I pitched and helped the develop an app component that would not only assist with the administrative oversight of tracking a student’s progress but also feature tutorials to would help maximize the weekly lessons with practice time.
- Marketing Manager – Every start-up needs effective marketing, especially brick and mortar locations. I put together a robust plan that included radio ads and interviews, social media integrations, a holiday gift-giving campaign, and even road signs (leave no stone unturned!).
- Producer – I believe that any successful venture has to tell a compelling story, and that’s what I sought to create for Guitar Champions. I wrote the script, booked the location and videographer, and produced the final product in the editing room.
- Who I worked with:
- Local media
- Music retailers
- Graphic Designers
- App Developer
Music – For last several years I’ve served as the songwriter and bandleader for a music endeavor called Two Bars From The Gun. We’ve released a few recording projects (an album and a separate single), that have garnered excellent reviews.
- What my involvement looks like:
- Creative Director – I bring the lyrics, melody, and general direction to the musicians.
- Manager – I utilize strong interpersonal skills and a natural attention to detail in scheduling all aspects of the band (rehearsals, performances, recording sessions, finances, etc.).
- Producer – I oversee the greater brand of the project, from album artwork to web design to mix levels and everything in between. I write the songs, sure, but I also communicate with everyone involved in bringing a project to completion, or a vision to fruition. I choose my collaborators carefully based on their skill, professionalism, and relational synergy. Aside from the recording sessions, I also ran point on the following video productions.
- Who I work with:
- Graphic designers
- Studio engineers
- Media/press contacts