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A Conversation with Ben

We sat down with Ben Lovejoy, owner of Lovejoy Creative, to learn more about him. He’s a coworker at Atomci20 and has worked with us on multiple clients, including Zayo, Gro.io, LiveGreen, Scrum.

What’s your favorite brand? 

Tough question for a brand guy/over-thinker such as myself. I’m gong to go with Rapha. They make exceptional cycling clothing. I can say from personal experience that their products are of the highest quality. They’ve done a masterful job of maintaining an enormous amount of integrity in their communications and all the ways that their brand is seen, so they manage it very carefully and strategically. And they have always made a considerable investment in design. They seem to work with top notch people, and put a lot of trust in them when making materials, catalogues, and their website. It all feels like their products are fine tuned and carefully considered down to the smallest details. And that attention to detail can be felt in everything they do. They’ve also done a great job utilizing social media and people’s personal experiences with the brand (including races, pop-up shops, tours with athletes and personalities, enrolling brand ambassadors, etc.) to leverage the brand and further it’s reach. Which I think is admirable.

Where do you find your inspiration? 

Depends on the project. For most design-related things I’ll probably dig through books and annuals first, as I have a good sized library. I try to get outside, usually on the bike, and get my head out of it so I can find fresh perspectives. I really try to practice a discipline called Thinking Wrong, where I try to go against my own heuristic bias (habits). If I’m in front of the computer, the AIGA design archive is great, and of course, Ello are always helpful. I might even use Google Images and search for things related to the client’s business that I may not have thought of. I’m big on looking for inspiration in unexpected places.

Who has had the biggest influence on you? 

Boy, that’s hard to say in one person. I’ll have to pick a couple. Early in my career  David Carson was a big influence. What he was saying (even more than the work he was producing) about following intuition and finding inspiration everywhere was a big influence on me. Stefan Sagmeister has also been a constant and long lasting source of inspiration and has challenged me to keep growing and changing. On a more personal note, in the Bay Area, I was friends with Christopher Simmons of Mine. He’s brilliant and I both learned a lot from him as well as got my start teaching design by taking over his class which was a great chapter for me. Finally, here in CO I’ve been very inspired by Todd & Lucian of Berger & Fohr as well as the fine work coming out of Good Apples. All those guys make amazing work and my desire to make work of that caliber is an ongoing fire for me.

One more thing. I would be remiss not to include Jen Sincero as a big influence on the next chapter of my career. She is the author of the excellent book “You Are A Badass” and was my personal coach. She is basically the reason I’m embarking on this new career and both her book and her work with me personally have been a tremendous influence on what’s coming next for me.

What is the one thing you wish you could tell yourself 10 years ago?

Jeez, who makes these up? I really don’t know. I’m very happy with how my career has changed and transformed and I wouldn’t really do anything differently, so that’s a tough question. If I push myself though, 10 years ago I was closing my studio and going back to work in other agencies and I was in a big battle inside myself about whether that was failure, or simply the next step. I guess I’d say to myself looking back, this is the best next thing for you to do, because it has been.

Tell us some fun facts about yourself.

Obviously being a dad of three awesome girls is a super big part of my life. I love being a dad and it’s had a big influence on me both creatively and as an entrepreneur. And cycling is a huge part of my life (just having done a 70 mile ride with Jefe and a slew of people from Zayo in fact). The biggest thing is this new career I’m starting (slowly but surely) as an author. Basically I’m writing a book, starting to blog, and trying to develop an audience around this book idea. The book is called “You Are Creative” subtitle “Yeah You, No Matter What You Think.” It’s an effort to reach people who think that they are not creative, and who’s lives are limited by this false belief, and help them get in touch with their inherent creativity, thereby expanding the possibilities available in their life. I see it as having a big impact for people who think they aren’t creative themselves, and also (hopefully) will be popular amongst us creative types because I’m going to gear part of it towards teaching clients how to engage in their creativity which makes the creative process go so much more smoothly.

To see more of Ben’s creative work, visit his website.

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