Creative Entrepreneur, author, musician
James Kinney is a creative entrepreneur, author, musician, and host of experiential NYC. James started off the interview with a lyric he wrote which succinctly describes the tactful eloquent wordsmith that he is.
"My best friend Kareem told me to follow my dream. Like MLK I'm on my way, but I'm JNK not JFK, but I’d like to be JFK someday."
James is quite the remarkable human being. A former Wall St sales executive and law firm marketer turn advocate for a better workplace, Kinney is a survivor of agoraphobia, depression and a nearly fatal car crash that forced him to learn how to walk again. Kinney turned a $200 investment into a 7 figure bi-coastal business group in five years. Kinney’s clients have included Toyota, ELLE, IBM, Forest Whitaker, Lucinda Bassett, Yahoo, Redken, Belkin, Estee Lauder, City National Bank and others. He has also founded businesses including, 30Kft, Inc and Kinney Group Creative. You can also listen to Kinney on LA Talk Live. Kinney currently helps organizations build authentic and engaged cultures though his management consulting and creates award winning event experiences. His career path has been described as the nexus of art & commerce, all for the purpose of bringing together the community for the greater good.
Follow James Kinney on twitter @Jamesnkinney & his instagram @jamesnicholaskinney
Hugh Kretschmer is a conceptual photographer with a surrealist, imaginative eye that is truly an original voice. As he describes his work as,
"They are commentaries on the human condition, influenced by a perspective that honors and embraces the assets, and deficits, we all share as human beings, seasoned with a bit of quirk and irony."
He blurs that fine line between art and commerce, and fine art and commercial work.
Kretschmer is a Los Angeles native who grew up in a family of artists, discovering photography at 13 under the guidance of his father, who was a photo-instrumentation engineer for McDonnell Douglas during the Mercury through Apollo missions. Some of his clients include Sony, Old Spice, Kohler, Evian, Mastercard, USPS, Toyota, FX Network, TLC Network, GQ, Esquire, Vanity Fair, New York Times Magazine, Time, Newsweek. He is represented by Renee Rhyner & Co. in North America, and Trayler and Trayler in Europe for his commercial work, and by Fathom Gallery in Los Angeles for fine art. View his inspiring work here, http://www.hughkretschmer.net
Social Creative Director at Razorfish.
Creative gone marketer. Pro in concepting and blue sky thinking that's rooted in marrying tools, techniques and analytics and business results. Matt started the social media practice at Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners (kbs) working with clients including BMW, Giorgio Armani, Vanguard, HomeGoods, and Vera Wang. He currently leads Razorfish’s social media practice working on clients ranging from Mercedes-Benz to Citibank to Uniqlo to Adobe to smart (car). Over the past 15 years Matt Heindl has become an expert in results-driven, alternative digital marketing strategies: tapping into existing online movements to spread messages and create content. He is quite the hot commodity when it comes to creative social engagement in advertising. His truly innovative mind allows him to pave the way and march to his own beat.
Entertainment Executive, COO of Atom Factory & Smashd, Founder of AMLAK Music
Banch Abegaze is a force of nature with a sharp business acumen that makes her keen to adapt quickly in her career choices. An immigrant from Ethiopian at age 8, she grew up fast in order to litigate for her father in legal trouble whom could not speak the language. Inspired to study law at a young age while always having a passion for music and art, she now applies her law degree to music management. Working alongside Troy Carter embarking on the creation of Atom Factory, a leading music management in Los Angeles, they have represented the likes of John Legend, Meghan Trainor, Benny Cassette, and Kamasi Washington. She is an empowering individual that when in the face of change, will adapt, and if anything embraces it and sees where the path may lead. She doesn’t allow disruption of the norm to fluff her feathers, but rather empower her to survive and embark on new ventures. She has started her own music management company called AMLAK Music, where she seeks to represent artists that do what they love for the greater good and connect to a higher power. AMLAK came from her real Ethiopian name Banchamlak, which means god-willing. We compared similarities in the changes of licensing and distribution of music and photography, talked thru challenging intellectual property negotiations, and the complex role of an artists' agent, being an advocate, business partner, and master negotiator.
Follow Banch Abegaze on twitter @BanchAbegaze
Entrepreneur, Producer, Philanthropist, Environmentalist.
Ben Scharlin is a free spirited, out-of-the-box thinker. Between studying acting at the American Conservatory Theater and then creative writing, film, and philosophy at Sarah Lawrence his eclectic tastes lead him to a creative entrepreneurial path in producing, directing and founding new businesses, most recently Aim High and Fresh Charities. Aim High is an online arts, culture, and lifestyle magazine and Fresh Charities, is a social network for social change and aims to connect the charitably curious to the world of local and global organizations by providing a place where the two can connect in the social-sphere, communicate, and take action together for the well being and improvement of our planet and everything that lives on it. Our conversation is nothing short of mildly existential and socioeconomic, all thru the lens of maintaining a balanced life as working creatives in today's society.
Writer, Producer, Media Executive
Lori Kozlowski explores storytelling in all of its forms. Currently, she is the producer of a virtual reality (VR) film series called Project Empathy, which examines human rights issues. Previously, she led the media division of entertainment and music
management company Atom Factory, and co-founded the tech + culture
publication and platform Smashd. She executive produced a number of video
series, which explored music, emerging artists, new technology, and
cutting edge companies. She has worked with brands such as Spotify,
Samsung, and Google. Prior to Atom Factory, she was an editor and columnist for Forbes,
covering tech, startups, and entrepreneurs. Before Forbes, she was a senior editor at the Los Angeles Times, overseeing digital content and strategy, mobile, and emerging platforms. Fascinated with the merger of storytelling and tech, she has worked with
MIT Media Lab startups and has served as adjunct faculty at Chapman
University and at USC. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from the
University of Southern California.
Art Director at Pitchfork Media
Noelle Roth is a visionary creative spirit always seeking to push thru the most innovative ideas to her clients. Previously senior designer at Grip Design, she now heads the photography and art design of Pitchfork Magazine. Under constant tight deadlines she has had to refine her process to match her unyielding workflow and practice open-minded fresh thinking. She is quite astute and deft in her creative process, with techniques of using the Brian Eno's Obliques Strategies and strongly recommends Deep Work by Cal Newport. We talk about her transition from advertising clients into the editorial world, her creative process and how she stays balanced amongst the noise.
Creative consultant & founder of Adhesive & Co
Shabnam inspires others to explore and grow creatively. For 10+ years as a photo agent Shabnam has helped photographers develop their voice and portfolio to the industry. Shabnam gets both sides; what the client wants and what the creative needs to present their brand as the ultimate package.
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Senior Photo Editor of Refinery 29, Art Director, Photographer
Erica Gannett is currently Senior Photo Editor at Refinery 29 where she has covered everything starting from still life and product stories and now fashion & beauty. She was raised in Massachusetts, spent 12 years in Chicago and now currently resides in Brooklyn. Previously she was photo editor of Timeout Chicago, founded a food journal called Middlewest Magazine, and now is at the helm of Refinery29's ever-evolving business model from lifestyle blog to branded content media platform where many brands are partnering with R29 because of their loyal audience. We talk about how she finds new talent, how she schedule free time at the end of every day to explore and discover new photographers, and how inspired she is by R29's culture and how they aren't afraid to shed light and nurture discussions around more taboo liberal topics.
Brand Creative Director at Paperless Post, part-time faculty at The New School
Luke Williams is the Brand Creative Director at Paperless Post, a design company specializing in customizable digital invitations for private events. Together with his team, Luke is committed to establishing a reputation for Paperless Post as the preeminent online invitation company, dedicated to fostering personal connections through the finest design available on the web.
Prior to joining Paperless Post, Luke was a graphic designer at Pentagram, Under Armour, Leo Burnett, Google Creative Lab, and most recently the Museum of Modern Art. He has also maintained a freelance design practice since 2009, working with clients primarily among the performing arts and hospitality industries. Luke’s work has been awarded by the Type Directors Club, Communication Arts, Print and HOW magazines, and has been published in design literature from Gestalten, Rockport, and Taschen. He also recently gave a talk, watch here: hyperakt.com/lunch-talks/lukewilliams
Comedy Director, Podcast Creator of Respect the Process
Commercial comedy director Jordan Brady has directed over 700 commercials and 3 comedy documentaries I AM COMIC, I AM ROAD COMIC, and I AM BATTLE COMIC. Some of his recent commercial clients include Toyota, Ford, Fiat, Chrysler, and Nat Geo. He also has a podcast called Respect The Process about commercial film-making as well as teaches an in depth seminar to up-and-coming directors about the nuances and layers to commercial directing, called Commercial Directing Bootcamp. His background as a comedian led him to many collaborations with comedy legends like Louis CK, Marc Maron, Tim Allen, Nikki Glaser, Margaret Cho, Jim Gaffigan, Keegan Michael Key, Kathy Griffin, Chris Hardwick, Nick Kroll, Sarah Silverman, to name a few. He's one incredible and generous individual, and opens up on Mergeleft about how he got started, when he's veered off the path, and his mentality of "adapt or die" pushing in thru in this ever-changing media landscape.
View Jordan's latest spots at Superlounge.tv
Listen to Jordan's podcast at RespectTheProcess
Attend Jordan's seminar at CommercialDirectingBootcamp.com