Monthly Archives

August 2012

The Art of Business

By | General | One Comment

In honor of Creative Summer, one of our awesome clients has written a guest blog about how her art has made her better at business.

by Renée Vevea

It’s always a bit difficult for me to answer the question, “What do you do?”. A common question oftentimes asked by people just met or haven’t seen for a while. My answer is not a simple statement or a one-liner. I’ve come to fear, in my own way, answering this question because I’m not sure where to edit myself. It would be easy to say I’m a teacher, a banker, a marketer, a salesperson, a stay-at-home mom, a student. But my answer goes something like this:

“I work full-time as a digital senior business project manager for a large corporation downtown Minneapolis, am a part-time adjunct faculty (teaching two times a week) at a local college, am working on my doctorate and am also an artist specializing in acrylic painting and have an art studio in St. Paul. And, by the way, I’m a mother to a college senior, am preparing for my third solo art show this year, and spend lots of time in the social media arena – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and blogging – under various nomenclatures. “

Eyes start to glaze over midway through my description and heads start to shake.

But I don’t think I’m alone in not having a one-line answer to the question “what do you do”. In our current culture of digitization we have at our realm smart phones, wireless tablets, GPS navigation systems, and everything in between. We are becoming a culture of multi-taskers whether we like it or not. We can order our groceries, make doctor’s appointments, pay our bills and send a birthday card all online. Instead of sitting on the couch and watching television for four hours a night, we can sit on the couch, watch television, pay our bills, send emails to friends and family, connect thru social media, take college classes, check our work email and write our grocery list. Some say technology has improved and streamlined our lives; others state it has isolated us.

I’ve always been both analytical and creative, using the left and right sides of my brain. Finding a career that both challenges and satisfies both sides has in itself been challenging. Always easier to find jobs that were more analytical, the creative side started to atrophy a few years ago and I felt like I was losing part of myself. After trying jewelry making, knitting, quilting and card making, I took a painting class. It lasted 6 weeks. The first night I was so afraid – I had never held a paintbrush in my hand nor made a color wheel. Blue and yellow make green….red and blue make purple….how glorious it felt to blend and swirl the paintbrush with the wet acrylic paint into a variety of sumptuous colors. The first stroke of wet paint on the canvas made me feel uplifted, airy and light. I wasn’t nervous anymore. I took the class six more times and began to introduce myself at each first session as the student the teacher wouldn’t pass – it was a joke – but I couldn’t get enough of painting and the classroom gave me the three hours a week to be free. Free from thinking about work, about deadlines, about schedules, about to do lists.

Nuages Pleurer, acrylic with multiple compounds, 2011

Nuages Pleurer, acrylic with multiple compounds, 2011

Finally, after the sixth time taking the class, my teacher, a wonderful woman with two MFAs, took me aside and said I should go it alone – she could teach me no more. I had started using many multiple compounds with the paint and my paintings, very abstract and textural, took on a style all of their own. Fortunately, I found an artist’s cooperative in St. Paul who, after an interview and viewing of my work, accepted me into the co-op. My art has flourished and is ever-changing – with the seasons, with where I am emotionally and spiritually, and with the different and myriad inspirations that come my way. My first solo art show was this past January – over 40 pieces. I was very excited to have the opportunity to show my work – and only my work – in one location for three months but also apprehensive and a bit anxious feeling vulnerable about my paintings. What if people didn’t like it…what if no one came to the opening (fortunately over 200 people did come to the opening!).

Naptime, acrylic, 2012

Naptime, acrylic, 2012

Art is art. It has its own subjectivity which cannot be controlled, nor edited. I paint what I like to paint. When I paint I’m in a place like no other – my mind is free and I feel the most creative. The time I take to paint – usually 4-6 hours per week is very important to me and I have realized, thru the practice, exercise and commitment to painting, I have grown in my career. Painting has taught me to be more patient, to not be so hard on myself, and also, if I don’t like something, I can do it over. It’s okay to show someone your art – or at work to share with your co-workers your successes – it’s okay to be vulnerable, it’s okay to open up. Rejection is something we put on ourselves.

I still don’t have a short answer to the question, “what do you do”, but am happy to share all that I do and have realized that sharing the part of my life, art, that is so important, has not only filled the creative side of my personality but also allowed that side to show at work and through some of the projects I work on. Art and creativity are everywhere…including the business world.

bulles d’air, acrylic with multiple compounds, 2011

bulles d’air, acrylic with multiple compounds, 2011

Renée Vevea lives in the Twin Cities and works in the interactive field. Renee is also an adjunct faculty at the Art Institute International. A member of the Old Town Artist’s Co-op in St. Paul, Renée has been painting for over three years and is busily preparing for her third solo art show this October. She is excited to have her son graduate from college in December so she’ll have more funds to purchase painting supplies.

Intern Series Finale: What College Doesn’t Teach You

By | General | No Comments

Note: Today is Laura’s last day at d.trio. She’s done a great job and we’ll all miss her. Good luck in school, Laura!

by: Laura Gorder, marketing intern

Walking into my internship on the first day, I knew I had a lot to learn, but never did I expect to learn so much in only eight weeks.

This summer, I have been exposed to a number of things that our college professors and curriculum tend to leave out. Things they don’t write about in textbooks. Things I’d likely only discover by being a part of the industry. Things I didn’t know that I was missing. I learned plenty about myself, about the industry, and about being a part of an account services team.

About Myself…
I’m far from an expert in anything. I have come to understand that I have a lot to learn. Being an intern exposed me to a variety of professionals, many of which are experts and incredibly knowledgeable in their industry due to their years of dedication and experience. As a soon-to-be college graduate, I have realized that in order to be successful, I must never stop learning.

Using my eyes & ears. I have also learned the importance of listening and observing at this stage in my career. d.trio marketing group has been wonderful about including me in their meetings – from brainstorming sessions, to giving creative direction, to presenting final work to clients. I have watched ideas grow into campaigns, criticism strengthen design, and executives sell their work and the rationale behind it. By observing these activities, I have a much better understanding of what works, what doesn’t and how to manage people in order to reach a final goal.

Tight Knit. This internship has reinforced my preference for small dynamic environments. Eleven professionals make up d.trio marketing group, providing an environment that’s open to collaboration and teamwork. Because of the agency’s size, I was able to be a part of projects throughout their entire lifecycle – a great fit for someone who likes to have control and stay involved from start to finish.

About the Industry…
It’s not all glamorous. That’s because until I was behind-the-scenes, I didn’t realize the amount of critical thinking, management, and re-do’s that creative work requires. I have learned that the marketing industry relies on trustworthy relationships not only with clients, but also with vendors. There is a magnitude of other businesses that work collaboratively, from commercial printers to specialized agencies, and play an important part in producing awesome work.

It’s not all the same. There are many types of agencies out there – marketing, advertising, design, digital, small, large, specialized, full-service. It’s all actually very different. My time at d.trio marketing group has helped me understand these differences and prepared me for interviews and opportunities with other agencies in the future.

About Account Services …
The art of communication. Whoa, I had never realized how important the role of communication is for an account executive. Nearly every person associated with a project takes direction from the agency’s executive, and if that direction isn’t clear, the project has potential of turning into a muddy mess. A good account executive is able to read between the lines of a client’s communication – verbal or non – and then pass it along to right-brain dominant creatives and so forth. Being able to master this task is something I know will take practice.

Constructive compliments. d.trio marketing group does an awesome job at giving compliments. I have learned that as a member of an account team, pointing out the positives in a situation builds morale and boosts collaboration. Giving credit when credit is due has proven to be a secret to successful teamwork.

My eight-week journey at d.trio marketing group has been very significant in my pursuit for a career in marketing. I couldn’t possibly share everything that I have learned, but look forward to fueling the path ahead with the knowledge I gained this summer.

Huge thank you to d.trio marketing group for a successful summer internship experience – I owe ya! 😉

Intern Series: A Culture that Cares

By | General | No Comments

by: Laura Gorder, Marketing Intern

In the heart of the Midwest lies a city that is bursting with enterprise, including countless marketing agencies that reign in some of the smartest marketing professionals in the nation. In the midst of all these agencies you’ll find a small and dynamic team headed by three that have adopted me into their line-up this summer at d.trio marketing group.

There isn’t another group of individuals I would rather be spending my summer internship with. Regardless of their busy schedules packed with deadlines and client meetings, the folks at d.trio have been incredibly welcoming, thoughtful, and educational. They have taken the time to introduce me to their current projects and clients, passed along some really good advice, and have even sat me down for mini-lessons like ‘Bank Marketing 101.’ And the experiences don’t end there. Because of this internship, I have been in-depth and behind-the-scenes at a commercial printer, have the opportunity to work with freelance copy writers and designers, am involved in client presentations, and have met a handful of other vendors in the industry.

Aside from being a part of the awesome work that’s happening, the d.trio team has proven to be an entertaining bunch. With the occasional lunch dates, happy hours, and bad humor cracked in our meeting room, this agency is well-balanced and full of energy.

Because d.trio marketing group is a smaller agency, I have been able to work one-on-one with each member of the team. Everyone has been eager to get me involved in his or her departments and I am lucky enough to get my hands dirty and help projects transform through every stage of the development process. The agency’s willingness to hand-off responsibilities to me and help me grow in the marketing industry is fantastic. My experiences thus far have proven that I have wound up in a caring culture, filled with some great people.

Stay tuned to learn more about my advice to other marketing interns and what exactly my internship at d.trio marketing group has taught me this summer.

Intern Series: Introducing Laura

By | General | No Comments

Laura Gorder
Marketing Intern

Major: Marketing Management
Minor: Communications and Journalism
School: University of St. Thomas

On my first day I was thinking: “I really get this entire office to myself? No cubicle? Woohoo!”

What I hope to gain from my internship at d.trio marketing group: I hope to gain skills in account services and obtain a broader understanding of agency life by working side-by-side with industry experts and assisting in various marketing projects.

In my spare time I like to: Escape to my lake cabin in Northern MN, blog, spend time with friends & family, and plan my next European adventure.

My guilty pleasure: Instagram

My favorite food is: Cheese

If I had one super power, it’d be: Teleport capabilities – Imagine all the places you could go!

I find inspiration by: Doing new things/meeting new people and keeping up-to-date with design/culture blogs.

My favorite place on earth is: The Highlands in Scotland.

My life moto is: Dream. Explore. Reflect. Repeat.

Stay tuned for a series of posts about my experiences as an intern at d.trio marketing group, my advice to other marketing interns, and what I have learned about the marketing industry throughout the summer.