Day 207

Well... my time in St. Louis has come to an end. It was certainly an interesting experience and I think I came out of it with a newfound appreciation for this city and those who inhabit it. Before I arrived, I didn’t know much about the area or what it had to offer, but now I can officially say that this is one hell of a place. Everyone is so kind and motivated too. In fact, I don’t think I heard a single negative phrase uttered in my entire time here. I also learned you can’t judge a city by the size of its downtown. St. Louis is just too far spread out and the best of what it has to offer is certainly found in its accompanying neighborhoods. 

I certainly want to send out a huge thank you to Boxing Clever for letting me be apart of what they do here and for showing me an absolutely incredible time. They’re definitely doing something special and I’m a better person for having been involved with it. I also need to thank all of the other wonderful people I met here—everyone at Bruton Stroube, CoolfireCannonball, Group 360, 90 Degrees West, Hoffman Lewis and Moosylvania, as well as Wesley Hoffman, the crew at Strange Donuts, Archie McKinlay, the list goes on and on. Lastly, I need to send a special shout out to Casey and Sara Latiolais for letting me crash in their spare room for the month and for being my impromptu tour guides of the city. Without them, I would’ve missed out on A LOT of cool things. 

At 7am Saturday, I head to the windy city, where I’ll soon begin my tenure at TRIS3CT. Although I’ve been to Chicago a few times before, I know it has a lot more to offer and I’m excited to take it all in. We’re halfway through this little project of mine and if the second half is anything like the first, we’re going to have a great time together. 

Go Team USA!

-Steve-

Day 197

This weekend, I discovered just how tight knight the St. Louis creative community truly is.

It all started Friday night when my hosts (Casey and Sara) and I joined up with a small group at the Schlafly Taproom. As I’ve come to expect from most of the outings we attend, our table was filled with creatives and agency folks from all over—Boxing Clever, Bruton Stroube, Cannonball, Group 360 and Hoffman Lewis to name a few. We sat down to enjoy some delicious beers and spent the next few hours discussing agency life and how St. Louis stacks up to other cities around the nation. I also learned that many of the people I’ve met here all know each other in some capacity. Whether it’s through school, a past agency or just traveling in similar circles, it truly seems as if everyone here is connected in someway.

The following morning, Casey and I ran in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. For those following along, you’ll know this is the second 5K I’ve participated in along my #TGAA route, with the last one taking place in Charlotte. And for those wondering, I finished with a time of 25:07. After the race, we got together with Darrick Hays (a Digital Art Director at Boxing Clever) and his wife to chow down on some BBQ from Bogarts Smokehouse. The meal quickly manifested into a food coma and long story short, there are a few hours of the day I can’t quite place after we got back.

The next thing I remember is heading back to Schlafly, where I met up with some more Boxing Clever folks to catch Bastard & the Crows, a band that features BC Art Director, Joe Stephens. It was a great time filled with drinks, music and a few increasingly familiar faces.

But the fun and introductions don’t end there. Later this afternoon, I have the opportunity to sit down with Wesley Hoffman, a man of many talents. Not only does he run Treehouse Networkshop (which I discussed last Monday), but he’s also a Special Projects Manager at happyMedium and a Brand Ambassador for Strange Donuts. So, needless to say, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with him this afternoon.

I honestly don’t think I can accurately convey how many great people I’ve met here in the past few weeks. I know it’s only for a short while, but I’m having such an amazing time getting to know everyone here and learning of their various (and often overlapping) endeavors throughout the city. St. Louis is proving to be a great experience indeed—a trend that’s continued since day one.

-Steve-

Day 186

I’m only a few days into my residency at Boxing Clever and I can already tell I’m going to love it here. From the moment the elevator doors opened, I’ve been shown nothing but warmth and enthusiasm for the project. I was already overjoyed with how my weekend shaped up, due to the generosity of BC Partner, Jim Harper, but it’s easy to see his kindness is shared amongst the rest of the office as well.

The office itself is littered with concert posters, industrial accents, metal figures and stunning artwork. They also have shelves upon shelves of things I love—from Kid Robot figures and Adventure Time toys to whoopee cushions, candy bars and whiskey bottles. It’s as if everyone’s inner child is on display and that’s certainly something I can relate to. Basically, this is what my apartment would look like if I lived here; just throw a bed in the corner and I’d feel right at home.

One Corner of the Boxing Clever Office

Oh, but that’s not all! There’s also a ton of records and skateboard decks scattered throughout the space—evidence of the agency’s deep ties to local Record Store Day festivities. Most of the posters you’ll see on the walls are musically inspired as well and a majority of them are even signed by the artists themselves—from the likes of They Might Be Giants and Rise Against to Torche and My Bloody Valentine. That’s because BC designs them for the national acts, who do autograph signings at local landmark, Vintage Vinyl. I haven’t been to it yet, but that’s probably a good thing because I like having money in the bank… but then again, I do like records… hmm...

Last night, I also got the opportunity to attend the 48 Hour Film Project—a showcase for the city’s talented filmmakers and creative minds.  Although Boxing Clever didn’t participate this year (you can see their previous entries here), it was really cool to see what people brought to life in just two short days. If you ever see one of these events taking place in your city, I highly recommend checking it out. After the show, I hit up Chuck Berry's local restaurant, Blueberry Hill, with some folks from BC and Bruton Stroube, which was a great way to cap off an awesome night. 

-Steve-