What I Learned: How To Think

What I Learned: How To Think

My thoughts on thinking

If there’s anything I’d say is required for making a piece of art, it’s inspiration…

And sometimes inspiration is hard as hell to come by. Everybody hits walls while writing, exercising, learning something… honestly anything that you’ve gotta put effort into you can find yourself at a stand still at some point. It’s hard to get through and it sucks, you feel like your brain just decided to turn off, and there’s no hope of turning it back on.

Sometimes when this happens to me I have a real quick chat with my brain, something along the lines of:

Me: Hey I’d like to finish this project that’s due tomorrow please, it’s kinda important.
My brain: How about I think about some random shit that doesn’t have to do with it instead.
Me: Is there anyway you cou-
My brain: Nah.

It’s frustrating, but it happens, a lot. So, if you’re pursuing a creative career this is something that you kinda have to learn how to deal with really effectively. And what I’m going to say may seem basic but it’s something that I’ve seen time and time again here at the Artoholiks. The best way to get through a wall is to have other people to brainstorm with, and that’s the truth! It’s simple but it works, why waste hours by yourself sitting in front of a computer putting your fingers to your temples like you’re professor X in an attempt to get some kind of inspiration when you can just use other people’s brains?

And even though “Using other peoples brains” might sound like something a super villain in a cartoon might say it’s what you gotta do. Getting a bunch of people with a bunch of different perspectives gets you out of your own head (the one that doesn’t want anything to do with what you’re trying to accomplish) which is exactly what you need at that moment. That’s what the office here is always like, no matter what it is, whether its a photoshoot, a logo design, or planning an event, Iquan, Aaron, and Rasheedah are always bouncing ideas off of one another. Watching it happen everyday I come in is always an intensely fun and helpful experience because they are constantly inspiring each other and myself with an infectious energy.

So, the take away here is, when your brain isn’t working, just use someone else’s.


WORK: Simply Pooka

Sometimes a new outfit (look) makes a big difference...

In January we wrapped up the first phase of a project with Pooka Pure and Simple, a skin and hair care product line.  When Pooka approached us, they were already an established business with a look and a loyal customer base and had already set up shop in Whole Foods, kind of a big deal. Right?

Pooka came to us in need of a new look.  The owner of Pooka wanted to maintain the heart of the brand while giving it a feel that made it stand out from its competitors.  Boy did we deliver! We crafted a new logo and branding that spoke to the liveliness and vitality of Pooka Pure and Simple.

We are now working with Pooka to select the perfect jars and bottles for new packaging solutions.  So, standby… Pooka will love it,  and we’re sure you will too. 😏


WORK: LA Matcha


We love cafés and consider ourselves well versed when it comes to the café experience

this was a fun and beautifully executed project...

In January, we completed work for an amazing café opening in Los Angeles. This project was like a match made in heaven.😍 Aside from the fact that we love cafés and this client of ours is THEE MAN when it comes to everything café, this project gave us the opportunity to pull 😗out all the stops as we took the La Matcha brand from concept to manifestation.

When Royce (check him out in Urban Exploring Season 2, Episode 1), our client from LA, came to us for help with building his dream café, we were super excited. We developed three logo and brand concepts, each just as dope as the next.😏 We crafted a brand that fit nicely with the parent company Table Diaries. We wanted to ensure there was seamless integration between the two correlating brands.

We dove into the project head first. My two hittas, Iquan and Aaron, approached the design from two different perspectives. Iquan and Aaron, the two illest designers ever,🙌🏾 approached the design from two different perspectives. We wanted to make sure we considered every angle as we created the perfect look, feel, and voice for this LA spot. Between the two of them, Iquan and Aaron crafted a selection of stellar concepts. Royce loved them all but of course decided on one. That was easy.  (Disclaimer, creating through your passion can add a level of ease to nearly anything.)

Fast forward a little, Aaron and Migdale, our junior designer, were doing some research, scoping the scene for inspiration and BAM, they found a gem.  Inspired by a small spot in Central Jersey, came the creation of the sketch treatment seen in the La Matcha branding below.

This project was definitely had the fun-factor, playing on our obsession with cafés and our love for design.


KEEPING CONSISTENCY WITH BRANDING

a quick lesson on brand consistency

our creative director, Aaron Brand is ready to school you!


Whether your brand has been around for years or your brand just recently launched and hit the market, brands usually strategize to maintain brand consistency. For example, Heinz is one of the most famous condiment brands in the world, not only have they kept their brand consistent, but they have managed to also have fun with the brand’s packaging at the same time.

A good brand is built over time and requires thought, strategy, and consistent implementation. Let’s take a look at Heinz, a great example for taking your brand to the next level!

From the name to the logo, from the product to the messaging, everyone knows Heinz. It has been said that Heinz Brand is one of the most widely recognized brands worldwide.

Interestingly, their logo has remained largely unchanged since the 1900s. The Serif font and classic shield with green and gold stripes remains consistent.

A few helpful tips to help you maintain brand consistency:

  1. Don’t associate consistency with boring. Do you think working on Heinz ad campaigns is boring? Consistency actually paves the way to creativity with impact.
  2. Communicate to your team the importance of your brand. Start the conversation by asking them to name a few companies they admire and why.
  3. Create a Brand Standards Guide – the guidelines that map out how your logo, fonts, colors, tagline, etc. will be used. Make it visual with proper and improper usage examples. It has to be simple and easy to follow, or it won’t have the intended impact.
  4. Go through the Brand Standards Guide with your entire team and provide print and PDF copies for them to reference as needed.
  5. Provide access to the proper logo file types to anyone who needs them. Your team members shouldn’t be recreating your logo on the fly.
  6. Hold your people accountable and retrain if necessary. It’s okay to appoint some team members to be the “brand police” who flag down offenses and keep the peace.


Now that’s how you maintain brand consistency. I’m just saying.


HOW TO RE-BRAND A PRODUCT: BK Chicken Fries

When a brand is reshaping how to sell one of its products, they usually come up with a strategic marketing plan to have it compete with other rival brands. For example, fast food chain Burger King not only gave chicken nuggets a cooler name by calling them chicken fries, but they re-branded this product making it fun, yet nondisruptive once it re-entered the market.

According to Food Business News,
“Comparable sales at Burger King increased 5.4% for the year and 3.9% for the quarter on a constant currency basis, behind successful new product launches and promotions, including new Chicken Fries.”

Now that’s how you re-brand a product and take it back to market. “I’m just saying.”


CREW LOVE: WELCOME RASHEEDAH

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Hi everyone! Now that we've had her all to ourselves for some time now, we thought it only right to formally introduce you to the newest creative of the crew, our Copywriter!  Although she's here to equip us with fire words and lines, Rasheedah has already begun to bless us with here skills in...

  • Project/Account Management
  • New Biz Dev
  • Internal Strategy
  • Creative Support

So when you see that fresh and new touch on your project, make sure you give her some credit.

Please show Rasheedah some love. Drop a comment!


Watch Ike Vlog 001: She's So SoHo

In Iquan’s first attempt to vlog, he sets out to meet up with a few of his friends in the SoHo section of NYC for a Instameet. The group walked from Washington Square Park all the way to the Lower East side and enjoyed each others time by taking photos, laughing, talking, eating and drinking. See it for yourself.

Special thanks to everyone in this video including my homie @SMBNYC for the awesome images!

This is just the first of many weekly vlogs from Iquan, stay tuned to see what he develop.

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Music
JLL – Blue Skies
SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/jllprod/blue-s…
Mozaic (AGO) – Rachel Foxx Strong (Mozaic Flip)
https://soundcloud.com/mozaic-ago/rac…

Shot on Sony RX100 mk4, sometimes Canon Rebel Ti4 & GoPro 4 Black


HipHop's Elite by DollarsnCents inc.

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It's a new year and a new opportunities to showcase and flex your muscles. Artoholik crew member Steve Cancel better known as SMBNYC has finally released a project that he's been talking for a few months now. As an on-going project Steve is illustrating some of the great music artist out there. And in his first stab at it, he released his top 9 rappers of all time. Now I know this will cause argument, but please keep in mind that this is based on a few factors. But stay tuned to what he's up to, maybe you'll see how he include some of your favorites. See his first 9 here... instagram.com/dollarsncentsinc

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Urban Exploring: Exploring Boston pt.1


THE SYNOPSIS

A fresh new Urban Exploring is upon us and in this adventure, Iquan gather's a couple of his friends to hit the road to visit another friend up in the Boston, Massachusetts Area. The goal was to take a two day no sleep road trip to explore and do ARTOHOLIK things in Boston as well as the surrounding cities.

In part one, the guys show us bits and pieces of their travel, re-connecting with their buddy Steve and their night in Cambridge. While in Cambridge, Iquan and the crew enjoyed dinner at the Sinclair located in the Harvard Square area. They closed the night out by enjoying some coffee and tea at the Clover. Watch the video above and get the discoveries down below. Enjoy!

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THE DISCOVERIES

The Sinclair Cambridge

sinclair-burger
A live-music venue and American kitchen with gastropub influences. Located at 52 Church Street in the heart of Harvard Square, The Sinclair possesses timeless American influences and embodies how the worlds of food and music influence each other. VISIT

THE CLOVER FOOD LAB

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The Clover wants to make food that you love, the kind that we should talk about and look forward to.
The Clover Food Lab is serving up a new type of fast food. This food is local, it’s just-cut, when we can it is organic.
CHECK THEM OUT

 

THE MUSIC


REBEL SERIES VIDEO 1 of 3

With the opening of the ARTO SHOP comes a new collection and that collection is titled the 'REBEL SERIES'. Why?... Because we as a crew have all recently taken rebellious moves in our individual lives. See... Rebelling doesn't have to mean be bad, or say fuck the world. Our take on it is to life the way you want. Rebelling isn't a negative thing, it’s more of a controlling your life thing! In this video, our subjects are real life friends, but behind the camera they're secret lovers that has escaped their everyday world just to enjoy each other while dressing the way they choose. Enjoy and stay tuned for the others!