Ismael “Ish” Obregon
President/Chief Creative Officer
STRENGTHS: "Designers, art directors and strategists possess incredible skill sets. No other industry I know of can boast about the depth of talent I see every day in our studios. It’s a confluence of left- and right-brain-types, creating and thinking about design, branding and the future. There are practical reasons for this. The mantra of “doing more with less” has now become a fully-fledged job description. New talent entering the workforce must be more flexible and multifaceted than their predecessors. Technicians — like animators, compositors, editors — have to be strategists. And the strategists - the “mega thinkers” - have to be technicians. To my mind, the smaller agencies do this best; they can leverage their talent pool for maximum effect, and do so in ways that rival larger big-budget firms."
WEAKNESSES: "Taking on unchallenging projects makes work life dull. Without a good supply of demanding work, people get restless. This can’t always be helped, but we always need to pay attention to the work we bring in, and its effects on our work culture."
OPPORTUNITIES: "There is a lot of new research about how we create, design and innovate. Interestingly, it’s not coming from our field, but neuroscience. These new findings give us new information about the best methods for making creative, and more importantly, how people interact with our products. Groundbreaking stuff, really. In the office setting, we are beginning to see we need to re-think how we make creative, how groups of people come together to problem solve, and how we communicate ideas. What we’re seeing is that people are not simply left or right brain dominant; no one is simply a dreamer or logician. Studies show the sides of the brain communicate regularly with one another; it’s a matter of providing the right conditions, the best meetings or work sessions to let people flourish."
Zester Media, a company looking to align their business needs with their consumer wants. Our first involvement was to create an investment deck to help establish them as a media brand and lifestyle content provider.
THREATS: "Innovation requires creativity, a culture that is equal parts structure and built-in abilities for daydreaming and wandering. Success as a business requires systems, process and efficiency, which can choke creative. I think agencies should work to balance creative and marketplace needs, never sacrificing one for the other. We’re always thinking about ways to inspire people through the balance of their business needs through creative solutions."
OUTLOOK FOR 2014: "We’re meeting with more and more corporate clients to talk about the importance of design, strategy and branding services. I’ve had many conversations with leaders and executives who seem to really embrace the principles of good design as a powerful communication tool — one that’s necessary for investment with far-reaching benefits for consumers and the bottom-line. We’re regularly working with start-ups, who come to us looking for positioning before they hit the market. We recently worked with Zester Media, a perfect example of a company looking for a better way of positioning themselves to investors. Investors want companies with a brand already built into the business plan."