With great pleasure, I am bringing you another Creative Spotlight! This time with a crew that I have had the pleasure of working with a few times now and enjoy all of the creativity and artist that make up this great group. If you enjoy experiencing new art, please check out their collective!
Clews, the gentleman on the left, the owner, founder, coordinator and creator of The What Collective also works production for events such as Wild Woods, Lucidity and Envision.
How did you get started?
I first got involved with events helping out with the first Wild Woods. My friends and I had met Ryan Dubois, founder of WW, the previous summer at Summer Camp Music and Arts festival and continued to go to festivals with Ryan and Jeff Blair, another producer of WW as well as a musician.
The following year I started getting involved with larger festivals put on by west coast productions teams and brought back both inspiration and work knowledge. I organized the community and arts section of Wild Woods 2 and that is really where The What Collective was born. I enjoyed working with the visual and performance artists and decided we could take the show on the road so to speak.
The strange bits of life that you only see with the corner of your eye.
What message do you want your brand to portray?
The most general theme The What Collective offers is duality. So much of festival culture seems to repress and ignore the darker side of things. We aim to portray both the light and the dark.
Where do you want to see your brand in 5 years?
I’d love to get more involved with the media, photography, and fashion industries and eventually host our own small festival to include all of those.
Some great advice to follow your dreams by ->
“Just go for it. The world is constantly changing, what might be a pipe dream job now could be an entire industry in 5 years.” -Clews
What is your favorite space to create/brainstorm in?
Anywhere with tall ceilings, including the outside.
What do you do while you work?
A little bit of everything. This type of industry calls for so many different work types. I’ll usually throw on some film if I’m just sorting through files or updating our site. I can’t watch anything when I’m responding to emails though. I love talking shop with friends, when it comes to being creative I find good conversation to be the best catalyst.
What keeps you motivated?
I want to see my friends succeed and I want whatever part of counter culture we are a part of to be the best it can be. I have an ideal vision of what events and festivals can be and I want to help create that.
Where do you pull your inspiration?
I get most of my inspiration from fantasy/science fiction films, books, and comics. I’ve always loved comics and hope to one day publish my own. Most of our themes come from characters in my own stories. The harlequin twins are actual characters in one story I am writing.
I am a lover of stories. I believe that these mediums are modern day scripture, so many of the really BIG truths have to be told through lies.
Who/what are/is your biggest influencers/muse?
My favorite piece of art ever is a comic series called The Invisibles and it was actually written as a magick spell by Grant Morrison.
Other authors include Neil Gaiman, Allen Moore, and Terry Pratchett. It isn’t just the fantastic worlds these authors create but it their perspective on life that influences me the most.
Products and Services
What I think separates us from a lot of performance troupes (Even though we aren’t even really one) is that we are not only booked for events but we also throw our own. Our events tend to be on the cheaper side between 5$-10$. We hope to start doing higher budget events soon.
We also do prints! Although our printer is more a support system for our artists we do have plans of opening an online store and print company.