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A chance connection and a move from Minneapolis

Designer Marvin Chang has been a part of Fresh Produce for almost six months now, and he’s brought with him a unique experience and vision that have filtered into the work that we do. We sat down with Marvin to talk about his journey to Fresh Produce, how he found his love for design, and what feeds his creativity.

Marvin, can you share your journey to Fresh Produce? How did it all happen?

It’s quite a journey actually. It happened selectively and randomly at the same time. So my plan after graduating from MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art and Design) was to apply for jobs locally in Minneapolis. And if that didn’t work out, I’d go a step further and think of places like Portland, Seattle, or the West Coast. So “randomly” because I didn’t think I’d relocate to the state right next to Minnesota. And what I mean by “selectively” is in regards to my connection with Tom (designer at Fresh Produce). We had both been selected for last year’s Command X design competition organized by AIGA. If it weren’t for this opportunity, I wouldn’t even know Tom. We just got along, had things in common, and had mutual friends.

So through Command X, I got to know Tom a little bit and he talked about where he worked. He talked about Fresh Produce’s history and work culture, and how he enjoyed it. So I got curious and visited him in Sioux Falls after the competition, and he gave me a tour of the office. I love that there’s an art gallery within the space… I also got a chance to meet a few members of Fresh Produce and all the conversations gave me good vibes and made me think this would be a good environment to work in. Later on, as I was applying for jobs in Minneapolis and the West Coast, I heard that Fresh Produce was hiring and I got connected with Mike and Ted. I had a few interviews with them and got assigned a small project to work on. I got hired, and soon after got an apartment, a new dog (Marco), packed, rented a U-Haul, and moved here from Minneapolis in early February.

We’re so glad you connected with Tom and he introduced you to Fresh Produce! We’re happy you’re here. So, how did you get into design and what do you love about it?

I heard someone say that a logo is the spirit or soul of a brand and I’ve remembered that line for quite a long time. Imagine a million dollar business where the actual logo did a lot of work for it—it’s just hard to believe that before you’re a designer. So I studied traditional drawing. I think I was in the sixth grade when my mom put me in a training school for traditional drawing, which is hand drawn and pencil drawing with watercolors or oil. So I was trained to be a traditional artist. I did a lot of hand-drawn stuff earlier, but later realized I didn’t see myself becoming an artist, selling the art, or being an art teacher. I was looking for an option that incorporated my creative mind or process while formatting my skills and inspirations together. So I realized that graphic design is something that would help achieve that kind of thinking.

Going back to that quote—I started practicing logo design. The very first logo I did was for my brother-in-law’s friend’s family. He had a media company and was looking for a logo. I’d never done one before, but I’d always wanted to try. He loved the logo and now uses it for everything. He even printed it out really big to put on a wall at his business. I was so proud to see my work out there.

Do you still draw in your free time?

I do draw occasionally. But I do more collage work versus hand drawing now. I find magazines and look for interesting shapes, type, or color, and put together collages, and I post a lot of them on my Instagram. That’s something I enjoy doing. Aside from designing branding or logos, collage work is part of my creative process.

What are some things that give you energy or feed into your creativity?

I get a positive boost of energy from general life things. For instance, my dog Marco. Walking my dog, playing with him, and exploring different parts of town where he can run around. That just makes me happy. Watching movies is another thing that gives me energy. I watch at least one movie every week. I’m a huge fan of films, and actually, one of my dream jobs aside from being a graphic designer is to be a movie poster designer. As far as creative energy, I get that from reading design books. In college, I used to go to my school library and spend an afternoon there. Seeing other designers’ work also gives me creative energy.

What is your favorite Mystic Truth?

My favorite is, “I just love it.” It’s that little word—”just.” It has such a tone and personality. I think that’s a good attitude to have, to not think negatively of things.

How do you live an interesting life?

Thinking positively and paying attention to the beauty of life. Paying attention to the details, who you’re talking to, what’s happening on a day-to-day basis. I believe that the most important person is the person sitting in front of you right now. The most important moment is this moment. The most important thing is the thing you’re doing right now. I always love living in the moment. I think one of the reasons I love dogs is because they live in the moment. I try to focus on what’s happening right now versus thinking too much of something else. That’s helped me see things from a different perspective as well when it comes to design. Treating every project not as what we’ve done similar to it, but instead as an opportunity to try a bunch of new things. That’s where the fun starts to happen.

If you’d like to welcome Marvin to Sioux Falls or want to send him a note, you can reach him at marvin@pickfresh.com

“I’m proud of us in the kind of way a dad is proud of his kids”

Growing up in the Sioux Falls punk scene, Fresh Produce writer, Brian Bieber, often found himself among the audience at Nordic Hall – a scene that would come to grow into its own culture, community, and economy by a group of unassuming teens. Eventually, that scene would also spawn a feature-length documentary filmed and produced by Bieber.

“As a teenager, you’re within the established structures that most people are in – sports, theatre, the school band, and all those avenues where a lot of people go. We didn’t really fit in any of those. We were buying our own instruments, booking studio time, and figuring out where to press records.”

The early stages of I Really Get Into It: The Underage Architects of Sioux Falls Punk was inspired by surfing the Rapid City punk rock archives.

“I started asking around for people to digitize records and tapes [from the Sioux Falls scene]. From there, the conversations I had with people got me thinking about how many artists from the punk scene were doing remarkable things.”

“You can say ‘Holy cow, we were 15 years old and not very good at playing instruments’ or you can say ‘Holy cow, we were 15 years old and we made a record’.”

The making of the documentary began in June 2018 with a dinged car and a $900 insurance check. Bieber used the insurance money to buy a camera, which was packed up in that dinged car and brought to Kansas City for the first interview with Kristin Conkright, who sang for the legendary Sioux Falls band, Switch.

“The benefit of having a community that encourages a do-it-yourself ethic is incredibly valuable, especially to young people, and this documentary is an example of that. I didn’t know how to do it when I started, but I taught myself as I went, and got plenty of help along the way. You never really just do it yourself. It’s more about understanding that you don’t have to wait around for permission, and I think that’s incredibly important.”

A few months later in October 2018, a four-week sabbatical from work gave Brian the focus to think about what he wanted the documentary to be, and by December 2020, I Really Get Into It: The Underage Architects of Sioux Falls Punk rolled out in a swatch of merch from pins, postcards, and cassette tapes to a DVD format and limited edition VHS tape.

“At Fresh Produce, there’s plenty of room to work on your own thing, but having a month off to only think about the documentary let me put all my creative energy into that.”

To purchase merch or a DVD format of the documentary, visit ireallygetintoit.com.

Read about what other Fresh Produce crew members did during their month-long sabbatical.

A 60-year-old painting found its way to Ipso this summer

Mel Spinar has been a favorite at Ipso Gallery and Fresh Produce. His works hang in our office space as well as the homes of our team members. There is this inexplicable energy to his works. They keep you. They attract an audience. They allow you to build stories around them. Stories that you get to share with others. They are mystical.

Chicago-native pro-football documentarian-historian-writer Joe Ziemba had been researching ways to get in touch with Mel Spinar—an artist based in South Dakota, a longtime painting professor at South Dakota State University, and his former art professor at Sioux Falls College in the late 60s. That’s when Joe came across Ipso Gallery and our 2013 exhibition, Mel: A Celebration of Mel Spinar’s Portraiture.

Joe sent us an email this summer asking about Mel and mentioned a painting that he was looking to find a new home for. Liz Heeren, our Gallery Director, sent him information on how to get in touch with Mel and a list of places that had Mel’s work in their collections. A week or so later, Joe reached out again and sent this email:

Liz–

Thank you again for your help with this project!

Mel did receive my letter and called me today. We had a great chat and he did remember me.

Anyway, he gave me permission to share the painting, and if your offer is still acceptable, I would love to send the painting to you.

It should be mentioned that it is a larger work, probably about three feet in height. I can measure it and let you know for sure.

Once I hear back from you, I’ll arrange to have it shipped safely to the Ipso Gallery. It is over 50 years old, but the original frame is still there and there is no damage to the canvas itself.

I am so very happy to have found a home for this wonderful piece–thanks to you!

All the best–

Joe

By the end of July, we received a large package from Illinois with Mel’s painting from the 60s, when he was a young art professor at Sioux Falls College. Joe later during a phone call tells me, “He taught me so much. The world really opened before my eyes as he would explain different forms of art, how they’ve been interpreted over the years, and what lies ahead and what the imagination might bring—I never encountered anyone like that.”  He had him as a professor for his first two years before Mel left for SDSU. “I came from the southside of Chicago to South Dakota to get my eyes open to the world out there, so it was fabulous.”

I asked Joe to tell me the story behind how he got the painting.

“Way back when, I’m thinking maybe 1970 in the summer, Mel’s painting that we’re talking about was hanging in the Student Union at the time. We came back from vacation and a lot of the paintings were not hanging anywhere. A couple of people asked questions and —I’m going to use a very gentle word—it looked like some of the stuff got discarded during the summer of 1970. I don’t know if it was intentional or not. But anyway, some of the students found the paintings and retrieved them. 

And we put the painting that you have now in the newspaper office. I was the editor of the school newspaper for a couple of years. And people really enjoyed it. Mainly it was oversized, as you can see, and it was just so completely different. You could have hours of conversation in front of it and look at it and try to figure out what the heck does it mean. I think that’s part of the attraction of it. 

So anyway when I graduated in ’71, I’m trying to remember who but I can’t, someone asked if they could take it. I had earlier asked the school, even though this painting had been discarded, and some others when we put it in the office. They said whoever wanted it can take it when they left, never thinking to contact Mel. So one of the students, when they graduated, took it home to their apartment. 

About a year or two later, someone was coming through Chicago and said, “Hey, would you like the painting” and I said, “Oh, I’d love it.” So they brought it and it took up most of the space in their car, I recall. When my wife and I got married, we had it in the front room for years. And the same thing, it’s a topic of discussion, comments. We had the painting in our house for years and years; we moved many times and kept taking it with us. 

Then a couple of years ago, we downsized and we have a lot of things we love, but we checked to see if maybe someone else could give them a permanent home. And one of them was Mel’s work. It was all kind of prompted by a little mini-reunion we had at Dr. Don Richardson’s [another former Sioux Falls College professor] home in Indianapolis three years ago. Some of the students I went to school with or a little older were there and I was asking about Mel, and they were telling me he had moved to Sioux Falls. Of course, it took me a while to get the courage to try and contact him and ask perhaps if he’d like it or had a spot we could consider as its new home. But yeah, we’ve had it for 49 years.”

This early painting by Mel has some similar links to his later works. While more abstracted in form and subject, we see it how his bodies of portraiture work grew from it. It’s been a special piece for Joe, and we hope that we can fix it up and share it through Ipso Gallery in the future.

“I forgot to ask him when I talked to him, but I guess I don’t want to know the intention behind the painting. We’ve gotten so many interpretations over the years; I think I’m going to leave it at that because I enjoyed that part,” said Joe.

No Business Magazine: A Publication with Intention

We always love when members of our crew pursue personal projects or are investing in themselves and our community in different ways. One that has grown out of a friendship between writer Angela Zonunpari and former FP designer Hanna Peterson is a thoughtful art publication called No Business Magazine. Angela shares details of her experience self-publishing a zine on art and culture and how this collaborative effort came about.

Bailey: You’ve been in the arts world for quite some time, especially over in New York before coming to Sioux Falls. What sparked your initial interest in the arts and what’s kept you driven?

Angela: I moved to the United States in 2013 after having worked at a newspaper in India for a while. That’s when I was getting really curious about art writing and coverage on art, so that pushed me to apply for a Master’s in arts journalism. I was already in print journalism and had a TV journalism background—I was just really interested in telling stories. So what happened with my program at Syracuse University is that it opened up this whole new world of something that in India I had no knowledge of, like Western art history and contemporary art. So it was interesting to learn about that. And then when I moved to New York City, I got to see the nonprofit world of a museum and its functioning. But I also got to see the art market and the sales side of it so those influenced me to say, “Okay, this is something I want to continue doing, but maybe the art market side is not for me.” I get that there’s value in that but I was more curious about what I could do with my skills at a community level.

So I’m grateful to be at Fresh Produce and working with Ipso Gallery. It’s helped me meet so many artists and be even more confident about what I do and what I know and helps me engage with more organizations here. So yeah, I think art and community are the two things that really drive me.

Why don’t you give us a wrap up of what No Business Magazine is and how you founded it, how it came to be?

So I’ll give you the long-winded story. I went to school for arts journalism and I was working in all these arts nonprofits. And for a really long time, I wanted to do a publication but I didn’t know how to do it. Basically, I just didn’t know where to start and I was really intimidated by the process. And the more I thought about it, I kept building websites and thinking “Okay, this is the way to go. It’ll be a website.” But when we moved to Sioux Falls, I got a job at Fresh Produce and Ipso really pushed me to be like “This could grow into a printed piece.” So I actually started off with something called Sound and Color in 2017. And I produced that with my partner, Eli [Show]. Basically, it was a printed piece that would support the Ipso artist that was showing at the time. So we did three of those. And it became really concept-based and concept-driven. We played off the artists that were showing and it was really fun. But being in the same house and working with your partner and having a newborn, time management got complicated, so we paused.

“I think we’re in this world where we go to art events a lot, and you don’t get to spend a lot of time with the artist, so No Business just wants to ask people to dig a little deeper or, even for people who maybe are intimidated, to approach art ideas.”

Hanna Peterson, who was working at Fresh Produce at the time, and I got really close and I started sharing my ideas with her. No Business Magazine came to my head just because of the motivations and the intention behind the whole publication. So Hanna and I partnered up at the end of 2018 and started working on the first issue called Identity. A lot of Identity grew out of Sound and Color. The approach was again a heavy concept-based playoff of artists, except they were themed and involved more people. So the name No Business Magazine came out of the conversations we were having and I think a lot of it was getting driven by ownership of art.

I was in the art auction world for a bit and I didn’t care for the culture of how conversations were lead by business so I chose not to focus on that and instead lift up ideas, which is a concept heavily supported by Fresh Produce and Ipso. So that was really motivating to focus on ideas and lift up all the knowledge that artists have in art-making. So yeah, now we’re two issues in, and it’s been a lot of fun.

Tell us a little bit more about your partner, Hanna, and the roles you each contribute to the publication.

As I mentioned, Hanna used to work at Fresh Produce. She was a graphic designer here. She moved to Minneapolis and was working remotely for a while but now she works for an agency there called Latitude. She’s a really amazing person and we really hit it off on a lot of different levels — interest and aesthetic — and just what we wanted to do outside of work. So that partnership really works out because there’s a lot of trust there. Before Hanna jumped on, I had the three issues themed out and some of the artists already listed so I shared all of those ideas with her and we started talking about what the written pieces could be and she drew inspiration from that.

I would say both of us play art director and creative director type roles where we work really closely and share information and things that resonate from certain artists and from there it just kind of grows organically.

“Forming connections and being able to talk to and learn from people who inspire us, I think that’s the goal right now.”

No Business Magazine features a lot of different artists and a wide variety of people. So as you pull those people in, what do you look for? How do you curate and figure out who’s going to be featured in the magazine?

Yeah, so initially we played off people we were really curious about and when we started listing those people, we found a theme to base the whole issue on so people have an idea of what to expect going in. Our first publication focused on how artists deal with their identity and was really diverse from photographers to painters. So there’s a lot of freedom in how we curate but always a very light underscoring throughout. I’d say most of the issues are based on people we’re really curious about and then we curate them into these groups to see how it could come about in a printed issue.

How do you communicate with artists that you’re interested in working with? What does that initial relationship look like?

I’d say we usually have a buffer. We’ll reach out to our selection and in most cases, the majority of the people we’ve never met or interacted with. We’ve just observed them either on Instagram or we’ve seen their work somewhere. There’s a lot of chance in our communication but I think it’s given us a lot of confidence to talk about our vision clearly so it’s easy to approach people. I would say 99.9% of the people we’ve approached have said yes, even though it’s our first or second interaction with them. It’s really special! We’re very intentional about how we communicate our vision for the issue and are specific about why we’re interested in their work and where we envision them in issue.

And about how long does the whole process take?

I want to say about a year from start to finish. Maybe a little over a year. The first two issues kind of overlapped because we were working on the first issue while the idea of the second issue got pulled into a curated exhibition. We don’t have strict timelines on things, just because we both work full-time and we really consider it as creating an art object. We want to enjoy the process because it’s something we do for ourselves so anytime someone’s feeling pressured, we pause for a bit. It’s nice that way, especially with Hanna and I being the only two members producing everything. We have a lot of support from Amy Jarding, and Eli. But once that production gets really heavy, it’s the two of us.

How do you go about narrowing themes and deciding what goes into the magazine? How do you decide which direction you want to take it in?

I think it’s something that comes out of what we’re really curious about or things we like, whether it’s design-wise or writing-wise, that we really want to do but maybe haven’t had a chance to. With the first issue, I had the idea in mind because identity is something really close to me so it was a natural fit. And then creating that roster of artists, I have this thing that I do on Instagram, so if I see artists I really like, I start bookmarking them and saving them to my account. Then I go back through and start curating those buckets.

The second issue was kind of funny because the idea came during a really fascinating moment when we had Amanda Smith, who’s in Power Colors, and her partner, Josh, visit during Thanksgiving. My son, Forrest, was really little and he handed Amanda a pink and green crayon and Josh said, “Amanda, he knows your power colors.” They explained that Amanda’s work at that time was really focused around those two shades, so that’s how I came up with the name Power Colors for our second issue.


What type of perspective would you say No Business Magazine gives the people who read it?

I think from a design perspective, we really want to lift up print first, and interactivity and tactility. That’s kind of our goal and just holding people longer, even if they are interacting with the printed material. And then on the writing and art writing side of it, we really want to be intentional about giving artists space to talk about their work, even if it’s just process or practice or an idea behind a body of work. And just like us, focusing on the intrinsic value of our artists and all the knowledge that they hold. I think we’re in this world where we go to art events a lot, and you don’t get to spend a lot of time with the artist, so No Business just wants to ask people to dig a little deeper or, even for people who maybe are intimidated, to approach art ideas.

What do your plans look like for the next publication?

The third issue is going to be something that I’ve been really curious about. It’s like art in digital and tech spaces. So it most probably won’t be a printed issue. We want to develop a full website for it, so we’re switching things up. We’re still hoping to bring in all the layers and interactivity of a printed No Biz Mag.

That’s exciting! So jumping off of that, what do you hope to grow No Business Magazine into? What does that future vision for the publication look like?

I don’t think we’ve quite decided yet. You know, I think for Hanna, and I am speaking for Hanna, but I think it’s kind of become an art practice we’re creating. I want to say an art object, it’s not mass-produced, there’s a lot of labor involved, there’s a lot of like, physical hand labor involved. There’s a lot of time and energy outside of work and regular life that we put into it. So it feels like an art practice, like an art object. So maybe growing as art publishers. That could be an interesting route where we help other artists publish their work. Forming connections and being able to talk to and learn from people who inspire us, I think that’s the goal right now.

To learn more about No Business Magazine, visit nobusinessmagazine.com or follow along @nobizmag on Instagram.

It’s an “apprenticeship on steroids”

Two and a half years ago, Fresh Produce was just at the ten-year mark with our summer internship program, Famous, and the team was eager to engage the growing community of young professionals in the area with a different experience. Something longer than the two-month internship, more intensive, and even more hands-on with room for these professionals to explore things they are curious about within Fresh Produce, Ipso Gallery, and the industry.

We launched our apprenticeship program in April, 2018. Mike Hart famously called it “an apprenticeship on steroids, and a new approach to workforce development in marketing” in an Argus Leader article. We caught up with our current apprentices, Bailey Possail and Mike Helland, to see how their time with Fresh Produce has been so far.

Angela: When did you start as an Apprentice at Fresh Produce? Can you tell me a little bit about your role?

Bailey: I started on January 8, 2020, as the Writing / Creative Apprentice. And with that comes a lot of hats, from writing to production. You and I also work on content strategy and creation for our social channels and website.

Mike: I’m a Media Specialist under the Account Service apprenticeship program. I started in the spring of 2019. Like many of the roles at Fresh Produce, and like Bailey just said, we wear multiple hats. I work on media strategy and buying, social media management, and reporting. I also do a little project management.

How did you end up in this Apprentice role?

BP: After I got done interning last summer for Famous, I stayed in touch with Mike about future opportunities as I was finishing up my last semester at South Dakota State University. And then in December when I was done with school, that’s when Mike offered me a position as an Apprentice.

MH: I knew about the apprenticeship right away. I have always kept in contact with Ted. We were getting coffee together for a couple of weeks where we were just talking about opportunities, and he brought up the apprenticeship. He thought that it would be a really good opportunity for me to apply. So that’s how I got introduced to the role.

Bailey, I remember you saying that you never looked at yourself as a writer or even pursuing a writing role. And Mike, you were working at Washington Pavilion as a Sound Engineer. Those things are fairly distant from what you’re doing at Fresh Produce. Can you tell me about your previous experience and your current trajectory?

BP: As you said, I never thought I’d actually become a writer. I wasn’t really introduced to copywriting in the advertising program at SDSU and when I applied to the Famous internship program, I actually interviewed for the Account Service position. At the time, I felt that was the right fit for me. I’m not sure what it was about my Perkins radio ad, but I got offered the writing position as an intern and that just kind of stuck! I’m so glad they offered me that intern position instead and saw the potential to work out this apprenticeship program for me because it’s literally been so mind-opening. And the growth in the past nine or ten months that I’ve been here has been so immense that I just never thought it would look like this for me, honestly.

We all enjoyed the Perkins spec ad you submitted as part of your application! Mike, you were working at a different place in a different environment. What made you say “Hell yeah, I’m totally interested in this apprenticeship” when you met with Ted?

MH: I grew up in an advertising household so I always knew about it as an industry. But after I graduated college, there were about three years or so where I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I knew I liked certain things, and that’s why I worked in sound and live production, but I jumped around a whole bunch of different jobs. And even though I enjoyed them, it wasn’t until Fresh Produce that it was like, “Okay, this is a career. This is really setting myself up for the future to gain really invaluable skills.” I felt like it was the first step to get my foot in the door to the professional world.

That’s neat! So Mike, you’ve been here a year and a half. And Bailey, it’s almost been a year. What is something that’s really stuck with you either about the model of the apprenticeship itself, or maybe the freedom in what you’re doing?

MH: I think the entire role of an apprentice is a unique opportunity. You’re not bound by a certain role. And you’re able to try out what you’re interested in, and you’re able to assist where you need to. You can really explore the curriculum of advertising. I think that’s one of the really unique and cool opportunities that we get—when we start the apprenticeship program, we receive a curriculum that includes classes, books, etc. I learn a lot that way because I really do enjoy the school model of having homework and being assigned things.

BP: Bouncing off of that, there is that curriculum that you get right away. And I’ve also had conversations with Mike (Hart), where he’ll ask “What do you want to learn next? Is there anything else you want to add to your experience?” And so that’s really nice. Because yes, even though I am a writing apprentice, I can still tell him, “Hey, I want to go on more video shoots. I want to get into photography” or things like that, and he listens and will help me find those opportunities. There’s just this level of trust and appreciation between everyone here.

I was kind of jealous of your curriculum when we were putting it together. Tell me about your curriculum and some of the things that you’ve enjoyed. Because it’s a weird mix of things, right? Things that aren’t directly related to your role, it might be related to creativity or something that someone in the crew has really enjoyed?

MH: Some of the most fun things in my curriculum are things geared towards Ipso. There were a couple of documentaries that I had to watch. One of them was ‘Cutie and the Boxer’, which is about a painter who uses boxing gloves as his way of painting on a canvas. And then there was another one called ‘The Price of Everything’ and it was just about the art world. So those documentaries are a great way to get involved in thinking about art and Ipso. Then there’s the reading list. There were a bunch of books on there, some I wouldn’t have considered reading. But they were all great. And then also, we were required to watch ‘Back to the Future.’ So that’s important.

BP: Yes, I’m saving ‘Back to the Future.’ I think my favorite thing so far has been a show on Netflix called ‘Chef’s Table’. A part of me thought, “I have to watch a show about chefs? Okay, this is kind of interesting.” But it’s so artsy and seeing how people conceptualize foods and how they make them is so interesting. And then you can take that same thinking and apply it to your work in really unique ways. That’s been my favorite. I’ve actually continued watching it because I think it’s so interesting.

I love how Ipso and that kind of creative thinking are incorporated into the curriculum, and recognizing how one creative endeavor can feed the other is so important in our creative practice here. I keep saying apprentice, but I feel like there’s this plain we’re all on. There are no clear hierarchies here. And I like that you mentioned trust, Bailey. Can you talk a little bit about what you really enjoy as a member of the crew, being able to explore different things that you’re interested in within Fresh Produce or Ipso?

BP: That trust factor really helps me open up about the things I want to learn and make sure that I’m pursuing those opportunities or at least telling people on the team about the opportunities I would like put in place for me. I think my favorite so far—although it’s nerve-racking and it scares me—has probably been getting into video production. There have been a few clients that I’ve got to sit in on and do interviews with and it’s been really exciting to work with clients in that way. I always assumed as a creative, I wouldn’t be up in front with the clients like Account Service, so that’s been great.

MH: One thing working at Fresh Produce has taught me is the importance of your surroundings. I’m in an environment where I’m being challenged to get better at my craft every single day. And it’s kind of like being in a gym. Like how heavyweight lifters train with other heavyweight lifters, I’m training and growing by simply working side by side with some of the most creative people in town. Just being in that same environment as them, even if a day might seem tough or you feel you didn’t accomplish something. It’s like training in the gym.

That’s a quotable quote right there. The apprenticeship is like training in the gym.*

*Disclaimer: Mike Helland has never actually trained at a gym. Pokémon gym, maybe.