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Famous: Class of 2019

What got you interested in the Famous internship?

Bailey Possail: I initially heard about Fresh Produce from my professors at South Dakota State University and officially met Ted at Student Day in the fall of my sophomore year. He pulled out his deck of Mystic Truths and I remember appreciating his drive to interact with each one of us and enthusiasm for what he does. From there, I made it my collegiate goal to intern at Fresh Produce.

Brianna Schreurs: I visited Fresh Produce during my freshman year at SDSU during Super ‘Cas. I remember feeling really inspired by the work around the office and art gallery after leaving. Some friends interned there that upcoming summer and told me about how it was a hands-on experience that made them go about thinking and working in a new way. They also got a lot of freedom in their internship. I just kept learning more about Fresh Produce and appreciated how thoughtful and creative they all were.

Tom Bates: I met Ted and Kyle my first year at SDSU during an internship fair and I heard about how good the Famous internship was. After touring the space and seeing the work they do, I was hooked and wanted to be part of the team.

What did you look forward to doing/learning?

Bailey: When I was first hired, I was daunted by the fact that I hadn’t developed a process for generating ideas. It often felt like a trade secret that just wouldn’t leak. But I knew Fresh Produce valued process and I looked forward to working closely with the creative team to get a taste of what they do to generate ideas.

Brianna: Learning how to form good creative ideas. I was always impressed by Fresh Produce’s work. I was interested in learning their process, understanding what motivated those ideas and being around people who dared to think big. Also, I was so excited to work with this Famous class. Bailey and Tom are so talented, and I looked forward to seeing the work we would do for our clients.

Tom: I was looking forward to learning about Fresh Produce’s creative process after Ted and I had a 30-minute conversation about it during my internship interview.

“Good work comes from a life well-lived. Having fun, doing things you enjoy affect your professional life and help it.” — Brianna Schreurs

What skills did you strengthen during your Famous internship?

Bailey: When Mike called to tell me I was hired as the copywriter intern, I maybe had a handful of silly stories and a few dozen ideas scribbled in the back of an old journal. Being a Famous intern taught me how to use my hobby by means of developing messaging for clients. Throughout the summer, I developed an awareness of different messaging tactics and strategies, and came to understand the importance of language and brand voice when writing for numerous audiences.

Brianna: Practicing my process was huge for me this summer. Usually, my ideas didn’t form deliberately. This summer, I focused on being intentional and documenting what works to develop my ideas. I also built upon my communication skills. From talking to clients to the Fresh Produce crew and the Famous team, I had a lot of meetings. I had to learn how to be more precise with what I said!

Tom: My concept and idea generation leveled up when I started working at Fresh Produce. After going through the creative process a couple times, it became an important part in pushing and stretching ideas.

What was your big takeaway from the summer?

Bailey: My biggest takeaway from the summer was the importance of interacting with the community and engaging in networking opportunities. Being a Famous intern allows you to connect with Fresh Produce employees, Sioux Falls business owners and members of the art community, all of whom hold valuable insight and experience that will help you in the long run.

Brianna: Good work comes from a life well-lived. Having fun, doing things you enjoy affect your professional life and help it. Also, it’s OK to be stuck creatively.

Tom: Concepting ideas was the biggest takeaway. Observing what has already been done and being aware of the “hairball” is a really good lesson to learn as a creative.

Did the internship give you a better idea of what you want to do after graduation? If yes, can you elaborate.

Bailey: Absolutely! Before being hired, I was uncertain about a career path, and since running Famous, I now have the desire to continue expanding my skills in writing to turn my passion into a career.

Brianna: YES! Famous was terrific and confirmed I want to work in advertising. I especially want to work somewhere dedicated to authenticity and creativity in the same way I am.

Tom: Yes. Luckily for me, Fresh Produce is doing what I want to do and I was fortunate to have been hired on full-time. What I value most about working here is the freedom to be as creative as I want to be. The whole team creates an environment that nurtures creativity and challenges you to do your best work. It’s like what someone said in a recent meeting, “the comfort zone will kill you.” Everyday I feel uncomfortable, and in doing so I’m constantly growing and learning.

You three were on a roll with clients and projects — what project did you really enjoy working on?

Bailey: Each project had their own quirks but my favorite was helping Sioux Empire Wheels to Work build awareness of their car donation program. I think it’s safe to say that Brianna, Tom and I poured our hearts and souls into this project and were able to essentially redesign their brand identity. You can see in our work that we strived to give them the best we could because we each really wanted to see their program succeed in helping those in the community.

Brianna: Sioux Empire Wheels to Work was really fun, and it also felt necessary. We helped them form a brand and online presence. Our work with Cannonball Digital was excellent, as well. Tom and Bailey took charge and created unique branding for our client within two weeks—impressive! P&M Steel was fun because we got to think big, and we laughed a lot in the process of forming ideas to share with them to help them celebrate their 50th anniversary.

Tom: Cannonball Digital was a fun challenge. It was a brand identity project, which was right in my wheelhouse, but the challenging part of it was the short deadline. We pulled together three super strong art and messaging concepts in as little as TWO WEEKS. What I enjoyed most abut this project was the client presentation! It might be weird to say, but I enjoy presenting artwork to the client. Finishing a strong presentation and making the client inspired by the work you did is one of the most satisfying feelings.

What aspect/s of projects challenged you the most?

Bailey: Like you said, we were on a roll with clients and projects and I think the most challenging aspect of that was bringing three to four fresh ideas to the table for each client project. It challenged me to produce effective and meaningful ideas in a short amount of time and in the end strengthened my ability to think outside the box.

Brianna: Reaching out and getting new business was intimidating to me. I didn’t know exactly how to do it and thought it came down to a perfect formula to get a client to want to work with you. I had to learn to fight through nerves and enjoy just listening to potential clients!

Tom: For me, as a designer, the most challenging part of any project is the beginning. It’s scary to have a blank piece of paper looking you right in the face waiting for your brain to come up with something special. But once you get going on something good it becomes a snowball effect and you start producing great work.

What do you think of your Ipso Gallery experience? What was it like to help with an art exhibition? 

Bailey: The Ipso show (White Ribbon) was one of my favorite parts of the internship and an aspect I highlight on my resume. It’s a very unique opportunity

to interact with the community and bring people into the space to celebrate art. I had a ton of fun working with staff to produce promotional materials and organize the show.

Brianna: White Ribbon was the best part of the summer. The Famous crew worked super hard to bring the county fair to the Gourley Building. Some friends let us use a cotton candy machine, and we made handmade garland to get the atmosphere right. One of my favorite moments was when the ribbons came in the mail. The whole crew stopped their day to begin to look at how cool they were. It definitely got us pumped for the show.

Tom: The Ipso Gallery experience was fun. Seeing everyone during the opening of White Ribbon was a blast. It meant a lot to me to be part of that culture and knowing that it was one of the best shows Fresh Produce has ever had.

A quick piece of advice for future applicants?

Bailey: In your application, showcase your skills but also the things that represent the type of person you are and what interests you. One of my interview questions was to talk about a unique or unusual interest I have and as an interviewee, I wasn’t prepared for questions about my personal preferences, but that’s what I appreciate about Fresh Produce’s hiring process. They’re interested in things beyond your skillset, such as your interests and experiences.

Brianna: Show who you are in ways that go beyond the application and resume.

Tom: Please get out of your comfort zone. Experiment and challenge yourself. Specific advice for a designer who is applying for the Famous internship, show how you can come up with an idea and how you solved a problem with your work.

Anything else you want to add?

Bailey: Coordinate your lunches with your outfits. And by that, I mean don’t pack spaghetti the same day you’re wearing a white shirt.

 

Read more about Famous:

Living Unsettled in Barcelona

Last April, I took a card right from our deck of Mystic Truths and decided to make myself uncomfortable. Forced to serve a mandatory creative sabbatical away from the same unobstructed view of 6th and Main I’ve enjoyed since May 2011, I packed my bags for an overseas adventure to meet 20 strangers in Barcelona, Spain.

My goals were to disrupt my routine, immerse myself in an unfamiliar culture, and learn from every person and opportunity that crossed my path. To aid my pursuits, I structured my month through Unsettled, a new community of world travelers who organize experiential retreats for “those who embrace uncertainty and value meaningful human connection.”

 

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Week One: Fear is excitement without breath. #beunsettledbarcelonaapril

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Culture
As Americans, we absorb a fair amount of Spanish in our daily lives. Enough to fill me with the necessary confidence to spend a month in Spain. Unfortunately, no sooner than I booked my ticket did I realize that Catalan, not Spanish, is the official language of Barcelona. For context, Catalan actually has more in common with Italian and Portuguese than it does with Spanish. Alas, the language barrier didn’t inhibit my experience. In fact, spending an entire month in blissful ignorance of nearby inane conversations was practically therapeutic.

While I observed the casual, family-and-friends-first lifestyle enjoyed by most Barcelonans, my cultural experiences expanded every moment I spent with the Unsettled crew. In all, we represented four continents and over a dozen countries. I learned the value of liming in Trinidad and Tobago, laughing in India, and that lame in Saudi Arabia is pronounced “egg.”

More than anything, I’ll remember good it felt to share a meal with people you care about, a value observed at least five times a day by most Barcelonans. From desayuno (breakfast) to la cena (dinner), which typically doesn’t start until after 8:00 PM, we gathered around everything from tapas and paella to vermouth and local wine.

 

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Week Two: Daughter of Swords

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Structured Learning
In between meals, we managed to find time for learning. Early in our retreat, we took inventory of everyone’s expertise and interests in order to generate a community calendar. Our month was filled with workshops, panel discussions, and excursions designed by Unsettled employees and members of our retreat. Topics ranged from leadership and meditation to filmmaking and finding purpose.

Among the most unique, was exploring the Japanese concept of ikigai, which is your reason for being. In Okinawa, finding your ikigai means discovering your passion and purpose. It’s what one lives for. It’s talked about as openly as one might discuss their favorite baseball team or why they prefer tater tots over French fries. To find your ikigai, you explore the intersection of what you’re good at, what you can be paid for, what the world needs, and what you love. The exercise was a refreshing opportunity to find balance in what makes you uniquely you.

Experiences
From climbing the steps of the Girona Cathedral (known to Game of Thrones fans as the Sept of Baelor) to buying a bell pepper at the grocery store, every moment in a new culture is an adventure. For those of us who could completely unplug from work, we chose to fill our time with new excursions at every turn.

 

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Week Three: Ikigai #beunsettledbarcelonaapril

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We learned to use tarot as a method of reflection. We immersed ourselves in local traffic laws by biking the streets of Barcelona. We engaged all of our senses during an art and dining t0ur that turned famed local works of art into a delectable four-course meal. What made each of these experiences special was sharing them with people who were also there for the first time. If you chose to go it alone, at the very least, you’d gather for a meal later in the day to share your highlights with others.

Self-Reflection
Preserving all of these memories was perhaps the biggest challenge of the entire month. Of course, we all travel with cameras in our pockets, but our phones also create a potential barrier to the world around us. To limit distractions, I deleted all social media apps from my phone, with the exception of Instagram (you know, to keep up with my travel companions). Even then, I limited myself to one post a week in which I had to choose ten photos that represented my experience. The result was as liberating as it sounds: I walked with my head up, people-watched for sport, and carried a notebook everywhere I went.

My photos and notes served as tools when I carved out time each day to write all of my thoughts and experiences in a journal. These daily doses of reflection provided presence and gratefulness for the day’s events. I’ve even semi-successfully carried the practice back home in a more abbreviated form through the Five Minute Journal. By choosing to disrupt my routine for a month, I invited new habits that have since positively impacted my personal and professional lives. At the very least, I have a few new magnets to stare at when I lift my gaze from 6th and Main.

 

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Week Four: Weather is really neat.

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Read more about the Fresh Produce Sabbatical:

“Brewing Independence is here!”

Brewing Independence, a coffee cart program for fourth and fifth graders at Susan B. Anthony Elementary in Sioux Falls officially started last fall, under the guidance of Katie Rick. Max, Tenley and Jordan from our Famous 2018 summer internship program were tasked with branding for Brewing Independence. We followed up with Katie about the program last month since its official launch in September, 2018.

Katie sat across from me at a local downtown coffee shop. We’d emailed a week before and decided we’d connect on Thursday, December 27. She offered to come down to the Fresh Produce office to meet me. It’s 9:00 a.m. after a long Christmas weekend, Katie was smiling wide as she shared the progress of Brewing Independence.

After researching various programs for her class over a couple of months, Katie found how impactful coffee cart programs have been at schools across the country. As a Special Ed teacher, she’s noticed that doing everyday activities that promote communication and coordination have helped her students. To start the coffee cart program, the school needed $500 in donations to buy a coffee machine and other supplies. Katie posted a fundraiser on Donor’s Choose, after the program was approved by the principal. “We didn’t think we’d reach our goal in 36 hours. It was amazing to see that people were excited by the idea,” she said.

Brewing Independence at Susan B. Anthony Elementary has fourth and fifth graders participating in a “coffee shop” environment where they take and fulfill coffee orders from teachers in the school. Every Friday, Ms. Katie’s class receives close to 30 orders. The children go through their assigned stations to make coffee using a Keurig machine according to the order slips.

“The kids are so pumped when Friday comes around. I’ve seen several of them sort of break out of their shell and become social in an environment they’d shy away from. All our teachers love it, too,” said Katie Rick, Special Ed Teacher at Susan B. Anthony Elementary in Sioux Falls, SD.

While keeping the task fairly simple, children are challenged to follow the right steps in order. They’re guided by color-coded stations and cues to fulfill the orders, which they place into a tray-cart specially made for Brewing Independence.

Fresh Produce had the privilege of helping with the branding and collateral of this brilliant coffee cart program, the first of its kind in the Sioux Falls school district. By incorporating a drawing of a coffee cup by one of Katie’s students, our intern team was able to come up with a logo for the program. They now use the logo on their coffee cart, cups, T-shirts, and aprons.

Katie said that Brewing Independence has other schools excited as well — Terry Redlin Elementary will be starting the program in two classrooms at the end of the month.

2018 Recap: Ipso Gallery at Fresh Produce

Ipso Gallery at Fresh Produce is a really special space for all of us. We opened the doors to Ipso Gallery in 2009, after we moved our offices from Brandon to downtown Sioux Falls. As a creative agency, we like to explore concepts and ideas outside of client work, and Ipso has given us a lot of room to do that. Ipso Gallery has Liz Heeren at the helm as Gallery Director/Curator, and the Fresh Produce crew assist in concept, design, production, and promotion. It’s a great, thrilling team effort that allows us to throw a big party five times a year. 2018 was a pretty standout year for us — we raised over $10,000 for a local arts entity during our art lottery-fundraiser show, invited two very talented Wisconsin-based artists to our space, exhibited an all three-dimensional sculpture show by three really good friends, hosted Mystic October Series No. 2 with John Banasiak, and ended the year with a bang with Cake Parade.

“The effort is always to bring something new and interesting to Sioux Falls where people can come experience art in its various forms.”

Before we announce our 2019 run of shows, let’s look at the year (accompanied by words from our conversation with Liz and promo art by Fresh Produce).

LUCKY NUMBER 2018

Lucky Number is something we’ve done repeatedly. It is an effort that brings a lot of people together where we raise money for a particular arts entity. This year we were raising funds for BronzeAge Art Casting, which is also fondly known as The Foundry in Sioux Falls. When we put these shows together, it involves generosity on a lot of people’s parts. A sponsor comes in at $1,000 to sponsor the show and to help raise money for the organization, but artists also donate $1,000 worth of art. The sponsorship is split in half. Half of it goes to the artist, and then half goes to the arts organization that we’re raising money. This year we were able to get a total of 19 artists involved, which was 19 total sponsorships, but 27 individuals and businesses came together to support The Foundry this year. We raised over $10,000 for The Foundry, which is a big deal. The Foundry is an important asset in our community as we continue to grow SculptureWalk, the but only thing of its kind in South Dakota really for sculptors who want to do any type of foundry work.

ZIG ZAG

Our goal is always to touch base with, reach out to maintain ties with South Dakotans. When they are here, go to school here, grew up here, they had a period of time in this common place that we all celebrate. We try to keep track of them as they leave our state and may go other places. Many of our artists are local, but some of them end up in Wisconsin, for example. Andres Torres did and he brought in Chris Bostwick with him (his friend and artist from Madison, WI). We decided to couple those two together, to take our South Dakota connection and allow him to inform us of another complementary artist that would be otherwise a little bit out of our reach.

GLYPH

Glyph was a natural addition to what we were doing in 2018. We knew we wanted to raise money for The Foundry, and we wanted to showcase art as well that was being made through them. We happened to be connected to three artists who are utilizing The Foundry often — Sarah Cherrington, David Lethcoe, and Cameron Stalheim. It turns out all three of them went to USD. All three of them are buddies. All three of them trying to make a living as artists in Sioux Falls. The connection was even tighter really than I think we anticipated. What ended up happening when we look at the show is we see their connections, the aesthetic connections, or the educational connections that have maybe led them to where they are now. We also see separation, deviations from one another, going in ways that are highly cerebral, very refined, humorous at times, each of them taking their own path through these common techniques, common media. [Promo art designed by Famous 2018, our summer internship program. Read more here.]

MYSTIC OCTOBER SERIES NO. 2: REALIA

John Banasiak is kind of legendary. He’s unique to our state in that he’s an artist who’s been here for 30 plus years, working hard, doing great work, and exhibiting internationally. Sometimes I think he’s under the radar a little bit because he’s situated down in Vermillion. But, certainly anybody who has gone through USD or who is a practicing artist in South Dakota knows of John Banasiak and connects him almost solely to photography. He teaches photography at USD. I was able to find out through Cory Knedler, the department head at USD, that John was working on a body of art that was three-dimensional. I was immediately feverishly trying to contact John because I really wanted to feature that kind of work in the gallery, something very different that he’s doing, a departure from his previous practices. Luckily, he was completely game. Nobody is more prolific than John Banasiak. He brought in 25 assemblages, and they were meticulous, cryptic, and symbolic, and highly mystical, perfect for a Mystic October show. Every woven component of each sculpture had parts relating to other parts and very precise, thoughtful placement that spelled out, again, cryptic narratives. I think that’s why people responded so much to these pieces.

CAKE PARADE

Cake Parade was this conglomeration of thought and brewing in the brain that happened over about 10 years where we thought, “Well, how do we bring art and cake together? There’s got to be a formula.” There were ideas like throwing cake off of buildings and having it performance art style. There were tons of reasons why that didn’t happen. Eventually Cake Parade came out of this want to connect the public to an experience that wasn’t just visual, that took them, transported them through memory and association, and through another whole different set of senses, which is taste, smell, to create this coalescing effect of the visual, the tactile, the taste, the scent to become a complete artistic experience.

“There were ideas like throwing cake off of buildings and having it performance art style. There were tons of reasons why that didn’t happen.”

We did it by pairing an individual artist and an individual baker, five sets of those, so five artists, five bakers total, and asked them to meet one another, discuss their interests with one another. After that meeting, which was probably brief, each of them had to create a work of art that was inspired by the other. Obviously, there were a lot of unknowns about this. We didn’t know what the product would be. It takes an unusual departure from artists normal way of workings. We didn’t know exactly what visual products were going to come out of this, nor did we have any clue how a baker would interpret an artist’s work and then fuse that with their culinary experiences.

What’s great about Cake Parade is that everybody loves cake, people really love to look at art, and we’re bringing these two things together in a way that we knew would attract the community. We knew people would want to come to this, and they did. We had a lot of people, 262 tickets. That’s 262 individual slices of cake, plus more, people came back for seconds, given away at Cake Parade. A lot of the things about this show that we were trying to touch on elevated the cake as an art form, as it would be considered as a sculpture or as a whole artistic experience. I think having it in the gallery alongside visual art actually accomplished that on a lot of levels.

 

Follow Ipso Gallery at Fresh Produce on Facebook and Instagram for details of our next show.

The Cool Guy Sabbatical

In order to make interesting work, you have to live an interesting life. That’s why Fresh Produce introduced a sabbatical program in 2017. Team members take 2-8 (depending on the length of their employment) consecutive weeks of mandatory, paid time to work on a personal, creative, or community-focused project. In 2017, Katrina Lehr-McKinney used her sabbatical to facilitate workshops for artists across South Dakota. This year, Kyle Jameson used his sabbatical to live in Barcelona for a month, while Brian Bieber filmed a feature-length documentary. Brian shared some of his notes from months of interviews, collecting old footage, and travels across the country.

The Project
Earlier this year I started working on a feature-length documentary about the kids who made the Sioux Falls punk scene, and how the Sioux Falls punk scene made them into adults.

Many of the people I’ve interviewed for the project live in different parts of the country, so I used my sabbatical to do the bulk of necessary traveling. I also spent a lot of time logging footage and—because sometimes I forgot to white balance correctly—learning how color grading works.

Foods eaten
I ate all kinds of great vegan food in Seattle, especially at my friend Yuki’s restaurants, Café Pettirosso and Bang Bang Café. Otherwise, I just tried to avoid gas station food and drive-thrus, and ate an Impossible burger whenever I could find one on a menu.

Playlist
A person stuck in cars and planes for a month can only spend so much time catching up on podcasts before they start craving loud abrasive guitar music, so I spent a lot of my sabbatical listening to the music I’ve been listening to since I was 15, plus some newer stuff that I would definitely also be listening to if I was 15 today.