What does it really mean to be “interactive” today?
As a term so popular and overused in the past decade of media, the meaning of “interactive” has arguably settled into a very weak state. Mention of the word during conference calls and weekly meetings might trigger our brain to immediately think of “interactive” as something like this:
The ability of an online viewer-user to click a button, or swipe a screen, and in return, receive some form of content (insofar as the occasional ad).
While that which the popular word triggers might technically be true, it is incomplete. It sputters out. It resembles a very weak form of what is ultimately a potent word worth reinvigorating for future creators and consumers of interactive objects or experiences.
Let us think again on what interactivity is, and perhaps, capable of being.
If you have a dictionary handy, then grab it, follow along, and unearth for yourself the root meanings of “inter-” and “active.”
If you really want to come along for the ride, then listen to this as you read.
One thousand people have seen Unsung, and this thrills me. I’m not naive. I understand how online traction is conventionally measured.
Consider this: our hunger for big, fast numbers has become the digital world’s number one killer, its heart attack. Why? Because every day, the plug is pulled on wonderful online experiences, either through a full shutdown (death) or acquisition (akin to death) when the people who created these experiences feel that they just don’t have the numbers to stay the course. You don’t always need numbers, though, not right away. What you need is patience and discipline by the mile. And yet, we seem to have taken to counting by the inch.
April 29, 2014 | By Nathan Heleine, Cofounder & Chief Creative Officer
“I don’t know how it will be in the years to come. There are monstrous changes taking place in the world, forces shaping a future whose face we do not know. […] At such a time it seems natural and good to me to ask myself these questions.
What do I believe in? What must I fight for and what must I fight against?
Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of a man. […] And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world.”
February 10, 2014 | By Nathan Heleine, Cofounder & Chief Creative Officer
Part 1: The art of getting lost is almost lost.
I get lost all the time. On my better days, I get lost intentionally. Lost can be much more than a step in the wrong direction or an act of aimless wandering. Lost is not necessarily dumb, blind, confused, or misguided. Lost is not a ship without a rudder. Surely, to be lost should not imply that one is forgotten, and it should never be mistaken for mere absence.
1. Learn how to argue about business with coworkers without it affecting your emotions
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’m a professional saxophone player. When I was in college working towards my Bachelor of Arts in Jazz and Contemporary Media—a fancy name for something that doesn’t mean a whole lot—at Eastman School of Music, there was a rebirth of how creativity was being sought after in the jazz world. Previously, many musicians had experimented with drugs to spark creativity or to reach the inner depths of their minds. However, for my generation it was exactly the opposite - healthy eating, exercise and natural meditation. An interesting result of this new practice, at least between my friends and me, was the inability to confront each other when we had a disagreement. Passive-aggressiveness became prominent and being overly nice, to the point of sometimes being fake or telling white lies, was the standard.
I spend the majority of my days looking at screens—my laptop, phone, iPad, and television. This has become the norm for my generation, not to mention the generations born after us who will never know life without iPhones, iPads, and similar devices. Last week, after completing a milestone for one of our client projects, I decided to take a long weekend away from New York City and ostensibly, away from screens.
January 16, 2014 | By Nathan Heleine, Cofounder & Chief Creative Officer
Robert Moses applied his talent for making things, giant things, with a prolific brute force still evident today from almost any vantage point in New York City. Everything he engineered exacted his vision for the modern city, an ethos anchored by his firm placement of a virtual crown of sorts atop the king of 20th century affluence and mobility—the automobile.
As the youngest member of the Crush & Lovely team and a recent design school graduate, it’s sometimes hard not to feel like a gangly newborn giraffe, fumbling around on legs I’m not yet sure how to use. I’m far from home—home being Texas—but despite feeling slightly displaced, I’m enjoying the transition into studio life. And although college has ended for me, there are a few important lessons from design school that have gracefully carried over into this new chapter of my life:
Crush & Lovely is quickly approaching its 10 year anniversary. Looking back, I realize that there have been very distinct phases of our business. We began working solely with artists and musicians, helping them to promote their careers; then we became the digital arm of a few traditional advertising agencies; and in the past five years, we have been 99% direct to client. Throughout the years, we’ve worked with our clients to establish meaning and connection in everything we create together.