Creatives are often stereotyped as being disorganized, pie-in-the-sky dreamers. But combined with a great idea and some entrepreneurial thinking, these entrepreneurs show how to turn creative ideas into a full-fledged business.
Creative people tend to prefer complexity and ambiguity. They extract patterns out of chaos and are willing to take risks. These traits, among others, were identified by psychologist Frank X. Barron in a 1960s study, and judging from the entrepreneurs who appear on Adweek‘s second annual Creative 100 list, they still hold true today.
Adweek‘s meeting of creative minds (in no particular rank order) includes celebrities like actor and activist Jesse Williams, TV personality Samantha Bee, and Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well as lesser known, but no less creative, minds making provocative and beautiful media in marketing agencies across the country. Sprinkled throughout are also media makers-turned-founders who have found a way to wrangle their creativity into a full-fledged business. Here are a few of the highlights.
Alexandra Wolf – The 24-year-old founded Bossbabe after dropping out of Berkley. She leveraged her keen eye for trendspotting into a subscription-based community that keeps millennial women on top of what’s hot. Now she’s turning to brands to help them stay fresh and updated in the eyes of Millennials.
Kai Hasson – The co-founder and creative director of content studio Portal A works with brands like Twitter, Google, NBCUniversal and Universal Pictures. An annual recap for YouTube called YouTube Rewind, Hasson told Adweek, exemplifies the studio’s tireless creative strategy. “We spend each moment of the day trying to create work we’ll be proud of for years to come.”
Angus Kneale – As co-founder and chief creative officer of post production company The Mill, Kneale has been in charge of over 20 Super Bowl ads. He told Adweek: “My creative process is derived mainly from experimentation and cross-disciplinary influence. I take things from my design background and apply them to technical problems, and vice versa.”
Emily Weiss – She turned her beauty blog, Into the Gloss, into her own fashion line, Glossier. “We derive all of our inspiration from our community, whether it’s the products we create or our larger brand positioning–she drives everything,” Weiss told Adweek. “I think a lot of brands are waking up to the fact that they cannot create in a vacuum, but for us it’s in our DNA.”
Dave Rife and Gabe Liberti – The pair work with artists and brands to create interactive installations. They wrangle light, sound and touch to create an immersive experience with the goal of helping audiences make memories. Describing the team as creative contrarians, Rife told Adweek: “Nothing frustrates us more than being told, ‘This is the way it is; this is who you are, so just accept that.'”