Tag Archives: Nate Utesch

WMC Fest 2012 – day one

18 Jul

I’m going to try to sum up my experience by transcribing my notes from the speakers I was able to watch, hear, and experience in hopes that it makes sense and inspires you as much as it did for me. I am bummed I wasn’t able to hear all of the speakers present this year, but I hope to look them up via their respective websites/social sites. Here we go.

Austin Kleon, Austin, TX-based writer, artist, author, and speaker
Talk Title: Writing: The Secret Weapon of Any Career

Nothing is original
All writing is collage, recombining words
Read, read, read: Good reading leads to good writing, read what you love
Write in your books: create arguments in the margins
Keep a swipe file: what to take and use for later (small notebook, phone,
camera, etc.)

Always carry paper and writing utensil
Artists need pockets, they also need curiosity, kindness, and stamina
Step away from the computer screen: It’s too easy to hit the delete key
“In the digital age, don’t forget to use your digits!”—Lynda Barry
Keep a daily routine: Schedule it, make a calendar, and keep a log book
Write something you want to read
Write to satisfy 1 person (not yourself)
After you write something, put it away and read it again later
Practice in public: blog, twitter, whatever…just share

Austin’s presentation made me want to read, sketch, and write more, oh and buy shirts with 2 front pockets. I really want to write more and better now.

Mike Kubinski, Cleveland, OH-based founder and designer at C.L.E. Clothing
Talk Title: Home Grown

Big on civic pride
Build a brand and build an audience
Get your friends to be your marketing team
Print yourself, print on-demand, and keep inventory low
Get involved with your local scene
People embraced the brand because “the location inspires them”
Make crazy designs that are alternatives to the “big guy shops”
All money goes back into the company
Hire a manager
Pitch in to other local artists/designers, create a community
Wanted to become the “city’s giftshop”

Mike is big on civic pride and has built a successful business on that model.
Be true to your roots and be proud of where you live and work.

Nate UteschFort Wayne, IN-based designer, artist, art director, musician, and founder/curator/designer of Ferocious Quarterly
Talk Title: Let’s be more of who we are. Together. All at once.

Collaboration is compromising
Give up and work together
If you don’t think something is possible, it won’t happen
Create, because it’s who you are and want to be
Motivate others

Through Ferocious Quarterly, Nate has worked with some of the best illustrators, designers, and writers in the biz. A project is so much more rewarding when done with others. Nate has so much energy and I could tell he would be awesome to work with. No wonder Ferocious Quarterly is so well-respected in the industry.

Rachael Novak, Cleveland, OH-based illustrator and designer
Talk Title: Side Hustle

Hone your craft and capitalize on it
Trial and error, find out what sells
Broaden work and keep it relevant
Be kind to yourself
Be a first-rate “you”
Post and share, show off your personality
Take on small projects, an exercise might turn into something big
Don’t share absolutely everything you do
Show off “play” in your work
Work by hand
Work without a goal in mind

Rachael’s big things are to concentrate on your craft, enjoy the work you do, share, but not too much, and have fun doing what you do. Do your 9 to 5, but dig into something you enjoy on the side.

Johnny CupcakesBoston, MA-based entrepreneur and founder of
Johnny Cupcakes
Talk Title: Coming soon!

You need to make sacrifices to be happy doing what you are doing
Approach the right people and use the people you do know as a resource
Internships and volunteering: learn from others’ mistakes
Focus on your work now, play later
Put 110% into your business
Try to find a balance and find time to do something you love
Sage is the O’Doul’s of marijuana
Strange concepts are good
Create an experience for your customer, may need to spend more money to do so
Packaging is VERY important: if it doesn’t get thrown away, it’s good, acts as a mini billboard
Make product memorable and customers will act as your marketing team
Build a community
Build a positive team and learn how to delegate tasks
You don’t have to use traditional advertising
Don’t rush: first impressions are everything
Hand-written notes are powerful
Frequent sales = frequent fails, makes you appear less-attractive as a business

A businessman and entrepreneur at heart, Johnny truly is a people-person. He’s concentrated on the quality of his products, had fun with his business, and turned it into a really successful brand. He is deeply connected to his customers, which helps create such a great experience for everyone involved.

I will be highlighting the speakers I saw on day two on tomorrow’s post.
Stay tuned.