Filip Yip: Designer. Creator. Vampire?

Does he ever sleep? Designer Filip Yip has created countless stunning package designs, logos, characters and brand assets over his acclaimed career, and now in his ‘spare time’, he’s created a product that’s just as beautiful. Last month Nous Tea made its debut, inspired by Filip’s lifelong love of tea and a fortuitous reunion with an old friend.

Filip’s latest work, inside and outside the package.

On a visit to his native Hong Kong, Filip and a high school friend brainstormed ideas to combine their passion for natural health with their business acumen. A third partner brought Chinese Medicine expertise to the table. “It’s very personal. This is almost performance art for me,” says Filip. “I get to combine design and business. And everything is real: real people growing real organic teas, real NGOs, and of course, real intentions.” An impressive 10% of sales from the teas support NGOs in the regions where the tea is sourced.


“This is almost performance art for me.”


Of course, for Filip, no matter how fulfilling the product inside the box, a top notch design was required for outside. “I went through 6 full visual architectures,” he says. “It actually wasn’t hard to come up with something I like. It was hard to guess what consumers would like.”

Even the box tops received rigorous design TLC.

You can judge for yourself – Nous Teas are newly available online and coming soon to restaurants and retail chains. And rest assured, Filip won’t just be sitting around sipping tea. He’s already on to his next design adventures – some hush hush identity work for a major airline, as well as assets for Anheuser Bush/Miller beers. Below are just a few of his seemingly endless creations.


Kids: A Photographer’s Survival Story.

Photographer Steve Belkowitz has shot around the world, with top models and top clients. But his latest project had him on his knees. When Kiddie Academy approached him for a campaign starring the 5-and-under set, he knew exactly what he was in for. “I’ve worked with kids a lot,” Steve says. “You have to be relaxed and patient. And work with a crew that’s the same.”


The children were professional models, but for most of them it was their first shoot. Steve has seen his share of divas over the years, but with mini-Abe Lincoln he finally met his match. “He was a handful. At one point we just held up an iPad playing cartoons. That got his attention.”


“He was a handful. At one point we just held up an iPad…”


The client had a strong vision of their target audience but partnered closely with Steve on how to reach their goals. With casting decided, Steve hired a movie industry costume designer to custom tailor or create each outfit. He chose a Canon 5DS system and Profoto strobes for the shoot. But the biggest asset on set was the crew, who stayed calm and comforting throughout.



Ultimately, Kiddie Academy will use the shots for ads, posters, website, emails and brochures. Meanwhile, Belkowitz is already on to more adult pursuits, having just wrapped a still and motion shoot for Wind Creek Casino Alabama, a project for Planet Fitness and a new product launch for Gripbell. Hardly child’s play.

gripbell website image


Photographer Mark Rogers
can read your dog’s mind.

Mark Rogers has built his career on pet photography, capturing countless mutt mugs over the years for advertising and stock photo clients, along with private pet owners. Now he’s turned his passion for pets into his first book: Thanks For Picking Up My Poop: Everyday Gratitude From Dogs.

Partnering with Ulysses Press, Mark pairs awww-inducing photos with each dog’s likely thoughts. “My whole career has roots in volunteerism and giving back, so the gratitude theme came pretty easily,” he says. In fact, when not on professional shoots, Mark often donates his time to animal welfare groups, even offering free copies of the book as an incentive to sustaining donors for Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco.


Working with four-legged talent requires a unique approach. The first thing Mark does at any shoot is get down on their level. “I let them come to me while I tinker around with the photo bag and lenses. The bag has had so many dogs, cats and treats in it that it’s always an item of interest. It’s also been peed on a number of times so that’s generally a good conversation starter.”


“The (photo) bag has been peed on a number of times…”


Of course, Mark has his own muses at home, a rescue corgi-terrier mix named Bizzy and a cat named Jimmy Chew (James when he’s acting naughty). And what does Mark himself feel gratitude for? “I’d thank Bizzy for dealing with all the crazy props and costumes I’ve forced him to wear over the years. I have no idea why he lets me dress him up like I do.”


Thanks For Picking Up My Poop is available now on Amazon. And you can see more of Mark’s work at his brand new website.



For Andrew Maguire,
Photography is always an adventure.

Taking shots for Colorado Lottery to new heights

In the past 3 years, Action Photographer and Director Andrew Maguire has travelled through Turkey, India, China, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, France and more. And that’s when he’s not busy shooting in the U.S. But it hasn’t always been that way.

After art school, Andrew’s first jobs were shooting office furniture and pharmaceuticals in the Midwest. But at the end of each day he felt bored and burnt out. So he began

building a portfolio around his own interests: extreme and outdoor adventure sports, tagging along with friends and local athletes and taking care to develop a style that stood out in the market.

In the San Juan Mountains of Colorado for Brooks Running
Boxing in Hong Kong, for Amway
Boxing in Hong Kong, for Amway

Wolverine Worldwide took notice and gave Andrew the open door he was looking for. He was soon shooting for their many brands, including Merrell, Chaco and Patagonia footwear. “That really kickstarted it,” says Andrew. “Total godsend.”


“our director was escorted from customs by armed guards”


Andrew rarely feels bored anymore, with each shoot bringing new excitement. “In India, our director was escorted from customs by armed guards and sent back to Hong Kong with no explanation,” he says. On another shoot an over-confident client panicked during a steep ascent and had to be carried down the mountain by the producer and an assistant.


Andrew Maguire, in his happy place.
Andrew Maguire, in his happy place.

After a week in the wild, Andrew is always excited to get back to his dogs, girlfriend, shower and sleep. But it isn’t long before adventure (and clients like Nike, Subaru, Comcast) call again. And Andrew is happy to answer.


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Summer Sightseeing

Carolyn Vibbert has been commissioned by some of the most renowned must-see travel destinations to illustrate their maps. Her illustrations have been recognized in Communication Arts, Print’s Regional Annual to name a few. Her style is visually engaging and reflects the character of the location. As travel enters its peak season, adventurers are bound to cross paths with one of Carolyn’s whimsical interpretations of their favorite attractions.

Nantucket map

Taos map


See more of Carolyn’s work

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Full Moon for Blue Moon

Last night’s launch party for Blue Moon’s label art was a huge success! I’d like to give a huge thanks to Trinity Brand Group, the great people at Olson PR, Blue Moon and of course the fantastic artists that were able to make it and see their great work…Below are some photos of the event. (Full moon above the NYC Skyline not pictured)






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Rising Moons


In celebration of Blue Moon Brewing Company’s 20th anniversary, MillerCoors, who owns Blue Moon wanted to do something unique. Trinity Brand Group came up with an idea of a contest that would showcase artists as diverse as Blue Moon’s collection of brews. In order to do so, they required the assistance of ‘The Curator of Creativity’ herself – our very own Freda Scott. It took a lot of sifting through artists to find a group that would represent a diverse culture of beer drinkers across 20 different cities.

As a brand rooted in the art community, Blue Moon wanted to spotlight the work of rising artists with an opportunity that only comes around once in a blue moon. The contest called for artists to create their interpretations of a rising moon scene in hopes of winning a $20,000 grant.

To find 150 artists, Freda called galleries, searched online for artist organizations, called museum curators, talked to art school professors and reached out to many of her contacts in the design and ad agency communities. Finding the artists was only half the battle. Finding the right ones that aligned with Blue Moon’s mantra of ‘follow your passion’ was the next step. Freda interviewed the artists, developed short biographies for each, selected appropriate examples of their work and then submitted a coherent presentation summarizing all the artists to Trinity Brand Group.

Thanks to Freda’s relentless efforts, Trinity and MillerCoors were able to narrow the talented field to 20. The label art from each of these 20 artists appears on Blue Moon Belgian White bottles nationwide starting July first. On that night, Freda will be the PR spokeswoman at an art gallery launch party in New York City – under a full moon.

Throughout July and August fans will have the chance to support their favorite label by visiting Blue Moon Brewing Company on Facebook. You can view the label art of all twenty artists above.

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Food + People

Every once in a while, an artist or photographer is daring enough to pair things that are seemingly unrelated to create something profoundly special. In this case, the photographer is Shannon McIntyre and her special creation is “Food + People”, a riveting portfolio pairing lifestyle photography with their edible counterparts.

Shannon was always infatuated with portraiture so making the jump to lifestyle, her second love, was an easy adjustment. As Shannon worked with lifestyle photography, she circled the wagons to her most recent passion, food photography. Since she gardens and cooks, the appreciation for the textures, color and shapes of food was already present. It wasn’t until she reflected on her past that the idea for Food + People gained momentum.

Shannon’s Italian family heritage was a major influence in her attempts to capture the celebration in every day life–when people and food come together. The end results were a colorful, creative medly of photos full of life, laughter and excitement. Believe it or not, most of the images already existed before Shannon paired them. Only one image in the portfolio was shot to match with another. We’ll leave you to guess which one that is.

We asked Shannon what she hopes people takeaway from the Food + People portfolio, to which she simply replied, “Inspiration…Inspiration to eat, to cook, to entertain, and to celebrate”.

Here are a few of our favorites, but you can view the full Food + People portfolio here.



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Focal Points: Freda Scott





Marshall Gordon SKYY Vodka





As the proclaimed “Curator of Creativity”, Freda Scott has assembled a multifaceted powerhouse of talent featuring award winning photographers, illustrators, artists and copywriters. Throughout her career, Freda has emphasized the consistent supply and delivery of real, genuine artists who exceed expectations while adhering to budgets and deadlines. With such an accomplished and consistent roster of talent, Freda Scott remains one of the irreplaceable artist reps in an increasingly digital era of do-it-yourselfers.


Q1. In today’s click-of-a-button access-to-anything society, desribe how an artist representative bridges the gap between clients and talent.

A. While the click-of-a-button exposes clients to the right styles of artists, there is nothing that can replace talking about the client’s needs and establishing a relationship. Most people have too much to do & in a pinch they will search for ideas or connections. But hiring talent is taking a risk that the contractor will accomplish & exceed expectations. Reps give the buyer information about how talent works & confidence that their project will be professionally executed.

Q2. How has the vision of Freda Scott Creative evolved since it’s launch?

A. Because my interest in this business has grown, I’ve come to understand how important it is to create long lasting relationships. And to continually present styles that are changing and growing. Nothing about this business is static. Styles change & I like to be one step ahead of the curve.

Q3. What makes Freda Scott Creative unique compared to other Artist Representatives?

A. The styles & variety of talent is most apparent. I think they feel I take responsibility and truly care about producing a professional project & make it fun.

Q4. What are some of the responsibilities or duties you fill in your day-to-day interactions amongst talent and client?

A. Lots of talk about budgets. It’s like an Arab bazaar! And I ask everyone what’s new in their world, what they like, how they like to be updated. So much talk about email, social media & how can buyers put their fingers on new looks.

Q5. How do you go about curating your artists? Do you look for something in particular or is it more of a trait or skill that the artist displays?

I get at least 10 artists contacting me everyday with links or samples to their work. It’s rare that I will reply without a referral from someone I trust. Most of my artists were known by creative directors that enjoyed working with them. I have to like them personally, I have to feel they have something to say that is compelling & different & they need to convince me that they have the stamina to continually renew their look. It’s something like finding a good mate-you have a list of what you want & check off their qualities that you know will make you happy. I always ask their clients lots of questions as well.

Q6. How has the present demand and necessity for an Artist Rep changed since years past?

A. Clients sometimes say they found a cheaper alternative to my artists because of the internet making so many artists more accessible. They usually add that their experiences weren’t very professional or the budgets weren’t respected. The landscape of a rep’s business changed dramatically after 2008. Many of us went out of business because there was less money spent on commissioned art. This cornered artists into dropping their fees & many reps weren’t nimble enough to reinvent their businesses. Many design firms & ad agencies stopped doing print. We survived because we addressed the newer digital marketing world.

Q7. What are the benefits of working with an artist representative such as yourself in comparison to working directly with an artist?

A. Reliability & having a colleague to discuss the many ways a project could look or be produced. A rep should have the experience to interpret the creative direction & guide the designer towards one or two best alternatives to accomplish the project. Sometimes a designer will tell me who they really want to work with but can’t for certain reasons, so I will present the closest styles of artists to the vision of that project.

Q8. If you were to compare artist representation to anything in the world, what would that be?

A. 1/2 animal trainer, 1/2 mom.

Q9. What is the most rewarding benefit that comes with being an artist representative?

A. Establishing a community of creative directors and match-making them with artists. And of course, choosing my own family of artists to talk with everyday.

Q10. Last but not least, what kind of results can potential clients expect when working with Freda Scott Creative?

A. Clients can expect to work with real, honest people – not divas. They can expect artists that enjoy stretching who are great thinkers & communicators. Above all, clients can expect that all deadlines will be met while staying on the agreed upon budget.

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Fantastic Four

Photographer Brian Smale wrapped production on another feature story for Microsoft, this time featuring four of their top designers responsible for redefining the the user experience. Brian’s initial plan involved shooting all four of the designers together, but scheduling conflicts forced Brian to come up with something else with stunning results.

After trying for months to shoot designers Kat Holmes, Jonah Sterling, Yeong Kyu Yoo and Ralf Groene in one location, Brian thought of a clever way to get his desired results. He contacted carpenter Judson Sullivan to create a box-like shipping crate with slight variations on the interior walls and lids, he then shot each designer individually inside the box while changing it’s orientation to make it appear like a different box for each designer. To get the desired results, Brian had to recreate the 4 box set-up every time he shot a different designer so the final edits would look authentic and balanced.

Brian threw a cherry on top of the production by creating spray painted stencils of the quartet on steel plates. When the production wrapped, Brian delivered a series of remarkable photos full of personality and creativity that were featured in an article on the Microsoft website. Check out the featured photos from the shoot below!