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Brad Chmielewski
Brad Chmielewski's posts

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Starting a creative studio is no easy task. Heck, starting any business is hard work! There will be struggles that will have you tearing your hair out and make you break down and cry. There will also be accomplishments and victories that will have you feeling like you are unbeatable

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The advertising industry has a strange work cycle; in June you're working on Back to School content, in September you're bidding Christmas work and then in the dead of winter, you're working on videos with beach wear.

The summer is often a bit of a slower time for us at +LooseKeys. Which is understandable since many agencies we work with are doing 4 day work weeks in the Summer, many clients are on vacation and overall most people are just enjoying the nicer weather. You have to take advantage of those days, especially when living outside of California. You know that when winter comes you'll be bundled up with a glass of bourbon, working away on a killer project.

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Happy 4th Of July!

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This week on the podcast I have SixesNSevens joining me once again to chat about this mobile game that we’ve now been playing since November 2014. SixesNSevens recently started a Vainglory Meems twitter account that is having fun and connecting with the more casual side of Vainglory.

Along with this new project, we chat about the 48 hour stream that celebrated the two-year launch of Vainglory in Android, the recent ESL partnership, Vainglory8 and much more. Then towards the end, we talk about the need for content creators in Vainglory and some ideas for how this might happen.

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Summer is in full swing here in Chicago and everyone is trying to enjoy as much of this nice weather as they can. Many of us are grilling in the park, hanging out on the beach or if you’re lucky, out on a boat on Lake Michigan.

No matter what you’re doing outside you need a good canned local independent beer to enjoy. To celebrate the 4th of July we have picked 10 of our favorite Independent Chicago cans that should help beat the heat.

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Stories have the power to transport us to anywhere we can imagine. They allow us to experience a rich world that is often beyond our reach.

Over the years I've realized how important it is to cultivate the skill of storytelling. Being able to interact and communicate with others is the foundation of getting your message heard.

Storytelling may seem like a basic skill but it's an art that you need to practice. And honestly, it's not something many of us think about anymore. There was a time when people would gather around the fire to tell stories or even simply sit around the dinner table recounting a story about how their day went. Although it may seem like everyone has a blog these days, many of us are just listeners or consumers of other people's stories. Most of the time the only tales we tell are to just quickly toss out comments on a YouTube video or on Twitter. 

Send a friend a tasty sticker with these donut stickers for iOS! #NationalDonutDay

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The last few weeks I’ve been looking back through some of the older projects we’ve created at +LooseKeysTV. I’ve been checking to see if there is any unused artwork or concepts that we might have pitched that would be worth sharing now. Also, I’ve been looking for GIFs that could be re-edited and shared on our Giphy page. Everyone continues to love GIFs and we have this entire backlog that we never took advantage of sharing.

It is really insightful and humbling to go back and look at your old work. LooseKeys has been in business for 6 years now and we’ve produced a lot of videos. Most artists hate their earlier work when they go back and look at it. I see glaring errors that if we were doing the same video today we wouldn’t allow to make it into the final release. It’s not that the work was bad, most of the clients we’ve worked with loved their videos and loved working with us. It’s just that as with everything you do, the more you do it then the better you get at it.

Before starting LooseKeys, I had 6 years of experience working in the industry. Now after 12 years, the tools have evolved and I would like to think my work has improved and so has the entire team at LooseKeys.

When I started LooseKeys it was a whole new experience for me. I was creating the work and trying to start and grow a business. Making perfect art and growing a business don’t always go hand in hand. In those early days of LooseKeys, we were constantly trying new things, learning and pushing ourselves to make better work. With each video that was produced, we got feedback from our clients and our peers in the industry. We learned what would stand out and how to use our talents to craft a great story.

I like to think we were following the mantra, “Show your work early and show it often.” We’d often share a video from LooseKeys every week.

If the video didn’t work or hit the mark or maybe the client wasn’t liking something we were doing then we’d make adjustments and changes. With every single project, we’d pushed ourselves to do the absolute best we could in the timeframe given and with every project the results got better and better.

The trouble with many high achieving people is that they have a hard time releasing work before it’s perfect. There is always one more thing to adjust and another thing to tweak. The good part about being the voice of the business is that at times I had to say “this is done,” we need to get paid and move on. I learned to be less of a perfectionist and how to let go. What we might notice as a mistake, someone else may not even see. That’s no reason to not fix mistakes but you can’t let that goal of perfection cripple you.

Facebook often used to say “move fast and break things.” I like to think we followed a similar plan of attack at LooseKeys, maybe not break things but more like—move fast and create. You’ll never have to question if LooseKeys is still around because you’ll always see us creating and sharing.

I like to think everyone at LooseKeys takes this a bit to heart as well. Jake Williams is always doodling and sharing a new image on Instagram or Dribble and Ethan Barnowsky is always pushing himself with his weekly GIFs.

We love every project we work on at LooseKeys and I couldn’t be more proud of what we produce. I’m constantly looking forward and looking towards what the future will bring for LooseKeys but every so often it’s nice to take a moment and look back. It can be useful to take the time to reflect on and appreciate how much you’ve grown as a person and as a business.

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Let’s face it, whether you have one video or you’re working on multiple videos, it’s time to get serious about video and YouTube. Video content is very popular on Facebook. However, YouTube was and still is the number one destination for video content. After all, this social network is a pure video-sharing platform and has been since its birth in 2005.

At LooseKeys we mainly use our YouTube channel as a portfolio, it’s an easy place for new clients to see what kind of videos we’ve done and get a sense of the quality clients will get when working with us. We’ll also post original animation there as well; those range from 10 seconds to 3 minutes. This keeps our page active between client projects and allows us to experiment.
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