Take Risks. Be Human. Make Bold Choices.

It took serious self-control to resist channeling my inner red-carpet host, asking guests who they were wearing.

The sold-out event attracted a multitude of artists. What was taking place in the heart of our city that night was more than fashion, networking, and humans appearing as if they walked off the pages of Vogue into the venue. It was where creativity met community, complemented with an eccentric edge.

It was natural that a conversation between a restaurant powerhouse (Vicia) and branding and design company (Toky) kicked off this event. After all, this is St. Louis, a Midwest playground of willing organizations that play well together. We work together. We need each other. The relationships behind powerful brands mesh the experts in marketing and messaging with the outward brand itself. Eric Thoelke, President and Executive Creative Director at Toky Branding + Design, chatted up Tara Gallina, co-founder and General Manager of Vicia. Through this conversation, Eric unveiled their process with marketing the restaurant’s unique concept. The approach was simple and plant-based (stay with me), “Stay grounded during the branding discovery phase. Plants don’t begin at the soil; they start with the roots.” That’s deep. I especially love how this mindset embraces Vicia’s “vegetable-forward” vision.

The statement, “Have that natural curiosity,” spoke to our hearts and our mission.

Everything about this collaborative effort exuded being human. Now we’re cooking. Humanizing the process behind creating the art struck a major chord with Team Bigwidesky. The statement, “Have that natural curiosity,” spoke to our hearts and our mission.

One of the artists, Jacob Berkowtiz, shared his personal process. See our own Haley Black, displaying a piece Berkowitz was kind enough to distribute among the crowd.

Creative Process at St. Louis Fashion Fund

On his vision:

“I found an interesting connection between myself and my art. It’s about the movement and motion, balanced with being rooted. Every time I make a piece, I learn something about myself.”

On his personal connection to work:

“Architecture is huge: I think about it a lot. I feel like I can get away with architecture as a painter. Execution is so beautiful and poetic.“

On emotions and humanizing art:

“I spend several weeks stressed out. I establish how it’s going to go, but know it’s going to turn out differently. I get post-project blues. I feel like I’ve gone thru a harsh breakup.”

This is some quality insight. Now for some new perspective: Joanna Wolf, Social Media Manager at the St. Louis Fashion Fund, shares her views on the intention of the collaborative artistic community St. Louis offers.

On the purpose of the Creative Process events:

“The objective is to celebrate and foster cross-disciplinary collaborations. From fashion, art and design to music, dance and performance, to literature and poetry, to food and mixology, we’re bringing innovative minds together to connect, learn, and share local resources.”

Our goal to bring the community together in ways they wouldn’t normally connect.

On the mission of The Fashion Fund:

The goal is to not only bring back the business of fashion to St. Louis, but to also foster cross-disciplinary collaborations. The reason why events such as the Creative Process series are so important is our goal to bring the community together in ways they wouldn’t normally connect. We want to stimulate local interest in the industry and build awareness to the talent that is already here in St. Louis.

To further explain the boom in St. Louis as a home-base for artists of all backgrounds, Digital Marketing Strategist, Marisa Lather, offers this insight on the rise of creativity in our city.

On St. Louis Attracting New Talent:

Many designers choose to be based in St. Louis because of the affordability, and overall benefits of living. The materials shipping costs are less, since we’re in the Midwest, versus shipping from coast to coast. That leaves more spend on marketing.

The moral of the story is our city is bootstrap-friendly (but only the most stylish boots). Desirable geography lends itself to an artistic explosion. If anything about this revs your engines, there’s no time like the present to get connected, absorb art, and make things happen. Welcome to St. Louis, the city where your ideas evolve from concept to creation.