Hi, my name is Colin Christie. I am a partner at Neon Pig Creative in Colorado Springs. We are a graphic design agency that specializes in branding, print design, and website design and development. We also do quite a bit of company naming and copywriting. We have a lot of fun with what we do, and I’m really stoked to submit a video for the Colorado Creative series. We’re also really heavily involved in AIGA as an agency, and so, we love the creativity and the creative community.
So, let’s see, I’m gonna answer a few of these questions off this list.
What is the work or project that you have done that you are most proud of and why? I’m actually gonna grab this piece off the wall here. This is something that I was super proud to do. It’s a bit of hand lettering. It’s a quote from Joan Rivers, the famous comedian. It says, “In our business, you don’t quit. You’re holding on to the ladder, when they cut off your hands, hold on with your elbows. When they cut off your arms, hold on with your teeth. You don’t quit because you don’t know where the next job is coming from.” And I remember reading that quote actually I think in a book by Austin Kleon. The Fail Like an Artist book, pretty sure, is where I saw that and I just… those words really resonated with me and I thought, I just need to write those words. So, I’m proud of that piece. I came into graphic design through hand lettering, really, and doing a lot of traditional art, a lot of pen and ink work, a lot of lettering work. And, so this was something that I really harken back to kind of my roots to make and the quote just really inspires me every day, which ties into the next question, which is: What career advice would you give to your younger self?
I would just say, “Don’t quit.” I’ve got a tattoo on my arm that says, “you’ve got to be starving for it” (can’t really see it from there, but…) that’s a quote from a song. A lady Lamb song. And I think you just, you have to be hungry. You don’t want to work yourself to death, but you’ve got to be hungry and you’ve got to be tenacious. You’ve got to always try and work on something, whether that be client work or personal projects. Don’t quit. Don’t give up, you got to stay tenacious. You’re going to have lumps, you’re going to fail, and that’s good, that’s okay. You fail forward and keep going on from there.
An artist or designer that I admire and why? And kind of tying into another question which, which is: what are your favorite creative resources to get you inspired? I would say that I love looking at other agencies’ work, whether that be freelancers or big agencies I’ll name a few local ones in Colorado Springs: Fixer Creative, Design Rangers, REN Creativ, Trevor Kinkade, Breanna Sieck. Those are a few artists, a few designers that I really look at, love, get inspired by their work; they’re also good friends of mine. So that makes it fun. And the more the national level. I keep the preeminent, the preeminent spot for an agency called Whiskey Design, out of Kansas City. Just love their work and love modeling the agency that I work at, Neon Pig, love modeling that after Whiskey Design. They’ve got a team of about six or seven I think, and they’re just a true creative agency. They are small by design and they’re doing work that’s winning national awards, constantly getting recognized, not that it’s all about winning awards of course but just to get recognized and to produce work that is so undeniably brilliant. It seems like that’s what that shop does. So, Whiskey Design out of Kansas City, you all are… y’all are my heroes and I want to be like you when I grow up.
The last question I’m going to answer is, what do you like about the Denver creative community, and do you have any suggestions for how the community can be more inclusive? Well, what I like about the creative community is that it’s not Denver! I live in Colorado Springs, and what I basically want to say about that is that the whole state of Colorado has so many wonderful thriving spots for creativity, all up and down the front range but all across the state. It’s everywhere. Design of all types: furniture design, architectural design, product design, graphic design. Fine Art is, of course, thriving all over the state and specifically down here in Colorado Springs. I just want to stand on my Colorado Springs soapbox for a second and say that we have got a thriving, vibrant creative community down here that’s producing work that can rival any larger market. We also are an incredibly inclusive community and a collaborative community. We love coming together, getting together for events (when it’s not COVID time, of course) but even virtual events. We love getting together, we’re a small enough market to where everybody can know everybody, basically. But we’re still producing work at a really high level that’s pushing the envelope on the national scale. So, that’s what I like about the Colorado Springs creative community. I don’t know that much in and out about the Denver creative community, I know that there’s great work being produced up there, obviously. But as far as my personal involvement with it, I would like to know more, but I can speak to my experience in Colorado Springs and that is that we are kicking ass down here and we love it.
So thanks a lot for the opportunity to answer a few questions, and go Colorado creatives!