Weapons of Mass Creation Interview: Fuel Brand Inc.

Welcome to the fourth interview of the Weapons of Mass Creation video interview series. Not sure what this is all about? Read the kick-off article to get caught up!

We sat down with Adelle Charles & Joshua Smibert of Fuel Brand, Inc and chatted about their background, goals, and views on the design industry. You’ll find both the video interview & the typed transcript below. Enjoy.

Adelle Charles: Alright, I’m Adelle Charles from Fuel branding, and I’m the CCO.

Joshua Smibert: Joshua Smibert, same. I guess most designers would know us through the site Fuel Your Creativity.

GoMediazine: Who are some of your clients? We talked about this before because you guys don’t essentially have clients, so why don’t you talk about that a little bit.

Joshua Smibert: We’re a publishing network, so no clients but lots of readers.

Adelle Charles: No clients is good.

Joshua Smibert: Both of us have come from production world though so we’re used to client work but now we just serve the community.

Adelle Charles: Yea, we serve the creative community.

GoMediazine: How has that been for you guys? How is that better and how is it worse? So before you actually had clients, you had people you were responding to but now it’s a bigger entity.

Adelle Charles: It gets a little crazy sometimes, not gonna lie.

Joshua Smibert: But we don’t have deliverables so we get to respond to more the flow of what’s being asked but not specifics.

GoMediazine: So it’s more organic.

Adelle Charles: Yeah, it’s about building relationships.

Joshua Smibert: With a lot of people at once rather than one on one with a client.

GoMediazine: Why did you come to Go Media today, to the Weapons of Mass Creation campaign?

Adelle Charles: Well, Fuel is really about the community and your brand Go Media and Fuel, it’s what we’re about. And we totally wanted to meet you guys.

Joshua Smibert: We love the fact that you guys are reaching out and doing things that focus on creatives. It’s not about a single vein or a single person or competitive – it’s about, we’re all part of creating things and making things and doing cool stuff. So it seemed to fit.

GoMediazine: I see Fuel and other companies having a single brand name to which they launch a series of related sites. Is this planned from the beginning and why keep all the sites under the same brand? Does this strengthen or dilute the brand?

Adelle Charles: It actually started with Fuel Your Creativity. It just kind of, I met Josh and it kind of went on fire. No pun intended I swear.

Joshua Smibert: Fuel your creativity started as a single entity and as a really grassroots effort to try and share what you were working on with the community.

Adelle Charles: It was about a year and a half ago.

Joshua Smibert: Almost two years ago. So what happened was, we had to discuss what might be the next step for something. We built this community of designers, community of creatives. Where do we go from here with it? Fuel as a concept was about building on creativity and adding to it. So we kind of launched into other areas but still under that same concept. So it made sense to keep it all under Fuel but to build a brand to extend the reach because it meant the same thing.

GoMediazine: So Adelle you are coming from a background where you went to art school and so you have an eye for what looks good and what doesn’t look good.

Adelle Charles: I hope so!

GoMediazine: You have worked on projects where you had deadlines. What is your opinion of stock art and what the Arsenal has?

Adelle Charles: I love what you guys do. I use Go Media’s stuff. It’s a great tool to build on. Amazing things can come from it. I’ve used it on posters, art work, website design, I love it. I’m not just saying that because I’m here.

GoMediazine: What would you say to someone who’s kind of knocking it?

Adelle Charles: Knocking it?

GoMediazine: You would be like “have you ever had a deadline?”

Adelle Charles: Yea, exactly.

Joshua Smibert: What isn’t stock art anyway? Everything is a shape, everything is taken from something.

Adelle Charles: It’s true. It’s all about what you’ve done with it.

GoMediazine: That’s a great overarching philosophical way to look at it. I’ve never thought that way about it.

Adelle Charles: Trademark that quick!

GoMediazine: What is your ideal project? That is an interesting question for Fuel as an entity, I guess it would be what is your ideal situation or what is your ideal vision for Fuel?

Joshua Smibert: To us the concept of Fuel links to it’s name of creative development. Building on or adding to. For us creating an entity which has things that flow through it but uses what we do to add to it. If that makes sense. So information comes through us and other people can come consume that information. Hopefully apply it to their design work, apply it to their illustration, apply it to their motionography, whatever they are doing.

Adelle Charles: The fuel brand network is the umbrella of the publishing sites. So it’s “fuel your”, fuel your creativity, fuel your illustration, fuel your apps.

GoMediazine: In my head I’m envisioning this circle, almost like a cyclical thing, you put out these resources, you’re developing this community, people are responding, and then they are coming back. They’re doing their work, taking from these resources, and they’re coming back and leaving their resources.

Joshua Smibert: Again, back to the name. Fuel doesn’t do anything unless it’s applied to something. So the idea is, it’s a community publishing network where we take people in an industry and allow them a platform to get good quality, good feedback. So for designers working on something, they can come and publish to the community and the community can respond, engage, learn from, take away from, rebuttal, and disagree. It’s a way to be able to bring out the best of and the most interesting and do something with it to create new stuff.

Adelle Charles: The engagement is the best part.

Joshua Smibert: For us it’s about doing and creating new stuff. And hopefully that’s what the resources we provide do. And that’s again why we think it’s kind of a cool concept because you guys can take something and add to it to make something new. And that’s the whole concept of creation for us.

GoMediazine: Do you have any current projects or undertakings that you’re allowed to talk about right now? Or do you have to be kind of secretive about it?

Joshua Smibert: Sure. We have an events circa we’re working on.
We’ll be doing some Fuel workshops and hopefully in the next year second quarter, a Fuel conference.

GoMediazine: Alright I have to go tweet about this right now. I have to tell everyone!

Joshua Smibert: There’s a lot of stuff. Fuel United is another project we’re working on which will be a way for creatives to contribute back more of a hub, a charitable hub where everyone can offer their talents to organizations doing something. Sometimes a lot of freelancers may not have massive amounts of cash to hand out, but still want to contribute. We all have talents; we all do amazing stuff, so Fuel United will be a hub for allowing other organizations access to the creative community. It’s something we’re doing with some other partners. We’re trying to look for ways that we can all as a community give back.