INDUSTRY MINDSETS: Doug Bell

Doug Bell
Creative Director & Designer, BrandLoyal

Doug Bell, Creative Director & Designer at BrandLoyal (creative studio) and Co-Founder at BrandLoyal & Co (co-working space) is considered one of the most recognizable figures in Arizona’s creative community. His background as an artist, adventurer, creative director and agency partner has led him to co-found the highly respected BrandLoyal initiatives, with a team of powerhouse creatives by his side.

There’s no doubt that Doug embodies creativity in our local community. From concept and direction, to design and execution, Doug brings a natural fire that inspires passion and deepens relationships through art. He and his team are selective about working with great people, as clients or peers, which has allowed for an impressive body of work to amass quickly—ranging from globally recognized chefs, craft products and retail, tourism groups, community and education initiatives, and much, much more.

We sat down with Doug to reinvigorate our own creativity, and man, did he deliver! Sporting a cattleman’s hat, a cowboy bandana scarf, and the signature circular glasses + beard combo that only Doug Bell can pull off in this state, he gave us a half-hour of his time to share some perspective on what he’s up to as a fellow creative awaiting the world to come back to normal.

Here’s what happened:

What is your morning routine? 

Well, I see each day through the lens of a dad. So, first thing, I hug my kids and say something positive to them. When it’s time for work and I get to the office, I pour a cup of coffee—it’s my lifeblood. Then I burn incense and put on music that fits the vibe of the day and complements the space we have here [at BrandLoyal & Co]. After that, I walk around the space to water and prune and talk to all of our plants. We have like 100 of them here. Then, I sit at my desk and read the [Phoenix Business Journal] or scroll through AWWWARDS, or anywhere else I might find some inspiration for that day.

BrandLoyal & Co.

How have you been able to inspire your own creativity and/or your team’s creativity during these odd times? 

It’s f***ing hard. But I tell ya what, it’s wonderful to work around creatives who are cut from the same cloth. We all appreciate great design, typography, websites, and art, so when it comes time to find inspiration, we typically do that for each other without a direct effort. Even though we are virtually interacting—which isn’t ideal—I’m still drawing inspiration from our group’s positive energy and different perspectives, and our shared need to live and breathe art all the time. 

“I’m still drawing inspiration from our group’s positive energy and different perspectives”
Doug Bell, BrandLoyal and BrandLoyal & Co.

 

How do you define the role of creative professionals at a time where the world is coming back online?

It might suck right now, but everything will be OK. How creatives can bring about the “OK” is by helping our clients come back online with creative solutions that might not otherwise be thought about, because they are going to be thinking about 10,000 other things. It’s going to be nuts for everyone. In a time like this, our offering to businesses is to not just simply be a creative person or group but to have the opportunity to focus on creativity for businesses when their focus, understandably, may be hard to achieve for a while. Honestly, it’s hard to prioritize creativity when so many other things demand attention, but that doesn’t devalue the impact creativity can have on a business right now. Especially now! That’s where we come in, and we’re excited about it.

Have you learned anything new during quarantine? Be it something about your company, yourself, or any new skills?

Oh yeah, man. Being around creatives is essential for building the best ideas and best brands. That’s why we opened BrandLoyal & Co. People who come here feel the same way. It’s clear as day now that we’ve gone from having the in-person environment, then it vanished, and now it’s on its way back. We were able to see the true value of what we have here and how creativity can multiply in the right surroundings with great people. I appreciate the power of it, all over again.

“[C]reativity can multiply in the right surroundings with great people”
Doug Bell, BrandLoyal and BrandLoyal & Co.

 

About Doug:

Doug Bell is the co-founder of BrandLoyal and BrandLoyal & Co. He is a recognized Creative Director of the Year (AAF), an avid fly-fisherman, and arguably one of the most attractive men on the planet. View his LinkedIn here.

By AIGA Arizona
Published May 20, 2020
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