At the beginning of 2013, after five years in NYC, we quit our jobs in advertising.
We had the opportunity to work on some fun stuff that won awards, and met lots of brilliant people — but we’d begun to get a bit tired of the working culture in NYC. Everyone was always “busy.” And there were just so. many. meetings.
We felt that we needed something to refresh our creative batteries and our joie de vivre. So we sold our stuff and decided to travel for a bit, looking for another place to live and work for a few years. That was 6 years ago, and as is probably obvious, we never settled anywhere!
During the first six months of our travels, we were approached about various opportunities. To help brands and agencies think about their businesses, their approaches to strategy, and creative thinking. By the end of 2013, we had officially incorporated Genius Steals, a nomadic creative consultancy.
This statement usually leads to three questions, or one question in three parts: Why “Genius Steals”? Where are you based? And what does the whole premise of a “creative consultancy” mean?
Our company is founded on the belief that nothing comes from nothing, that originality is a myth, that ideas are new combinations, that one cannot invent without inventory, and that the best way to have better ideas is to expose yourself to the most diverse set of inspiration. That’s what Genius Steals means.
Being nomadic means that we don’t have a specific home base. We haven’t had an apartment or fixed abode in six years. We travel with carry-on luggage only, from project to project, and anywhere that takes our fancy in between.
As a creative consultancy, we arbitrage knowledge from around the world and the creative industries and thus have a perhaps unique purview of how different people are solving similar problems. And, since we speak at conferences all over the world, we get to see the best on offer that way too.
In the last six years, we have worked across innumerable geographies, with brands and agencies of all disciplines. Brands like Coca-Cola, Intercontinental Hotels, Gibson Guitars, Air New Zealand, Google. Agencies like Ogilvy, VMLY&R, OMD, Edelman, and many others.
One of the things that keeps getting clearer to us as we go is how much being nomadic refreshes us creatively. We’ve written and researched extensively on creativity and have begun to see some interesting parallels between being creatively fertile and the nomad life. In our joint session, we [with some help from our awesome assistant who is also nomadic] will share our thoughts on what ideas are, how to have better ones, and some tips and tricks pulled from nomad life that you can use in your life every day.
Rest assured, you don’t need to become a nomad, but we do heartily recommend travel, and so are delighted to be visiting the Lake District for Learnfest to share with — and learn from you all!
Our newsletter, Strands of [Stolen] Genius, has been named one of the ‘7 Essential Reads for the Curious Creative [Hubspot] and one of the top community resources for strategists in the world [Planning Survey].
You can meet Rosie and Faris at the Learning event of the year, Learnfest, 25-27 June. To get your ticket head to the official website.