Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

December 11th, 2014 by Tina

Seek growth, not greatness. Love the things you try, even if you don’t think they’re any good. If you don’t like the outcome, appreciate the process. It’s all about fostering growth, and it almost always takes a little growing pain to get anywhere worthwhile.



November 20th, 2014 by Tony

I’ve been doing a lot of walking lately. My work requires a good bit of travel, and while I have managed to go to the gym, the pattern was easily broken. I started putting on weight and, as I’m turning 50 next May, I’m at the age where being still for a long period of time actually hurts.

I read a Huffington Post article about humans’ 90-minute mental cycle, which says that we can focus for 90 minutes at a time, but then our brains need a breather. It follows a similar pattern to sleep.

The problem is, this is not a natural work rhythm and not only is it ignored, it’s often discouraged. We tend to plow into projects for as long as we think necessary (often justified by available time on our calendars).

“Many of us unwittingly train ourselves to ignore signals from our body that we need a rest — difficulty concentrating, physical restlessness, irritability. Instead, we find ways to override this need with caffeine, sugar, and our own stress hormones — adrenalin, noradrenalin, and cortisol — all of which provide short bursts of energy but leave us over-aroused.” – Tony Swartz

As a culture, we’re incredibly sedentary. I read an opinion piece that laid it out this way: “Americans spend their lives in search of the next chair.” Align that with your own experience. Desk, conference room, car, recliner. Sitting is our lives.

My new iPhone automatically tracks my steps, and I was curious to see what results a typical day produced. I clocked 3500 steps, mostly in the morning and evening, and maybe some during the day because the restrooms are a decent ways from our office.

This motivated me to consider a different routine. Over the last 2 months, I’ve started walking after an intense or long meeting, when my laptop battery needs to be recharged, lunchtime… whenever feels right. The results so far have been amazing, and I average around 11,000 steps a day now.

I’m usually back within 15 or 20 minutes, and surprisingly enough, I rarely feel like I’ve missed anything. In fact, during the down time, my brain will usually start preparing for whatever is coming next, so I usually go into meetings or projects with a very good head start.

I walked 142 miles last month. I live in Apex, but work in Raleigh (13 miles each way), so that means I could’ve walked to work one full week last month, plus a little extra. If I feel the need, I go out and move a bit. Try it sometime, if you’re able to. It feels good!

We were happy to interview David Baldwin last week as part of our ongoing partnership with the Raleigh chapter of CreativeMornings.

One of the most awarded copywriters and creative directors working in advertising today, David Baldwin is the founder of Baldwin&, which was named Ad Age’s Small Agency of the Year after only three years in business.

So, how did he achieve such an accomplishment?? Watch the video below, and catch his lecture at CreativeMornings this Friday at CAM Raleigh, 9 a.m to find out. We’ll be the ones with the cameras, so come say hello. See you there!

November 12th, 2014 by Tina

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 4.00.00 PM

Myriad Way #6, and one of my personal favorites.

Here are seven of my favorite talks from a favorite source of knowledge and inspiration:

1) John Maeda:
How art, technology and design inform creative leaders
TEDGlobal 2012 · 16:41 · Filmed Jun 2012

2) David Kelley:
How to build your creative confidence
TED2012 · 11:46 · Filmed Mar 2012

3) Rory Sutherland:
Life lessons from an ad man
TEDGlobal 2009 · 16:39 · Filmed Jul 2009

4) Tim Brown:
Tales of creativity and play
Serious Play 2008 · 27:58 · Filmed May 2008

5) Andrew Stanton:
The clues to a great story
TED2012 · 19:16 · Filmed Feb 2012

6) Rob Legato:
The art of creating awe
TEDGlobal 2012 · 16:27 · Filmed Jun 2012

7) James Cameron:
Before Avatar … a curious boy
TED2010 · 17:08 · Filmed Feb 2010

Animated .gifs

November 7th, 2014 by Ryan

I love animated GIFs. I make them whenever I can ( There are tons of apps and different ways to make them but this is how I do it.

    •  First off, and most importantly, it’s pronounced with a hard G —like gift without the T. No matter what anybody else tells you, its GIF. Thanks, Obama!
    •  Find the video you want to make a GIF of. I really like making Hugh Grant GIFs, so I’ll use a screen-capture software like Quicktime to grab clips without having to download the movie.

    • Open Photoshop
    • Select File > Import Video Frames to Layers

    • From here, you can import the entire clip or a selected range. GIFs that have seamless loops work the best.

  • Hit OK
  • Now, you can make adjustments like you would any other Photoshop project.
  • Select File > Save for Web

This is the Save for Web setting. You can most likely keep everything default. Make sure you are saving as a GIF (pink arrow) and that you are looping forever (green arrow), because GIFs that don’t loop forever are zzzzzzzz. The goal is to keep your file size under 5mb (orange arrow) or 3mb if you plan on using a lot of GIFs on one page.

If your GIF is too big, you can try making the image smaller by changing the image size or reducing it by a percentage.

Save and you’re done!

To share your GIF, upload to your favorite website. I like and


Happy Halloween, y’all.

For the last 10 years, Myriad Media has partnered with the United Way and the Atlantic Coast Conference to create TV spots for the “Live United” campaign. These spots often feature a student-athlete and a child, working together or competing in the student’s sport. Typically, these two don’t know each other, but always hit it off on set. However, our latest spot featured a much different story.


This commercial, created for Notre Dame lacrosse, featured Katherine McManus and Bobby Russell, her 6-year-old “boyfriend.” The two met while Bobby was being treated for cancer, and each week, Katherine and Bobby cuddled while his chemo treatment was administered. Katherine’s mother worked at a cancer hospital while Katherine was growing up, so volunteering came naturally to her.


While most of our ACC spots have been lighthearted, our team saw the opportunity to go for something deeper. Instead of avoiding Bobby’s health issues, we decided to showcase the duo’s entire relationship—both the playful moments and the tough realities.

We filmed the hospital scene at Memorial Hospital of South Bend, just steps from where Bobby received his treatment. While we were setting up the lights and rigging the camera, our crew heard a young girl across the hall sobbing during her treatment. The mood quickly turned somber as the full weight of what we were filming set in. Walking through the halls and seeing the faces of the kids who were receiving care was an overwhelming experience.

I’ve led an extremely blessed life, and have never had to deal with any serious health issues. While filming, I realized the heartache that these children and their families go through on a daily basis. As a bystander just getting a glimpse into this world, I was humbled and overwhelmed by the strength of Bobby and his support system. They are true champions, and it was a honor to tell Bobby’s story.

Take a look at the final product here and let us know what you think! 

We’re Headed to Edge City!

October 17th, 2014 by Will

Part of what makes work meaningful is the adventure and ongoing newness of it all. What are you seeing and who are you learning from to inform or change your view of the world? This sense of adventure is the reason why Myriad Media is hyped to open an office in Vancouver, BC. It’s a big tilt, perhaps a risky one, but if not now—when?

Iconic Siwash Rock in Vancouver's Stanley Park

Iconic Siwash Rock in Vancouver’s Stanley Park

 …adventure is the reason why Myriad Media is hyped to open an office in Vancouver, BC

This west coast “outcropping” is about experiences that will fulfill, yet challenge our people. This pairs well with workplace trends that plainly tell us what today’s co-workers desire: learning and growth, trust and meaning, and flexibility and inclusion. Our vision for getting there is to work in the world’s best cities, partner with game-changing creative talent and to build relationships with interesting clients who share a common set of values.

With an estimated 24,000 digital media jobs, a burgeoning production community for major films/TV (Godzilla, Fantastic Four, Arrow, Battlestar Galactica), and consistent “Top 5″ world rankings for quality of life, Vancity is a logical choice for Myriad (in spite of its far west coast commute).

“Vancouver. Edge city. A territory on the geographic and cultural periphery. A place
where people come to escape the confines of convention and a place with a
unique aptitude for freethinking, incubating and instigating.”

Vancouver Design Week

That context perfectly sums our feel for Vancouver and is why we decided to invest in this particular locale. Since Myriad Media’s experimental pings began in June of 2013, it was the city’s hard-to-describe positive energy that encouraged our minds to wander and wonder. It’s a mix of fresh pacific air buffeted by the nearby North Shore mountains, a definitive inclination towards progress, and a natural, easy west coast posture.

The vibe is palpable as you walk the streets and seawalls, whether on the morning walking commute to our office in historic Gastown, a bike trek around Stanley Park, or a quick meeting over caffeine at one of the many outstanding coffee shops within eyesight of each other.

A seawall stroll, our digs in Gastown and random public beach art in Stanley Park

A seawall stroll, our digs in Gastown and random public beach art in Stanley Park

In fact, Vancouver’s cool lean is nicely demonstrated by the way these very shops seem to operate not as competitors, but as a community striving to create quality experiences: reethinking, incubating and instigating.

Siwash Collage 1

According the Yelp there are 256 coffee shops in Vancouver

I can attest one feels particularly good to be in the city. Indeed, Vancouver seems to be a different sort of lab. Take thoughtful curiosity, mix it with a focus on progress, then wrap it up in a friendly demeanor and you’ve got a dynamic of goodness and possibility. That’s the type of mentality we’ll need to create the best future we can. For example, I love how the city’s political leadership has declared Vancouver will be the greenest city in the world by 2020. Ahhhhhh… the wonder of tilting at a big, important goal to benefit the common good.

{Curiosity + Progress} Friendly = Possibilities

the Vancouver equation

One last thing… it’s important to note that while we’re headed to locations such as Vancouver and NYC, we will always be the same laid-back folks from Raleigh with super ordinary haircuts.

We look forward to sharing more of what we learn and how we grow from our Vancouver venture.

Note: This post would be woefully incomplete without credit to my colleagues Ricardo Roberts and Tony Cope and their “bias towards action” on this front.

AdobeMax – The Crazy Ones

October 17th, 2014 by Malia

Last week I had an incredible opportunity to attend AdobeMax in Los Angeles. My schedule included a mix of educational classes, inspiring seminars, keynote events, software sneak peeks, parties, concerts, and more. Every single event I attended blew me away, so one blog post will not suffice. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my most memorable and inspiring moments.

To start, here are some of my main takeaways from, “The Crazy Ones: How to Be a Leader who Inspires Creativity and Innovation.”

This talk was led by Stephen Gates (Vice President and Senior Creative Director) and Trina Cintron (Creative Director) for the Global Brand Design team for Starwood Hotels & Resorts. The presentation focused on the attributes that distinguish a leader from a manager. I can’t include everything, but here were some of my favorite sections:

  1. Being good at execution doesn’t mean you are a good leader. It means you are good at getting things done. Great executors might crumble in leadership roles. To get a glimpse of someone’s leadership capabilities, see how they react when something in their project goes wrong. A good leader will address the problem, come up with a plan and delegate appropriate tasks to their team members. Leaders know the strengths of their teammates and trust them to handle their assigned responsibilities. Managers will often try to fix everything themselves.
  2. Managers believe in the status quo and doing things the way they have always been done because those things have worked. Leaders want to do things differently. Leaders give their teams something to believe in. They are constantly asking “why” and coming up with new ideas.
  3. Leaders realize that good work is the single greatest threat to great work. Good work is merely a compromise. It’s settling. Great work is born out of passion, investment, and attention to detail. Great work creates a culture of dedication.
  4. Leaders understand that their team members all work differently. Forcing people to work one single way will never lead to success. They understand that everyone has their own process. They realize that everyone needs to feel inspired, invested, and protected to do their best work, and they create an environment to nurture that.
  5. Leaders understand that deadline driven groups are a commodity. Idea driven groups are an asset. Leaders find ways to continuously inspire their teams.
  6. In order to be a leader, you need to be a crazy one. “People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” Be confident, take risks, and trust your instincts.

You can read a similar article that goes into more detail here.

Thank you, Stephen and Trina. It was a pleasure.