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Words about words, brands, names and naming, and the creative process.

#sparkchamber 011617 S. Quinn

The first in our new series #sparkchamber, a weekly mini-dive into creative process. We start with S. Quinn, the Founder and Creative Director of Fussfactory. In the spirit of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Nightsome are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them — Quinn was born, and had naming thrust immediately upon her. The purpose of a name is to create a unique identifier, and her super-common given name didn’t do the trick! Throughout her life, her last name became the informal go-to moniker, and after college [Northeastern University, BS in Finance and International Business] and a move from the Boston Area to the Bay Area, she made it official. Of course, the first-initial-and-going-by-a-last-name thing creates problems of its own. [In hindsight, she could have used a better naming strategy! Every couple years, she thinks about a personal rebrand. In business school [MBA in Marketing, UC Berkeley] she came thiiiis close to going with Quinn Grey.]

Although in retrospect it all seems so obvious, there were a few zigs-and-zags along her career path — accounts payable at a jewelry manufacturer, media planner at an advertising agency, traffic coordinator in the marketing department of a ride-sharing non-profit, art department coordinator in the film industry — before she landed full time in verbal branding. Life is a beautiful road.

Outside of work, Quinn knits, quilts, gardens, and cooks, and is a cat lover, and baseball superfan [check this out — flipflopflyin.com/flipflopflyball/infographics.html]. Follow her on Instagram @sdotquinn

1] Where do ideas come from?

Ideas come from shortfall — There’s a blank space between where you are and where you want to be. You have to improvise.

2] What is the itch you are scratching?

I struggle with the concept of individual identity within the context of collectivity: the raindrops that make a puddle. How are we separate v. How are we connected? Is it the same for me as it is for you? When we are sad, is it the same shade of blue?

3] Early bird or night owl? Tortoise or hare?

I tend to stay up late and sleep late — the momentum of what I’m doing rules. I’m definitely the bit-by-bit, take-the-time-you-need tortoise girl; I hate having to hurry. Nothing is more paralyzing to my creative process than a looming deadline.

4] How do you know when you’re done?

It’s a process of diminishing returns; I attack the thing from a lot of different angles, and the beginning is (generally) very fruitful, but the more you go to the end of every line, the less that comes with each wave — like popcorn in a microwave