It was no longer than a few months ago that we first got in touch with CBGC founder Cory Barrett, and it was enough to look at his website to find an unbridled creative spirit with plenty of artistic energy.
After being "rejected" by the creative industry, Cory found his way as a brand strategist and consultant for both small, independent brands and global companies. His resilience can certainly be of inspiration to many other creatives, perhaps still in the act of looking for their way into the industry.
We've had a chat with Cory about creativity, technology and future hopes for the creative industry.
Where are you from and how did you get into the industry?
I am originally from Coventry and studied Graphic Design at Northampton University. After the industry rejected me, I moved into Retail and found a new love and passion in Visual Merchandising. I am now based in Kenilworth, Warwickshire and work with small independent brands and global companies across multiple disciplines. Offering many services from Brand strategy to Graphics and consulting.
Explain your creative style and process
Having a graphic background gives me a structured and purposeful style, while the fashion adds that pleasant twist. My process is:
I feel it's important to understand the person, brand or company to understand their story before you can change or update the narrative.
Please provide one sentence about your spotlighted work on Creativepool
Rudeboy comes to Coventry with all the swagger and style of the scene from the 70s and 80s with a modern edge.
How has technology affected the way you work (if at all)?
You can look at it both ways, I love technology and the new innovative ways that you can use it inline with your work or just social solutions. But I believe we have only just scratched the surface of what can be done.
If you could change one thing about the industry what would it be?
I wish it and its community were given more credit. The world has so many creative solutions to be thankful for but wish it was appreciated equally with other sectors. People/clients can take you for granted if you are not confident and strong in what you have to offer.
What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?
Being curious and open minded. I don’t know all the answers so I search for understanding, clarity and question the world we live in today and challenge the status quo.
If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?
I would be a criminal pathologist. I always love analysing things and also understanding the why. And I was obsessed with Quincy.
What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?
Whilst working for Gap in New York I was able to concept, design, and produce 2 spaces for Frieze Art Fair in New York and London. I love the art world and especially Frieze. To work hand in hand and be part of the setup and Frieze family was incredible for me.
How do you recharge away from the office?
Well, I don’t think you are ever away from "the office" with social media nowadays, as you're always looking for opportunities. But I have 2 kids who keep me and my wife busy. I also do a podcast called The Curious Rum Shop with a friend. So for me, creativity and curiosity help me recharge. Oh, and I always have some music on. That's my sanctuary.
What advice would you give to other aspiring creatives in the industry who are looking for commissions?
My advice would be to stay curious. The world has so many opportunities, you don’t know where one conversation will take you. Know yourself, know your value and worth and be prepared to work hard for it. Listen and keep learning.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and try new things and network. Develop communication skills. The art of the conversation is a massive thing when selling yourself or your work.
What’s your one big hope for the future of the creative industries?
That we can encourage, nurture and inspire the future creators. Stay Curious!!