Beyond the ADDYs (and Mike is Hosting)

Beyond the ADDYs (and Mike is Hosting)

Recently I attended the AIGA St. Louis Design Show, an annual event I always look forward to.

I say the word “attended” very loosely. I stopped by for about 15 minutes before my son’s baseball game.


As I walked the perimeter of the show, discovering wonderful, smart design work from our city’s creative shops, a friend of mine stopped me to ask what I thought of the show.

This simple question caught me off guard. I answered with a little laugh. Of course I thought it was great. All of the work was beautiful. But lately when I go to design shows, I think about them differently.

I don’t feel as competitive as I used to. When I look at the work, I see my friends and colleagues. I see how they took those projects and applied their unique style and creative approach. I remember fragmented lunch conversations I’ve had with them about their projects, the details I would hear about while they were working on them, and it’s great to see the wonderful end result. I see how much effort went into the work, in spite of bumps in the road, all because the designers wanted to make something beautiful.

I see the “ending” of stories I’ve only heard about in bits and pieces. They’re hanging on the walls. And I feel lucky to know the struggle and constraints the designer faced along the way, and to see their efforts celebrated.

Knowing the people and stories behind projects makes me appreciate the industry more, loathe competitors less, and gives me insight for my next project. It helps me remember that good work is possible, and that it’s happening here in St. Louis.

Go Beyond the ADDYs

About a month ago I was asked to host Beyond the ADDYs, an AdClub St. Louis event that will take place Thursday, June 23, at The Schlafly Tap Room.

At Beyond the ADDYs, agencies present behind-the-scenes stories about this year’s recognized creative work. This year, we’ll hear from HLK, Cannonball and TOKY as they shed light on their creative processes and the challenges they faced making award-winning advertising.

I’ve also been given eight minutes to talk about creativity. I promise it’s only going to feel like six.

So come to the Tap Room and listen to the stories behind some great creative work. It’s a good reminder that having good ideas and getting those good ideas out into the world isn’t always easy. And that when a good one makes it through, it’s worth celebrating.


Mike Spakowski

Mike Spakowski

Mike Spakowski is Principal / Creative Director of Atomicdust and is involved with the day-to-day design strategy, art direction and studio management.

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