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Into the Woods: Navigating the Creative Wilderness with Dyno Creative

By Dyno Creative | September 19, 2023
Dyno Creative recently had the opportunity to attend the Into the Woods creative conference held by Lincoln Design Co. in Stevenson, WA. Hint: We LOVED it!!!
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About Dyno Creative

If you know anything about the Dyno Creative tribe, you know that our dedication to maintaining our industry-leading position is reflected in how hard we work (and play!) but also in our commitment to continuous education and growth. 

Some of us recently had the opportunity to attend a creative conference in Stevenson, WA called Into the Woods. In the ever-evolving landscape of digital branding, staying relevant and sharp is as important as a velociraptor’s claws were in the prehistoric era. And just as these apex predators adapted and honed their skills to remain at the top of the food chain, digital branding agencies like Dyno Creative need to continually learn and grow to stay at the forefront of our industry.

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Learning is an ADVENTURE!

In our minds, learning is an adventure! The more we learn, the more it fuels our creativity. We believe that engaging in continuous professional development and seizing networking opportunities, such as creative conferences like Into the Woods, is the lifeline that allows agencies like ours to thrive. 

Without a focus on continuous growth and education, we would miss out on the vital tools we have developed over the years. These tools give us the ability to deliver exceptional quality services that our clients deserve. If we stopped continuing to learn and evolve our skills, we would no longer be a solid representation of what it looks like to continuously evolve as a brand, and that quite frankly is unacceptable. 

Since trends tend to shift rapidly, we want to do more than just survive, we want to be key players in shaping the future of branding. That’s why we strive to find ways to give back to our colleagues, our partners, and our community—including you! Here’s a closer look at what we learned during our time attending Into the Woods. We hope you enjoy!

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Influential Keynote Speakers

When you go into a creative field like we did, you often have design icons or heroes  you look up and take inspiration from. But imagine getting to meet some of these people IN PERSON! Yeah…we did that!

The number of influential keynote speakers in attendance at the Into the Woods creative conference was impressive, to say the least. Having the opportunity to learn from these influential leaders in the branding and design industry was out of this world! Their invaluable knowledge and expertise offered a unique perspective into where the industry is at currently and where they hope it will go in the future. This challenged attendees like ourselves to take a closer look at our current practices and redefine our approach to creativity and brand strategy. 

Here is a quick recap of just a few of the influential leaders in attendance that we admire and take inspiration from.

Bryce Wong

Bryce Wong, otherwise known as ‘The Sandman’, is a well-known footwear designer from Southern California (we’re practically besties!) renowned for creating some of the most iconic Dunks during Nike SB’s ‘Striped Box’ era. His designs are deeply influenced by the region’s vibrant skate culture. Bryce began his design journey working with Vans in California learning the intricate confluence of performance and style in sneaker culture.

After Vans, Bryce transitioned to Nike SB playing a pivotal role in collaborations and Quickstrike releases. His commitment to storytelling through design is one of the many attributes we admire about him as a designer and fellow sneaker enthusiasts. 

Future Plans as of 2023: Bryce has transitioned from Nike SB to Nike Virtual Studios and digital goods, focusing on Web 3.0 and community-based activations.

The Benefits of Pen and Paper: “I always kind of enjoyed pen and paper because there’s always something nice about feeling the paper and being like, oh, shit, I messed up. I can’t double-tap.”

— Bryce Wong

Thor Drake

Not only does this guy have a cool name, he’s a pretty cool individual with deep roots in skateboarding and motorcycling communities. Thor Drake is renowned for his One Moto Show event. His early skateboarding days played a significant role in his ability to create inclusive spaces that celebrate design, culture, and foster a sense of belonging. The One Moto Show now plays an important role in the motorcycle world, featuring various noteworthy collaborations and developing a broad audience over time. 

Thor’s dedication and commitment to authenticity are contributing factors to his continued success. His philosophy of community over commercality resonates with so many people and is the core motivation behind everything he does.

Future Plans: Discover new opportunities to build greater community engagement and innovative event designs.

The Importance of Creativity in Business: “The word ‘creative’, in my mind, is how to connect a problem with a soluton faster than anyone else.”

— Thor Drake

Dan Janssen

Dan Janssen, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Lincoln Design Co., embodies passion-driven work in the design industry. With deep roots in San Diego, Dan was heavily influenced by the skate, surf, and snowboarding culture which led to his love for artwork and designs within these communities. This passion eventually steered him to pursue a formal education in the design field. 

Now, with over 15 years of experience in the industry, Dan has gained vast knowledge and experience across multiple design disciplines. While he has run into his fair share of challenges along the way, his commitment to work and dedication to excellence has cemented his reputation—he’s seriously a genuine guy who has a great respect and appreciation for the products and companies he works with. 

Future Plans: In addition to managing Lincoln Design Co., Dan is exploring new ways of marketing and expanding the business.

The Importance of Creativity: “I feel like if you’re creative in this industry and you’re not going home and still thinking about creativity, artwork, whatever it is that you’re doing, if you don’t kind of have something outside of work that you’re doing, then you’re treating design or your day job as just a job.”

— Dan Janssen

Dustin Noden

Dustin Noden is another influential leader we look up to. His role as the Art Director at Lincoln Design Co has been an integral part to the overall success of the company. Similar to Dan, Dustin was also heavily influenced by the graphic design that is prevalent in skate, surf, and moto cultures.

Dustin values genuine design over generic (clip art-style stuff is a huge no-no) and is known to tackle challenges head on. His previous work with clients Nike and has significantly contributed to Lincoln Design Co’s impressive roster of clients. There is still so much to learn from this guy, and we can’t wait to see what he does next!

Future Plans: Strive for continued growth at Lincoln Design Co., focusing on managing teams, and the podcast ‘The Chop Up’ where they delve deep into design processes with clients.

The Significance of Market Research:To me, market research is like if you’re at the skate spot on a Wednesday night and you see all the kids wearing whatever they’re wearing, you’re kind of just soaking it in you’re maybe at a hot new restaurant looking at the menu, and that’s really where you get the inspiration. You don’t need to do the market research, so just be inspired.

— Dustin Noden

Mark Brickey

If you love a good podcast like we do, then you’ll love Mark Brickey, the dynamic force behind the popular podcast “Adventures in Design.” Serving a creative community with over 1,234 episodes (and counting), Mark hails from the border of Indiana and Kentucky with a unique start to his journey into design. Growing up with a sense of not fitting it when he was younger led Mark to find solace and inspiration in the world of MTV in the 1980s. Music was pivotal in his formative  years, taking him from feeling like an outsider to harnessing his passion for creativity and turning it into a rewarding career in podcasting and public speaking.

Mark’s philosophy is deeply rooted in the value of community, authenticity, and the intersection of creativity and commerce. His time spent interviewing high-profile creatives allowed him to bring their unique perspectives to a broader audience, inspiring so many other aspiring designers to reach for the stars. He is a true representation of what it means to stay connected to your roots and be true to yourself, no matter how much success you experience in life. 

Future Plans: Continue to build the podcast and focus on serving, entertaining, and building connections within the community.

The Importance of Problem Solving:I’m a professional. I have years that have brought me to this moment. You throw a problem at me, I know how to solve it.

— Mark Brickey

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Important Takeaways

Daniel – Principal, Chief Strategist

At the “Into the Woods” conference, we proudly stood out in our vibrant pink shirts amidst a crowd dressed in black and earth-toned attire. This experience affirmed our distinct identity and reinforced our willingness to showcase our creative personalities and our affection for bold, colorful expressions.

The conference was fantastic, with a beautiful venue that encouraged people to continue socializing even after the sessions ended. It was a thoroughly creative experience, mirroring what we do with our creative retreats at Dyno Creative. The focus on trust as currency, aligned with our core values and the art of partnership, was a central theme. The key takeaway was the real-life manifestation of our core values in action, reflecting our growth, evolution, and expanded creativity as individuals and as a creative collective.

Angela – Creative, UI/UX Designer

Into the Woods was held in such a creative atmosphere—it was seriously incredible! What was particularly comforting was the realization that there’s no one right way to approach design. Successful artists follow diverse creative processes, whether they have access to top-notch tools or are just beginning with the basics, like me. As an emerging creative, this meant a lot to me. At no point did I feel overwhelmed by the fear that I was “behind” or unable to do my job compared to others with the same experience level. 

The networking aspect of this conference was also surprisingly approachable compared to other events. Regardless of their success, everyone was eager to engage, exchange ideas, and learn from each other, which was pretty cool!

Drew – Senior Creative, Illustrator

The conference offered a lot of original and diverse creative perspectives. It was really clear that you could extract introspective wisdom from various creatives and apply it to your own field, even if they came from different disciplines.  I really liked this because I didn’t feel limited or excluded from anything. The conference also shared valuable general knowledge that would benefit any creative person attending. I really liked the recurring themes of taking risks and following one’s passions, which were evident throughout the entire conference.

Amber – Project Manager

For people who went to the conference to support their fellow team members, but weren’t actually attending the workshops (like me), this conference did a terrifi job facilitating interations and meaningful spaces for people to connect with one another. The overall atmosphere was welcoming and reduced any apprehension of meeting new people. As an introvert, this was huge for me!

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Work with Dyno

At Dyno Creative, we are fully invested in our professional growth and YOUR overall success. We can’t wait to apply everything we learned at Into the Woods to help you evolve your brand and introduce it to the real world. Welcome to the Dyno Tribe!

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