First impressions.

In today’s digital world, social media is a powerful tool allowing one to deeply connect with an audience and to meet people that you might not otherwise come in contact with. Our latest feature, Corey Warren, exemplifies this new model of story-telling and networking in the digital space. When we first came into contact with Corey through Facebook we were quickly drawn to his breathtaking photos and inspiring content. His message immediately grabbed the reigns our of attention, “The medium is visual. The content is authentic. The passion is evident.” This simple and profound statement is the basis for the approach to his work.

For the past five years Corey has spent his days running a series of businesses that have opened up doors for him in the creative field. In terms of skill set, he pretty much runs the gamut. When he’s not out capturing epic photos or crafting up a short film for the Matador Network, he’s designing products for brands like Trew Gear and Outdoor Research. We asked Corey “what he does for a living” and his response was simple, “everything I can!”

"The medium is visual. The content is authentic. The passion is evident."

Corey Warren

By the time Corey had graduated from design school in 2008, he had already launched a retail & print production company called INNATE. The shop would go on to become featured in local newspapers and make a splash within the greater Bellingham/Seattle community. In 2013, Corey would roll out his second business, Idahome: A clothing company that pays homage to his home state of Idaho. We asked Corey how he is able to bring all of these things to life. His response, “It always starts with an idea. That idea might come from a multitude of origins; wanting to be your own boss, wanting to improve a pre-existing product, or wanting to find deeper meaning in your work…I love hanging out under my creative umbrella when the rains of opportunity come pouring down!” People like this almost seem to have a superhuman ability to innovate and make things happen.

Years of practice

When you come across someone like Corey you can’t help but wonder how they’ve managed to create this incredible lifestyle for themselves. How did they get started? And what did they go through to make it happen? In this case, his passion was nurtured from a very young age. “I have some entrepreneurial family members that must have rubbed off on me because my mom, aunt, uncle and grandpa have all been self-employed in generally creative fields. As a young buck I always had an advantage on take-home projects because my mom and uncle’s studios had infinite art supplies (for drafting and designing), copy machines, computers, stamps, type writers, etc. that I found myself using all of the time. As early as six-years-old I was “starting” small businesses out of my mom’s home and studio. A little later in life, a good friend introduced me to HI-8 video and then Super-8 film, and we made a gang-load of ridiculous-beyond-words videos on the weekends.” Corey started from humble beginnings and was able to build a foundation of work around his passions. He will continue to do so until he becomes a key player in the creative ball game.

For us, It’s always helpful to learn from those who have experienced the successes and failures of any creative pursuit. So when we spoke with Corey we made a point to ask him if he had any advice for the up and coming creators of the world. He thoughtfully wrote, “Stay healthy, in your body and mind. Exercise and eat well, and everything will build from that. Surround yourself with good, honest people that pursue their own dreams as well. Don’t do anything half-assed, because it’s not worth even doing in the first place. People will notice your work ethic and want to work with you. Try to be flexible with your expectations and desires – definitely set goals and hold yourself accountable, but not to the point that you’re asking something impossible of yourself or that you aren’t happy doing it. The true gold comes from within, and most people killing it these days are just in their flow and doing what they love, and original content is a byproduct of that.” You hear this kind of advice all over the internet and it seems to be a common thread between the do-ers, makers, and shakers of the world. Corey is no exception to that list of people.

To help provide insight and clarity, we asked him what you should know before you go out and start your own business. He shared his perspective with enthusiasm, “Starting my first company was nuts… Don’t dive in unless you’re insanely passionate about your idea. Be humble; flesh out your idea and share it with as many trustworthy individuals for feedback- there’s always a better way to do something and it might not be your idea. Don’t spend money just because you have it. Keep your overhead expenses as low as possible. And lastly, when you stop having fun, it’s time to switch it up. The business ends up being an extension of yourself, and you want to be attractive, valuable, positive, and relevant to your audience.” Our hope is that by sharing these perspectives we can spark others to take action and pursue their own passions. Not everything you read here will apply to you, but take what you can and use it as it works for you. Inspiration is a crucial aspect for any pursuit and it’s something that’s almost always worth digging into as long as you’re drawn towards it.

true gold comesfrom within

That’s exactly why we got in touch with Corey in the first place. We admired his work, his message and his approach. It all starts with an appreciation for the craft and forms into something that you can replicate and use in your own work. For Corey, it’s a fundamental, “Inspiration is a big part of the creative process for me and often times I’ll spend hours in the day just surfing the tangential inter-web for cool new videos, forums on the endless minutiae of camera and editing techniques, etc… I have amazing, talented, ass-kicking friends and I owe a lot of my drive toward celebrating and admiring their success.” We will continue to follow along with corey as he moves the needle forward in his career and we hope to inspire him in a similar fashion.

People like Corey and ourselves are connecting every day and working with each other to collaborate on ideas. Make the most of your time spent browsing the internet and find something that you admire! You never know, you might just surprise yourself and create an unexpected opportunity. For more on Corey Warren, Check out his personal website or give him a follow on IG to see what sort of adventures he’s taking on next.

Photos: Corey Warren & Garret Grove  Words: Scott Proctor

"I have amazing, talented, ass-kicking friends and I owe a lot of my drive toward celebrating and admiring their success.”

Corey Warren