Your Creativity Influences Others - You Never Know Who Is Watching!

A few weeks ago, I shared a throw-back story about an a development project and cited my history at EK Success. That post would capture a few likes, but I actually forgot about it until a new comment was added:

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Small world... 😮 You’re from NJ and worked at EK Success! My dad was a warehouse manager there for my entire childhood and would bring me the best markers and stickers. I credit him for nurturing my creativity. 😊 I got to work there as a summer intern before starting college. Good times!
— Daveia Odoi

This, my friends, might be the BEST comment I’ve ever received. This young lady ( who coincidentally I was already following on Insta) posted this message on my @besupercreative page.

She was influenced by the products I and many other talented people created at @eksuccessbrands well over a decade ago (back at the Carlsdadt NJ location).

She credits her Dad (who worked at EKS and would bring her creative materials) for her inspiration to pursue art and design. She would later reveal to me me who her Dad was and I totally remembered him for his kindness and his wonderful spirit. I remembered him instantly.

There were so many good people who I met during my time there, by FAR one of the best creative cultures and the best experience in my career. To have his daughter share this on my page floored me. She went on to pursue a career in the arts as an illustrator/designer.

We have no idea who’s watching, or who’s being inspired. Her post absolutely made my day!
Be sure to follow fellow creative @daveiaodoi ! on Instagram 🎯🎯🎯 https://daveiaodoi.com/hello/

Viola Davis illustrated by Daveia Odoi daveiaodoi  https://daveiaodoi.com/hello/

Viola Davis illustrated by Daveia Odoi daveiaodoi https://daveiaodoi.com/hello/

My Lhasa Apso Shows Me WHO'S Boss.

On this blog I ALWAYS talk design and creativity, but today I’m gonna talk D.O.G.

My dog Pepper is a 16 year old Lhasa Apso. A few weeks ago, Pepper showed me WHO was BOSS.

Pepper made it clear today: 
1. He does not like to be outside. 
2. He does not like to be ignored. 
3. He does not tolerate being around strange humans. 
4. He does not want snacks when he wants what he wants. Snacks mean nothing to him. 
5. And when he's mad, he's certain to get his payback.

He is the BOSS of ME!

He is the BOSS of ME!

Storytelling for Children's Packaging Design - Plant a Pizza Garden

Creative consumer product design professionals MUST be great storytellers, and do so with few words and images. If lucky, designers get to do this work with the help of copywriters. Often, designers are only working with developers and marketing partners. They are the first consumer “pitch” person via the design effort.

Plant A Pizza Garden - Packaging Development project for Creativity for Kids Faber-Castel ( Visuals prep for consumer insight review)

Plant A Pizza Garden - Packaging Development project for Creativity for Kids Faber-Castel ( Visuals prep for consumer insight review)

One of the most difficult jobs is storytelling for DIY products which are creativity complex. Images, graphics and copy-writing are the tools of the trade.

You’ve got to tell the product story in a concise manner, capture the shoppers attention and tell them what the product does in a matter of seconds.
Designers have to create a compelling story telling aspect to creative consumer products.

  1. What is it?

  2. What does it do?

  3. Who is this for and who’s purchasing it?

  4. How do I do it?

  5. What’s Inside?

In this instance, you’re selling to Mom, Dad, Grandparents (Adults) and the Kid. You have to consider what language do you use for all of these shoppers, and what aesthetics do you apply?

If you can’t capture their imaginations, they’re moving onto the next thing!

Final principl display panel - Plant a Pizza Garden

Final principl display panel - Plant a Pizza Garden



Final Packaging Back Panel Layout

Final Packaging Back Panel Layout

This is what packaging iteration design can look like. The lettered packaging options were submitted for an online consumer insight review. Consumer comments helped to eliminate the options that failed to communicate the concept.

Also included, the final iteration which went to production, front and back. Notice the cute kid didn’t make the final cut. 😏 Sometimes models “read” well on packaging, sometimes not. It’s a cost you’ve got to budget for, you usually can use the model shots in other marketing collateral.

#packagingdesign #productdesign #projectmanagment #artdirection#creativedirection #copywriting #photography #kidsproducts #kidmodels#productstyling #importexport

International Buying influences Product Ideation - Llama Lamp Creative STEAM STEM project for Children.

Some of my best ideas were developed when I was out of my normal 9-5 environment. Why it’s important to get up, get out and experience new stimuli.

I found these prototypes at a Hong Kong gift fair. At the time, Llamas as a motif were beginning to trend. We applied the Llama motif and modified the LED source via a mechanism that met the target landed cost for the project.

Llama Lamp LED USB Powered DIY Lamp - Creativity for Kids / Faber-Castell

Llama Lamp LED USB Powered DIY Lamp - Creativity for Kids / Faber-Castell



The two “animal” product forms were created from LED lighting and corrugate. For creative craft product design, this idea is rich for a concept that allows for consumer DIY experience.


#productdesign #productdevelopment  #led #stem #steam #kidscrafts #kidsroomdecor

LED USB Corrugate "Deer" - Hong Kong Gift Fair

LED USB Corrugate "Deer" - Hong Kong Gift Fair

USB LED Corrugate “Giraffe” - Hong Kong Gift Show

USB LED Corrugate “Giraffe” - Hong Kong Gift Show

Throwback Thursday - When Product Development starts at a Manhattan Flower Market

Photo “real” sticker embellishments for Stickopotamus (Sticko) EK Success

Before photo stock companies relaxed the rules in the fine print, and before digital photography, because so widely available, when you needed an original rights-free image, you had to create it yourself. In this case, the project brief (which I had written) called for original photos of popular flowers (an ever-popular theme for art and craft projects).

At the time the photo studio of choice was GF Studio in Wyckoff, New Jersey, who at the time was also the primary photo studio for Toys’ R Us. It was always fun to work off-site at GF Studio for the day because you’d never know what fun toy product Gary Franco and the gang were shooting that week! ( and Gary was so fun to work with!)

To find the variety and quality (and budget price point) of flowers needed for the project, I beat it to the Manhattan flower district ( early morning from NJ ), to select the best buds for the photo shoot. After which I made my way back to NJ to the studio to get on with the photo shoot. GF Studio was really great with food photography and styling as well and captured the flowers in perfect form.

Below: some of the images from the shoot and the end product designs.

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The end result after painful bleeds and die line creation. Eeek

The end result after painful bleeds and die line creation. Eeek




Supermarkets in Asia are Now Using Banana Leaves Instead of Plastic Packaging

Supermarkets in Vietnam have adopted an initiative from Thailand that makes use of banana leaves instead of plastic as a packaging alternative.

Supermarkets in Vietnam have adopted an initiative from Thailand that makes use of banana leaves instead of plastic as a packaging alternative.

In an interview with VnExpress, a representative from the Lotte Mart chain shared that they are still in the testing phase but are planning to replace plastic with leaves nationwide very soon.




Aside from wrapping vegetables and fruits, the grocery chain intends to also use the leaves for fresh meat products.

Customers have since been applauding the effort.

“When I see vegetables wrapped in these beautiful banana leaves I’m more willing to buy in larger quantities,” a local customer named Hoa was quoted as saying. “I think this initiative will help locals be more aware of protecting the environment.” According to VN Express, the use of the leaves as packaging is a welcome addition to the numerous other efforts establishments in Vietnam are experimenting with to reduce plastic waste. Big C, for instance, already offers biodegradable bags made with corn powder in its stores.

With Vietnam ranking number four in the world for the most amount of plastic waste dumped into the ocean, such efforts are of the utmost importance.

A recent report highlighted the incredible amount of plastic waste generated by Vietnamese people, disposing of about 2,500 tons of plastic waste per day.

A Vice report noted, banning or reducing single-use plastic bags in supermarkets is a growing trend in Asia. Just recently, South Korea banned the use of disposable plastic bags, requiring supermarkets and other commercial establishments to provide recyclable containers to customers.

Singapore supermarkets have also been launching campaigns informing the public on the need to reduce plastic bag use. Meanwhile, Taiwanese shops have started charging for single-use plastic bags to discourage customers from using them.

Meanwhile, China has seen a 66% drop in plastic bag use in over a decade since banning the use of ultra-thin plastic bags in 2008.


Ryan General· April 8, 2019 Article Here: https://nextshark.com/banana-leaves-asia-plastic-packaging/


Be Super Creative has 9 New SKUs currently in Target AND the Planogram Signage Feature!

I have 9 New SKUs currently in Target!

Target’s newly reset craft planogram features nine projects which I developed and designed or art directed in the last 2 years for brands Faber-Castell, Creativity for Kids, Sequin Pets and Diamond Art.

The Craft Planogram Signage

What’s the best part? One of the projects is prominently featured as the Planogram’s signage.

During my time at FC, I introduced new product formats which would invite new consumers to engage in FC products, stencils, introductory how-to experiences, new packaging formats.

These projects were challenging because the required the development of new items at smaller landed costs to get lower price points. This watercolor art set was especially unique as we developed a customer mini watercolor palette - which offered a really great range of color and expanded the product experience for a novice user.

This kit introduces the use of watercolor pencils, watercolor pod palette, pen and ink use with stencils. The concept introduces success with watercolor for novice artists in a 20-minute time frame. The projects in the design guide were written for customer success. Everyone can do it if you follow the instructions.

I spent a great amount of time researching how consumers engage with watercolor, which makes for the best pigment composition for watercolor pods. I worked with a renowned watercolor artist and instructor during the development. These projects were also consumer tested.

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Target Planogram Feature Project Image - Yay!

Be Super Creative @ Target
Be Super Creative - Sequin Pets Creatvity for Kids

Write here…

Be Super Creative for Diamond Art




Sometimes Designers have to Wear their Sales Hat!

Sometimes as a Designer you have to wear your Sales hat! When I moved to Cleveland 5 years ago to lead Faber-Castell Creativity for Kids Product Development and Creativity Center, one of the first memberships I signed up for was Cleveland Museum of Art. 

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Upon visiting the gift shop, I discovered there was NOT ONE PRODUCT in the store from the Faber/Creativity house of brands. How could that be? I had a conversation with the manager and took her card, let her know that she was missing out on featuring some amazing products from brands in the museum’s back yard. I passed the sales manager’s business card along to the sales department at the company and asked why in the heck didn’t we have a relationship with the museum? 

Craftivity AromaJewels at the Cleveland Museum of Art

Craftivity AromaJewels at the Cleveland Museum of Art

Last week I visited the museum store for the first time in a while during my visit to see the Georgia Okeefe exhibition to find several products from the company FINALLY! It’s about time! Glad to know that I helped to increase the visibility for the brand at this phenomenal Cleveland arts institution. #Craftivity #CreativityForKids #FaberCastell  #Smithsonian #SparkLab #sales