It's 2022: What Has Reb Carlson Been Up To?

Hello there.

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. Some might say that blogs are going out of fashion, but writing is my first love, and for a period of about eight years I diligently wrote almost every day, and even picked up some freelance writing gigs here and there. Following a tough year of managing work, a new baby, and a move outside of New York City, I realized that I needed to include more of what brings me joy, which includes exercising my skills and talents at creating. Writing is included in that, so here we are.

A lot has happened in the past year, and I’m exciting to shed light on a few areas I’m focusing on right now:

Mad Focused is a business I launched at the start of the pandemic, when I found myself between jobs, pregnant, and needing to bring in some income. Over the course of 2020, I realized a bigger purpose to take what I’ve learned over the past decade about marketing and share it with individuals either looking to launch their own businesses, or just wanting to gain more visibility for the work they were already doing. I affectionately call these individuals “working creatives” in that they find themselves as a work in progress, and are motivated by the desire to create or exercise their creativity.

When Mad Focused launched, I started a weekly email newsletter curating links to trends and articles related to marketing, trends, culture, and art. I referred to it as the anti-marketing marketing newsletter. I took a pause after Ezra was born, but I’m excited to relaunch it this year. It will be free and shared on a monthly basis. I also am introducing two premium subscriptions: one that includes a more in-depth analysis of the curated list of trends and stories from the free newsletter, but also with marketing insights and recommendations, and a second that include a bigger report on a quarterly basis of trends happening on a macro level. You can sign up for any of the newsletters here.

I also decided this is the year for me to level up with my creative practice. I’ve been drawing and creating all my life, and literally have sketchbooks from when I was four to prove it. Something clicked while I was taking painting courses at Hofstra University, and throughout my twenties discovered I had a knack for photography too. While my day job as a marketing strategist slowly started to take over my time, I reserved making creative projects as gifts for others or just small endeavors to keep myself going. In recent years, I adopted a mindset of “use it or lose it” and decided to search for community. I joined Greenpoint Art Circle in 2019 and helped launch its first group show in early 2020. I painted throughout my pregnancy, signed the lease for my first official art studio when we moved outside the city, and sold a few prints here and there. This year I decided to invest in a membership with Artist/Mother and have enrolled in their Wearing All the Hats (Without Losing Your Head) course about professional development for artists. I’m excited to share more of what I’m working on publicly much more often.

One big milestone last year was when I joined Razorfish full time to work on INFINITI, the first auto brand I’ve worked on in my career and a reentry into the luxury/premium space (I’ve worked with HUGO BOSS, Pernod Ricard, Master & Dynamic, and other similar brands over the last ten years). Now at the Director level, it’s an opportunity for me to assert myself more as a leader (especially as a parent and woman) and support others along their career path.

I’m not going to lie, the last two years were tough as well as incredibly rewarding. So far, there is something about 2022 that is making me feel very optimistic and hopeful. A number of my friends and colleagues have mentioned it as well. I’m looking forward to what the year will bring me, including sharing some projects and ideas I’ve been ruminating on for a while.

I’d love for you to follow along and connect with me. Here’s how:

Sign up for a monthly email newsletter from me so you don’t miss any updates.

Subscribe to one (or all) of the Mad Focused Newsletters.

Follow and chat with me on Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

I hope 2022 is going to be good for you as well.

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