Phoenix is brimming with creativity. And every other year, we put the spotlight on 100 of the city's creative forces. Leading up to the release of this year's Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome to the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today: 14. Rebekah Cancino.
Rebekah Cancino strikes a decisive balance between talk and action.
The Phoenix designer spends her days working as director of content strategy at Sitewire, helping "people tell brand stories, design human-centered digital experiences, and make the web a better place." Every day is a little different, she says. "I could be offsite facilitating a design thinking workshop with clients, at my desk working on strategy, or brainstorming with my awesome co-workers to think up new ways to solve a crunchy problem."
During her off-hours, she's always on the hunt for new ways to collaborate with creative Valley dwellers.
"Right now I'm on the communications committee for Phoenix Design Week (that's coming up on October 16th), co-organizing Phoenix Content Strategy meetups, and working with the Afffari Project to launch a new website for New City Church (who does a lot of amazing things to serve the urban core of downtown Phoenix)," Cancino says of her current out-of-office happenings.
Speaking of Phoenix Design Week, Cancino is on the roster of this year's speakers. It just so happens that giving talks is one of the creative's favorite outlets.
"I'm working on a few talks right now that I'm super stoked about! Speaking at conferences has been such a great way for me to refine my ideas and process," Cancino says. "Up next are Method+Madness Conference here in Phoenix this October, ASU GDSA's fall event, and Giant Conference in Charleston next June."
She's definitely one to watch.
I came to Phoenix in the summer of 2007 with my beagle, Pomar Jackson, and an insatiable desire to learn new things, discover my passion, and make things that matter.
There are many ways to express creativity. It all comes down to knowing what sort of problems you like to solve and what medium you like to solve them in.
While I'm not an artist by trade, I believe there is an art to using your natural curiosity and imagination to solve problems you see and make the world a better place. I do this with content strategy and user experience design. And I do it because I love crafting meaningful experiences that make peoples' lives easier and inspire moments of delight.
I'm most productive when I'm working on a big challenging project that inspires me and scares me a bit all at the same time. It's that balance between fear and excitement that lets me know I'm on the right track and gives me energy to go above and beyond.
If I can collaborate on a project like that with smart people who are also madly in love with what they do -- even better. That's when my productivity level really switches into overdrive.
My inspiration wall is full of urban design books. Lines of poetry. Unexpectedly beautiful data visualizations (think Edward Tufte). Gold trinkets that shine and reflect the sun. Inspiring words that are beautifully hand-lettered. Plenty of vibrant colors.
I've learned the most from my parents. Growing up as the homeschooled child of an artist mother and a geographer father, I learned early on that the best things in life are a combination of different, and sometimes seemingly contrasting, elements and ideas. I guess that's why I've always been fascinated by the interconnected nature of experiences we create and the interactions they inspire.
Good work should always give more than it takes.
The Phoenix creative scene could use more people who understand the magic of collaboration, who are up to things and are hell bent on making big ideas happen.
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As Phoenicians, we are lucky to live in a town where there is still so much space to create new things. We have a supportive design community and brilliant minds who work hard to bring rad ideas to life. Co+Hoots, Phoenix Design Week, and PHX Renews are just a few things that come to mind. I'd love to see even more of that kind of stuff going on.
See the 2014 edition of 100 Creatives:
100. Bill Dambrova 99. Niki Blaker 98. Jeff Slim 97. Beth May 96. Doug Bell 95. Daniel Langhans 94. Nanibaa Beck 93. Nicole Royse 92. Ib Andersen 91. Casandra Hernandez 90. Chris Reed 89. Shelby Maticic 88. Olivia Timmons 87. Courtney Price 86. Travis Mills 85. Catrina Kahler 84. Angel Castro 83. Cole Reed 82. Lisa Albinger 81. Larry Madrigal 80. Julieta Felix 79. Lauren Strohacker 78. Levi Christiansen 77. Thomas Porter 76. Carrie Leigh Hobson 75. Cody Carpenter 74. Jon Jenkins 73. Aurelie Flores 72. Michelle Ponce 71. Devin Fleenor 70. Noelle Martinez 69. Bucky Miller 68. Liliana Gomez 67. Jake Friedman 66. Clarita Lulić 65. Randy Murray 64. Mo Neuharth 63. Jeremy Hamman 62. La Muñeca 61. Kevin Goldman 60. Emily Costello 59. Kerstin Dale 58. Vara Ayanna 57. Nathaniel Lewis 56. Ruben Gonzales 55. Lisa Poje 54. Bobby Zokaites 53. Frances Smith Cohen 52. Julie Rada 51. David Miller 50. Xanthia Walker 49. Kyllan Maney 48. Cary Truelick 47. Constance McBride 46. James D. Porter 45. Allyson Boggess 44. Abigail Lynch 43. Ashley Cooper 42. Jaclyn Roessel 41. Brandon Boetto 40. Melissa Dunmore 39. Gavin Sisson 38. Rossitza Todorova 37. Monica Robles 36. Josh Kirby 35. Jesse Perry 34. Yai Cecream 33. Nathan Blackwell 32. Carley Conder 31. Ben Willis 30. Nicole Michieli 29. Brian Cresson 28. Tyson Krank 27. Mikey Estes 26. Anwar Newton 25. Sarah "Saza" Dimmick 24. Tato Caraveo 23. Jorge Torres 22. Laura Spalding Best 21. Shawnte Orion 20. Mike Olbinski 19. Christina You-Sun Park 18. Jon Arvizu 17. Anya Melkozernova 16. J.B. Snyder 15. Damon Dering