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Chad Smith of Foster & Flux

Meet Chad Smith, found of Foster & Flux, a Cincinnati-based motion, visualization, web and graphic design firm whose name represents two driving principles behind the business: to foster creativity and to bend their skills to incorporate and accommodate an ever-changing artistic and entrepreneurial climate.

How did you start your business?
I have one business partner, Mike Wolfram, and we used to work together at another studio. We had a great working relationship and decided to try to kick it off on our own. I moved here two years ago from Phoenix, so I had a few contacts there. We got a few projects there, and worked remotely at first. When things went well, we found an office downtown. The space is exactly what you want from an office downtown—brick walls and hardwood floors. We fell in love with it right away.

How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Mike has a graphic design background and I have a visualization/3D background. Those things fuse nicely into making videos, which is the primary thing we do.

What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help?
Tanith Smith [of Artscapade] is my wife, so she went through the Springboard program while Mike and I were kicking things off, so I got to peek over her shoulder. So that helped us on the side. We went to a festival—more of a conference that comes here called the Off Fest too—and were able to make great connections there.

What services do you offer?
Video work is definitely our passion. We’ve done music videos, we’ve done conference and exposition stuff—you name it. If it moves, we’ll make it look good. We create other graphic components, like logos, web design and visualizations, but our primary focus is definitely on motion content.

What inspires you?
We’re inspired by so many things. There's a ton of great motion and design work on the web, but we both really dig technology and science and read a ton, so how we come up with our ideas is fairly diverse, but we’re always on the lookout. We also are just passionate about what we do. We love this stuff so much—we eat, sleep and drink it all day, every day, whether it’s our job or not.

What’s next for you and your company?
Just growth. The big thing for us is that we’re wrapping up a promo video—a quick 30-second video that tells who we are and what we do and lets folks know we’re here and excited to work with them. We’re still settling into the office. We’ve been here two months now, and we’re going to try to do an open house or a welcome to the neighborhood thing in early June. Eventually, we’d like to branch out and hire some folks, but that’s down the road a ways yet.

Interview by Robin Donovan

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