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Meet the Crew: Daven Mathies

By: Daven Mathies

March 18th, 2024
A photo of Daven Mathies pointing with both hands with a white wall behind him.

1. What’s a fun fact about yourself?

This isn’t about me, but I recently learned that Portland, Oregon, is farther north than Portland, Maine, (and, therefore, some parts of Canada) and this has forced me to re-examine my literal worldview.

2. Do you have any words of wisdom for other marketers or general life advice?

You’ve heard the phrase, “1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.” As tired as it is, it’s true. Your ideas are only as valuable as your work ethic. But there’s another interpretation: you can graduate summa cum laude without any inspiration at all. I think many people in this industry have imposter syndrome because they assume they aren’t creative enough, where creativity is defined as being able to pull an earth-shattering idea out of a hat on demand. But 99% of the job is just showing up and getting work done. Not all of your ideas will be amazing — most won’t — and that’s OK.

I think the hope in a creative job is that the work itself will be the motivation, right? You’re driven to create. That doesn’t always work out, of course.

3. Do you have a specific project at Devise that you've been really proud of and why?

We have an ongoing project for CRKT where we travel around interviewing the independent knife designers who work with the brand, telling their stories both in writing and video. I’m a writer now, but my degree is in video production, so it’s fun to be back in that environment. This is a large project, and it contributes a fair amount of stress to our schedules, but it’s incredibly rewarding to see the body of work that comes out of it. I jokingly say this is the one project I always share with my parents.

4. What motivates you at work?

Black tea, stovetop popcorn, and prog metal. Honestly, this question is difficult to answer. I think the hope in a creative job is that the work itself will be the motivation, right? You’re driven to create. That doesn’t always work out, of course. I’m also pushing 40 and I think as we age we depend less on motivation. We get up, log in, and get to work simply because it’s what we know. That makes it sound a little soulless, which is not what I intend; what I mean is that a lack of motivation stops being a major hurdle and pushing through the hard days gets easier with time.

I’m also a huge proponent of the personal project. I publish a “monthly” newsletter on LinkedIn where I get to write in my own voice about whatever topic is on my mind at the time. While it’s certainly not widely read, it brings me a sense of fulfillment I don’t get elsewhere. I think this hints at the warring schools of thought around making your passion a vocation. Some would say, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” while others would caution this approach will only drain all joy from what you love(d).

Personal projects are a reminder of that joy.

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