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Creative Hour With We Are Buoy

We hope you enjoyed the launch of our 'Creative Hour' last week and you feel inspired to create! For those not in the loop, 'Creative Hour' is a new feature for our creative clients to connect, grow and network with like minded people. This weeks post is by Ben from We Are Buoy, check out everything he has to say below.

Hi there! This is Ben from Buoy (@wearebuoys). I’m a designer/illustrator from the Midwest who unexpectedly found a passion for designing enamel pins. I started doodling at an early age - if I wasn’t playing Ghostbusters with my brother or battling my GI Joes, I was drawing. I went on to get a degree in graphic design, which I use in my regular 9-5 as the digital designer for the apparel brand Outdoor Research.

In early 2018, I decided I needed a creative outlet, something totally different from my day-to-day, and something I was passionate about. I’d seen enamel pins before, brightening up denim jackets and bags. I admired the fun and simple look that came in such a tiny package. I had just gotten an iPad for illustrating and decided to give it a go. Fast forward to March, and my first enamel pin, ‘It’s Fine’ was born. I’d found my passion.

The name Buoy (y’know, the things floating in the ocean) came from two things: my love of all things nautical and the desire to create products that lift others up, whether through chuckles, positivity or both. There’s more than enough negativity and cynicism out there, so focusing on the fun, on the good and on the kindness is something that’s close to my heart.

I’d say my design style is simple, colorful and unique. I purposely hand draw lines and lettering, so you can see the imperfections. I don’t use actual fonts, so each letter is different than the next, because to me, character is found within the imperfections. My ideas are born on a couch or in the car, spit balling ideas with my girlfriend and thinking of puns to brighten our days. Some ideas are real winners, and others, not so much. To you I bring my favorites - fun, positive and uniquely Buoy.

I want to encourage anyone out there who doesn’t think they’re creative to start exploring different mediums. Get out some watercolors, or even a box of crayons. Draw a self-portrait or a scene from your favorite photo. Even if you don’t think it’s any good, creativity in itself is beneficial to everyone - our creations reflect our individuality. If 100 people drew a simple apple, each would create with something completely different. That’s a beautiful thing.

Moving to the Pacific Northwest four years ago gave me a bigger appreciation for the outdoors and inspired me to create even more. It’s where I fell in love with nature, and it’s also where I fell in love with @elisegiordano, my beautiful partner in crime and taker of almost all the wonderful photos I share on Instagram. For a visual feast, take a look at her stunning photography. We reside happily on Vashon Island, along with our adorable, garbage disposal of a pup Lily and our big, beautiful cat Suki. We’re always using our life, pop culture and daily blunders to influence future designs. Each of us has been a ‘Hot Mess’ at one point or another, and it’s okay to laugh at ourselves. Just keep telling yourself ‘It’s Fine,’ and we’ll all float on together.

Thanks for you for reading and many thanks to Made By Cooper for featuring me and producing all the great pins I’m able to offer. I’m excited to continue creating.


Thank you for reading and we hope you feel inspired! If you would like to feature on our next Creative Hour, please get in touch via email.

Made by Cooper
7 April 2020

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