The other side of darkness.

In these unsettling times, I’ve come to realize that on the other side of darkness, there is light.

These are startling, surreal times. Never before have we seen our world change so suddenly, so fast. It’s left me dizzy, trying to make sense of it all. And then my colleague, Pamela Narins, put together a thought piece that she shared with our agency. It got me to thinking. As I sorted through my own thoughts, I realized that what I initially saw as darkness is actually only the beginning of a story of light and hope.

Creativity in quarantine:

What inspired you to do this video?

It was late February. I remember seeing all these images flooding in from around the world that seemed quite haunting. It shocked me to see how cities like Hong Kong, Tokyo and Paris had become ghost towns. Everything just suddenly stopped. And then I saw a video clip of people in Florence, Italy. They’d been stuck in quarantine, and here they were all out on their balconies playing a song together. It was beautiful. They’d found a way to come together. It made me realize that, despite everything this pandemic takes away from us, our human spirit will prevail.

How do you stay inspired in quarantine?

I think, like all of us, this time has allowed me to see things differently. To see that the little things and the simple things are in so many ways the big things. To grab those moments with my family and my 3-year-old daughter every chance I get. Playing dolls. Letting her paint my nails and put makeup on me. Taking her for walks. Those little joys are everywhere, tucked into every corner of the day, if I just open myself up to them.

How do you hope our world will change after this?

I believe this long pause can allow us to find a better world on the other side. We are seeing it happen. There is reinvention happening everywhere. People are pitching in together to find new ways. We’re all appreciating things we might not have thought much about before. For societal challenges that seemed impossible to solve before, we can now ask: What if? We’re realizing we all need each other more than ever, and that out of this, we can find a better way.

About the Author

Ned Brown is Chief Creative Officer and part of the Executive Leadership Team at Bader Rutter. He joined BR in early 2018. In that time, he has bolstered a strong foundation of creative talent already in the agency with over 30 new creative hires from all over the country and world. In his life before Bader Rutter, Ned spent 20+ years helping shape brands like Porsche, adidas, Audi and Apple. His work has been awarded in the Effies, Cannes, One Show, Ogilvy, Shortys, Awwwards, AICP, CA, Clios, and even a few film festivals. He lives with his wife and daughter in a 140-year-old home in Milwaukee, which is slightly drafty in the dead of winter.