In retrospect, 4 years seems like yesterday. I remember not too long ago in 2015; teaming up with and hauling my workstation over to Stink Studios to help deliver a project. Further, I recall onboarding full-time staff after winning a bigger design project for a medical account. The vulnerable moment presenting Blacksmith alone to a boardroom full of HBO executives in Manhattan was an experience where I was so nervous I could feel my hands sweat. All the sweet work we’ve churned out over the years. The pitch wins. The losses. But the truth of the matter is, bigger picture-wise, we’ve only just scratched the surface. I have a grand plan in mind for this creative platform that I want to execute. Know that Blacksmith was designed for long term durability and the marathon.

Over the years I’ve built slowly purposely. It’s given me time to strategize, make mistakes and fuck up, feel out the weather and our workforce. Rethink. Rebuild.

Forwardly the focus will be the development of a cohesive brand and a portable platform for creative honey, like mixed martial arts for the creative fighter. In addition, I am intending to build a film division, that we’ll begin carrying out during this year. Screenwriting, fuzzy characters, rigging, animation and an aim for Super Bowl commercials — you know, the works. After all, we’re in the creative Mecca of LA, might as well give it the full nine.

I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is about all this, but dreaming up scenarios and slowly chipping away at converting them to reality is what makes me tick. It’s like oxygen to me, I’m so fucking thrilled y’all! With all this said, here’s to another 365 of building shit and making moves.

Onwards, 2020. — Christian Johansson