By Cade Martin

As a kid, I spent many a dinner at a table surrounded by friends of my parents, an eclectic cast of characters — sculptors, writers, painters, creatives. That thread of creative community has remained in our offices, our teams, and our collaborations. But that thread feels thinner in this moment.

So I asked, with the purpose of sharing, and of supporting and caring for this creative community in its current, uncertain reality. I asked what people are doing, how they are feeling, how they are sparking creativity. It feels important to share what we do, when we can’t do all our doing.

Reaching out first to some of the talented people I’ve had the good fortune to profile though the Capitol Communicator portrait series.  It’s my version of a virtual dinner table of sorts. Grab a chair and listen in to my conversation with Todd Feldman, founder and president of The Rocket Factory in Richmond.

Todd, what, if anything, are you doing differently?

I enjoyed participating in the profile series. As we launched The Rocket Factory in late January, it was right on the doorstep of the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in economic collapse. While interest for our services is strong, we’ve shifted message to be more about helping, supporting and guiding.

 Are you staying creatively active?

In response to the economic downturn, I wanted to find a way to help our startup ecosystem and our small business community through fundraising and innovation. Together with Activation Capital, Elevation Advertising, the VCU da Vinci Center for Innovation and Profit Optics, we created SparkJam 2020 and you can find out more about it here:

 How are you sparking yourself creatively?

Client work and SparkJam kept me pretty sharp. I love that we’re coming together to try and help be the “Spark” for our statewide economy!

About The Author

The only child of a university art professor and freethinker mother, Cade Martin grew up surrounded by shapes and images. His love of art grew out of summer vacations filled with trips to galleries, museums and art studios. At home he often found himself around the dinner table with an eclectic cast of characters – sculptors, writers and painters. They paraded through his childhood, shaping his art foundation and forming his appreciation for the candid beauty found in people from all walks of life. Cade’s been chasing characters ever since. He seeks out their stories-told through the architecture of their faces or the costumes they wear-whether he’s on a commercial production or setting up an Avedon-like photo booth at Comic Con. They are the heroes in his pictures. His thirst for capturing adventures took its hold while shooting stills on movie sets and then as a photographer for National Geographic covering the railways of India. And it is that sense of adventure that Cade brings to his productions elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary with a cinematic touch. It’s not just a picture. He’s committed to the experience, building beautiful environments and, sometimes for his portraits, simply building trust. A talented storyteller, Cade splits his time between the East and West Coasts creating images for editorial, advertising, fashion, and lifestyle clients

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