2 Minutes With … Oved Valadez, Co-Founder and ECD of Industry

On creating platforms for expression

Oved is co-founder and executive creative director of Industry, a Portland, Ore.-based creative brand consultancy. Among his work are campaigns for MLS, Almave, Timberland, Jordan Brand, Converse and Nike.

We spent two minutes with Oved to learn more about his background, his creative inspirations and recent work he's admired.

Oved, tell us …

Where did you grow up, and where do you live now?

I was born in Atotonilco el Alto, Mexico, worked in Chicago, Milwaukee and Munich, and now live in Portland. 

How did you first realize you were creative?

Creativity is the way you feel the world, and I always perceived the world differently from everyone around me. That's why I decided to go to art school. But creativity, like self, is always changing, and I'm still learning, still making myself and defining the vision. 

Who is a person you idolized creatively early on?

From Miró and the Surrealists to Steve Jobs and George Lois

A moment from high school or college that changed your life?

I went to jail.

A visual artist or band/musician you admire?

There are so many: Fela Kuti, Los Tigres del Norte, Cuarón, PG Lang … I could keep going.

A book, movie, TV show or podcast have you recently found inspiring?

Books: Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins and Principles by Ray Dalio. There's also this great film, All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt. Watch that.

One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on? 

Nike Air Mag. Brought to life in 2016, this was the actual working Back to the Future shoe. It had to be a limited run of only 100, so to distribute them equitably, we created the Nike Draw. All proceeds went to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. The strategy, results, creative and ecosystem earned over 1.6 billion impressions. And I got to hang out with Michael J. Fox, Mark Parker and Tinker Hatfield

A recent project you're proud of.

Almave. This is the first, true expression of agave made without alcohol and distilled in my hometown. Launching it with a world-class athlete and international inspiration like Lewis Hamilton introduced a product to a brand new demographic. 

Zion for Jordan. This campaign captured the point of view of a larger-than-life athlete and the mystery behind his work and approach. 

Leagues Cup. We established the brand, from identity and marketing mix to its potential for defining the soul of the North American game ... not to mention being a part of introducing Messi to the United States. 

Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.

J.R.'s. prison and "Connecting the Border" photography. No one knows human connection like he does.

Someone else's work you admired lately.

Willy Chavaria. He's giving an expression and aesthetic to the Ni de aqui, ni de allá movement.

What is your main strength as a creative person?

The ability to transcend and look at a problem from different angles—the consumer's POV, the client's, etc., and mashing it all up to make something better. I have a painting and industrial design background. That gives me a unique ability to disrupt the advertising world. 

What is your biggest weakness?

I tend to break things.

Who was a mentor that helped you navigate the industry?

George Lois. Courage and creativity go hand-in-hand.

How are you paying it forward with the next generation of creatives?

I believe in creating platforms for expression. Industry is our creative platform for artists, makers, musicians, poets, chefs and others to deliver their vision. The goal is promoting and exhibiting originality without the ask. 

What would you be doing if you weren't in marketing/advertising?

Building ships in a bottle or designing the perfect three-legged stool. You think I'm joking.

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

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