We had the good fortune of connecting with Tyler Shown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tyler, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Much like skydiving, the greatest moments in life aren’t experienced until outside the plane, on the other side of fear. After college I took a job in Yosemite, where I met lifelong friends and my eventual business partner. I proceeded to solo travel cross country for some months before eventually coming back to Colorado to start a production company, having no real experience in business or being paid to use my camera outside of some band gigs. In March 2020, more than two years into Jolly Mule Productions, my cofounder and best friend left for London, to be quarantined with his now fiancee, whom we met volunteering at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand! Crazy world, I know. They’re set to marry in 2022…lacking inspiration in my day-to-day and flight restrictions across most the globe, I left the self-employed life to join Wake Up Pueblo. A start-up marketing company on the surface, it’s the first full team of creatives I’ve been fully surrounded and consumed by. Six months in and everyday still feels like we’re creating pathways to success for a city so desperately seeking them. I miss the downtime of my own schedule, the freedom of expression in something so literally yours, but it is only risk that allows me to see bigger than my own self-awareness. Each risk I’ve taken, although analyzed, comes with an uncertainty towards the unknown, an opportunity for growth. It gets harder and harder to pass up.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
For many of my peers, creatives or not, Pueblo has been a home for self-deprecation. Things have changed. The city develops only as the people do, and boy do they. In the two years I dedicated to Jolly Mule, I filmed everything from funerals and fundraisers to protests and protestants. I felt representative of everything the city is all about, hard work, philanthropy, grit, grace…but it takes a village. I always tell people, “Make your ripple because ripples make waves and waves move oceans. Before you know it, we’ll all be surfing.” Well high tide raises all boats, so I pursue something greater than myself. I continue, even whilst typing this message, to try to change the perception of my city. What would I like you to know? I want you to know how great Pueblo people are. I want you to know I was raised in a place holding a plethora of creativity and innovation, unsure how to talk about it. I hope if you ever watch my videos, you’ll feel the genuine care that it takes to make them. I hope, someday, Pueblo no longer needs me, because there’s so many others that can fill my shoes, ND filters and all.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
You’re asking the right person! You can’t miss the breweries (Brues, Shamrock, Walters), we’re eating at Coors, Bistoro, Shah’s, 1129, Doo Drop, on and on for food. With more than 300 days of sunlight, we’re taking the 10 min drive to Lake Pueblo State Park for tubing, kayaking, paddle boarding, stopping off for some motorbiking at PMI and river surfing at the rapids downtown before going to catch a play at one of the local theaters. If you want the arts and innovation connect, no doubt we’re checking out the newest pieces at Blo Back Gallery (among many others) and hitting the mainstays for creatives of Watertower Place and Wake Up Pueblo (shameless plug). I’m catching a Pueblo Bulls Hockey game, soccer at Langoni, baseball at Runyon, and seeking out the food trucks like Puff Puffette Pass, Papa Mario’s, Whatever You Pick, etc. I’d go on, but I can just show you around if you’d like 😀
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would be remiss not to acknowledge the entire team at Wake Up. I’ve yet to be so inspired, challenged, and propelled more by a group than the one we have here. Our owner, Matt Smith, invested financially, professionally, and emotionally into a bunch of twenty something year-olds with a love for cameras. His undeniably infectious energy and optimism push us further each day, barriers becoming transparent as they appear. I’ll be forever grateful for that and come in each morning, camera in hand, with anticipation for what the future will bring.