We had the good fortune of connecting with Katherine Kubler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katherine, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
It was really helpful to start my creative career in the corporate world, as this allowed me to learn the business side of things. But like most creatives, I had an itch to be around other artists. I met with creative agencies and thought, “Oh, that’s where the fun stuff happens!” I saw an opportunity to start my own agency with the connections I had already developed in the industry. Being creative in a business setting helped me understand the needs and challenges on both sides, and act as a liaison to both. I find it interesting that advertising has always been one of the original patrons of the arts. And advertising is art in itself when it’s done well. I love reading David Ogilvy’s writings, especially his iconic Confessions of an Advertising Man. I had taken a film theory class on Mad Men, and of course fell in love with Don Draper and Peggy Olson. I learned that whether we are making art for ourselves or for a client, at the end of the day, it’s all art. My goal with Tiny Dino is to serve a collective of artists and match them with the right projects for their skillset. Chris Do and his company, The Futur, does a great job teaching creatives the business side of things because often artists have anxiety around advocating for themselves, as they’re just flattered someone wants to use their work. Creative Mornings has been an excellent resource and community. My favorite talk is from Mike Monteiro, called F*ck You Pay Me, in which he emphasizes the importance of having a proper contract in place. With Tiny Dino, I wanted to create an environment conducive to creative work, where artists feel empowered and supported.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Tiny Dino is a creative agency and post-production studio specializing in entertainment marketing. Our startup office was at the Unique Space located in the Arts District, created by entrepreneur Sonja Rasula, who’s been a huge inspiration as well. Now we’ve grown and moved into our own building in Atwater Village overlooking Griffith Park. We’ve been renovating the building with our friends at Transit Pictures with the intent of creating a space where we could showcase the artists we work with through comedy and art shows. Tiny Dino got off to a great start with our VR 360º immersive video featuring Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible – Fallout, which Adweek featured as “Ad of the Day” with the headline: This Incredible 360 Video Inside a Mission: Impossible Stunt Makes Other Trailers Feel Obsolete. It was a very exciting moment for Tiny Dino. The video gives an immersive experience of Tom Cruise performing his own stunts in the film. The featurette won a Gold Clio in Theatrical Virtual/Augmented Reality and earned a ton of media when it launched. It was exciting to come out of the gate with such an innovative project that made use of cutting edge technology in 360º video and an ambisonic audio mix. It really set the bar high for clients and ourselves. The digital landscape is constantly evolving and as marketers, we need to stay on top of the latest trends and technologies to stay relevant. We’re always exploring new opportunities and looking to expand into other industries and markets. On the post-production side of things, we’ve focused on docu-style content that highlights nonprofit organizations and small businesses. I never wanted to be pigeonholed, so the whole point of creating Tiny Dino was to give me the opportunity to explore creatively.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My original startup office was Downtown, in the Arts District, so I got to know the neighborhood well. I love Zinc Café, Guerrilla Tacos and Urban Radish for lunch, as well as Resident LA or Angel City for drinks. LA Boulders was also a frequent post-work stop, where I would go climbing and grab dinner afterwards at the Huitlacoche food truck just outside the gym. Echo Park! I used to live right across the street from the original Cookbook which now has a second location in Highland Park. For a good day in Echo Park, grab coffee and scones at Valerie, go hiking in Elysian Park around Dodger Stadium, rent a paddle boat and have a picnic by the lake, grab drinks at El Prado while you wait for a table at Masa for their incredible deep dish across the street and end the day with a show at the Echoplex. I also love popping over to the Yeastie Boys food truck parked outside of Intelligentsia in Silver Lake. Bang Bang Noodles in Highland Park is amazing. There’s a new little complex in that neighborhood that has Triple Beam Pizza, Highland Park Wine, Hippo and Go Get ‘Em Tiger. A lot of fun places have been popping up in Frogtown too, including my favorite sit-down restaurant, Salazar: dog-friendly with great tacos and margaritas. Spoke Bicycle Cafe is a fun place to sit down by the river, while reading my latest find from the A Good Used Book warehouse nearby. They also have a stand at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, which is always fun to explore. My favorite little joint is Wax Paper, where they name all of their sandwiches after NPR hosts: I usually go for the “Ira Glass” or “Audie Cornish.”
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband, Kyle Kubler. He is the perfect complement to my personality—he keeps me hydrated, fed and offers an endless supply of back rubs. He also adds a lot of creativity and a sense of humor to the mix each day. He keeps me grounded, but gives me space to do my thing and take risks. I like to refer to him as my muse.