The Close Ties Behind a New Creative Triumvirate
After operating independently in their crafts, the three people behind Aren’t We Clever recently decided to tie the knot professionally, so to speak.
The brothers, Sam and Zac Eubank, and Zac’s wife, Jania Eubank, joined forces in June to launch their new company, which is based out of their home in the Columbus Park neighborhood of Kansas City. It’s the second creative union for Zac and Jania -- they were married on Feb. 12.
Many readers of Camp know Sam Eubank through the photos he has taken for the magazine. He has done several covers, including this issue’s cover and last year’s Gay Rodeo cover with Todd Tramp. The difference this year is that Sam collaborated with Zac and Jania on this cover to direct the creative side as well as create the photo.
They came up with the name of the company, Aren’t We Clever, because as Zac said, “It’s just being a smartass.”
He recalled that one day they were all sitting around with friends brainstorming about the name of the company. “There was this joke with all my friends, and we’re all really nice guys but we act like we’re all a lot cooler than we are, and I said, ‘Aren’t we clever,’ and they were like, ‘No, that’s actually very good.’”
“And then it just stayed, and we designed the logo that same day,” said Jania.
“Every time I’ve given somebody my business card, they always laugh at it,” said Sam, “and it’s hard for someone not to smile.”
The titles on their business cards are as unconventional as the company’s name: Jania – Creative Mind, Zac – Creative Genius, and Sam – Creative Messiah.
“I think what I like about what we’ve developed with Aren’t We Clever is all of our talents, no matter what we do, it can be included. Aren’t We Clever is a creative endeavor, so anything we do can be added to that,” said Zac Eubank.
Zac is a videographer and a professional artist, and he had his own gallery, Skinless Productions Gallery, in downtown Kansas City in 2008.
Sam Eubank, who graduated in June from the University of Central Missouri, said, “Actually I was more excited that we were starting our own company than me having to go out and find a job. I mean really, as a photographer, ultimately I want to own my own business and have my own studio. I got really lucky coming straight out of college and being like ‘hey, let’s start this business’ and I have people to start it with, rather than go out on my own.”
“It just makes sense to start our own company,” said Jania Eubank, “because we’re all creative.”
“It’s been interesting for the three of us to work together, but we’re family, so we’re stuck with each other,” Zac Eubank said with a laugh.
“I used to be the corporate graphic design coordinator at Univision and I was in charge of I-don’t-know-how-many stations in the country, and nobody told me how to do things. I was the one art-directing everything and it was great – it was my dream job,” Jania said with a laugh.
“So now she has to take orders, make that opinions, from us,” said Zac.
Jania quickly responded: “Not really.”
Sam has been doing photography for the Unicorn Theatre; Zac has done commercial videos for Blanc Burgers and Bottles in collaboration with Wheat Photography. Jania is now working on some websites for corporate clients and collaborated on design work with Faction magazine. They also collaborated with the Firewater charity event on video, photography and website design.
“That’s something we like to offer people, if we can find a way to incorporate all of our talents for them,” said Zac.
“Video is being asked for a lot more, and what we’re trying to do is let people know you can have quality video work for a lot cheaper than you used to. In the last two years, the quality compared to price has dropped almost probably 200 to 300 percent. It’s insane. But clients haven’t realized this yet, and they’re contacting TV stations to shoot their videos. There’s a lot of people that don’t realize that it’s not hard to get a real good quality product that’s still within your budget,” said Zac.
Their personal backgrounds help them bring other talents to the table. Jania, a native of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, is bilingual. Sam is gay and understands the LGBT market, and Zac has experience not only as an owner of a former art gallery but also as an educator.
Although the group does much more than wedding photography and videos, Sam acknowledged the possibility of more work through gay weddings. “I mean, I’m a gay photographer and I’m like, OK, I’ll shoot gay weddings, and I think it will kind of boom once that all comes through.”
“I’ve been shooting videos for some weddings and I’ve worked with some photographers who make it a creative, fun experience for everyone,” said Zac.
“I have to say that even though I’m very upset at a lot of issues in my country, I’m really proud that gay couples can get married and adopt in Mexico. It’s like, yes!” said Jania.
To contact Jania, Zac or Sam, visit www.arent-we-clever.com.