2 minutes with … Rick Williams and Marcel Yunes, founders of fable.works
Rick Williams and Marcel Yunes took their 15-year creative partnership to the next level with the launch of a new agency, fable.works. An “entertainment incubator for brands”, their mission is to bridge the gap between craftsmanship, culture and speed so that brands entertain rather than interrupt.
Previously, Rick and Marcel were the group’s Executive Creative Directors at R / GA New York with roles across Verizon, Ally Bank, Jim Beam, LIFEWTR, Facebook, Instagram and Spotify. In addition to freelance roles at Mischief, Netflix, Wieden + Kennedy, and fruit-themed tech monoliths, they previously served as Creative Directors and 10-year veterans at BBDO New York, leading Procter’s ‘The Talk’ campaigns. Gamble at Bud Light, HBO, AT&T, 9/11 Memorial & Museum, and more.
We spent two minutes with Rick and Marcel to learn more about their backgrounds, their creative inspirations and recent work they admired.
Rick and Marcel, tell us …
Where you grew up and where you live now.
- Rick: Rock Hill, South Carolina, a small town about 30 miles south of Charlotte. Now Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
- Marcel: I was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and lived there until I was 6 years old. Since then, I have lived in Havana, Cuba; Bethesda, Maryland; Baltimore and New York. I have traveled back and forth between Brazil and the United States several times, but New York is the city in which I have lived the longest.
How you first realized you were creative.
- Rick: When I was 4 I thought an “artist” was someone who drew pictures with pencils, but an “artist” used magic markers. So, this might be the first time that I realize that I was just weird.
- Marcel: I developed a passion for drawing and painting from an early age. My grandmother taught me to draw and paint. We were always playing a game where one of us would make a random wavy line and the other would have to turn that scribble into an actual drawing of something.
Someone you creatively idolized from the start.
- Rick: Jim Henson and Carol Burnett.
- Marcel: Picasso. I know it sounds cheesy, but I was obsessed with him and his range of styles and mediums. His ability to express his emotions through his works has always fascinated me.
A moment in high school or college that changed your life.
- Rick: The South Carolina Governor’s School of the Arts. After my summer there I went from love of art to love of art, if that makes sense?
- Marcel: I am dyslexic and have ADD. Elementary through high school was an incredibly difficult time for me. I never liked having bad grades so I had to work really hard to keep up. When I got to the University of Fine Arts, I got straight A’s. For the first time, school seemed easy and natural.
A visual artist or band / musician you admire.
- Rick: Prince. Prince. Prince.
- Marcel: Since I already mentioned Picasso, I would say Warhol and Sol LeWitt. I love Warhol’s work because on the surface it seems easy, mundane, and unthinkable. It is only once you understand that he is exploring the effects of mass media on culture and society that you begin to understand how powerful and conceptual his work is. Sol LeWitt’s exploration of the art of education reminds me of how digital images are created. A JPEG, for example, is nothing more than instructions for a mosaic of pixels to lay out on a screen. It’s mind-blowing, in my opinion.
A book, movie, TV show, or podcast that you recently found inspiring.
Your favorite fictional character.
- Rick: Nandor the Relentless of What We Do in the Shadows.
- Marcel: Hodor, Hodor. Hodor, Hodor, Hodor, Hodor.
Someone or something to follow on social media.
- Rick: @floofnoodles. It’s pretty much all dancing ferrets. Mental cleanser.
- Marcel: TikTok in general. The way the creators use the tools that the platform gives them is extremely creative and entertaining.
How Covid-19 has changed your life, personally or professionally.
- Rick: My dog and I went from a father-son relationship to roommates. We also drove about 16,000 miles together.
- Marcel: It was a challenge working in a small New York apartment with my wife, who also works from home, and our two-and-a-half-year-old son, who doesn’t hesitate to have us both. Working through Zoom and Google Docs was easy and really didn’t impact my productivity. Rick and I have been working this way since Skype has been around.
One of your favorite creative projects you’ve worked on before.
- Rick: Maybe AT & T’s “You’ve Got a Case”. Being able to harness the brief – but burgeoning – technology of cleaning profiles to create a custom comedy was so much fun and felt totally free, creative. But the gem of that experience was writing and designing with Mitch Hurwitz of Arrested Development. An emotional combo of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Impostor Syndrome on steroids.