As the pandemic hit, agencies scrambled to figure out how to manage the next steps with clients and staff. It didn’t seem like it was a good time to try something new or launch a product. But, for those who know him, Team Epiphany founder Coltrane Curtis cares not for conventional wisdom or lack of ambition. So, of course, he decided to start an in-house publication, The Team Epiphany Times.
“When the pandemic hit in March, we knew we were going to be in the fight of our lives to keep the agency open and afloat,” said Curtis. “We also knew that we had a responsibility to keep our team healthy physically, spiritually and financially. Part of keeping the team spiritually healthy was being transparent with information and also to provide a platform for them to express themselves as we were dealing with the pandemic, racial and social injustice and much more.”
This agency’s creative outlet is a no-joke, extraordinarily beautiful thing that leans into the emotionally heavy times. Vol. 1 was about Covid-19, Vol. 2 hones in on leadership and community and the latest issue focuses on connection and rebooting our personal and professional lives. The words are written by internal Team Epiphany staffers, and the illustrations come from both inside and outside the agency, some of whom are heavy hitters.
Michelle Obama’s presidential portraitist Amy Sherald contributes work for Vol. 3. Pieces from Hebru Brantley, D’Ana of COVL, Joshua Vides and others in all three issues—if curated together—would be a must-see on the museum and studio circuit.
A particular standout in the most recent issue is Quiana Parks‘ illustration for a story on HBCUs. It’s a mesmerizing and powerful image that shows warmth and compassion and focuses on unity and pride in the subject.
Holding down a piece with a title that could be an AgencySpy gem, “Adventures of a Bootleg Instagram Live DJ,” is artwork from Ashley Pena, with considered touches that bridge the gap of new and old, technology and analog.
“We needed [Team Epiphany Times] to keep us together and connected as a community, as anyone from the agency and any friend of the agency can contribute,” said Jarrett Cobbs, the shop’s vp of strategy. “Yes, we secured some heavy-hitter illustrators, but we are equally happy for the opportunity for newer and lesser-known artists to be included. Team Epiphany was born from culture, so during these trying times, we felt like it was our job to support, protect and tell our community’s stories.”