Browsing through the work of Portland’s HouseSpecial can become a walk through a veritable hall of fame — starting with iconic creativity for M&M's, including the well-received Candyman spot featuring Aloe Blacc and Zedd. Throw in Planters, Chipotle, Kellogg’s, Comcast, Starbucks, Allstate and others and you have a CG, stop motion, 2D wonderland. Started as Laika/house, the ad arm of Laika Studios outside of Portland, founded by Nike’s Phil Knight, the company was spun off in 2014 as an independent studio — and Kirk Kelley, partner, chief creative officer and director has been on the front line of the some of advertising’s most important work. He also knows, from his vast experience, what it takes to be a great creative. First, it’s “mind-numbing patience.” Making one’s way through ideas takes the will and understanding that it doesn't simply happen on the first try — especially in animation, where Kelley, a Texas native, has carved out an incredible body of work. Secondly, Kelley, who is a partner in two Portland restaurants (BBQ and Tex Mex) believes it’s about talent — finding it, nurturing it and, like all great leaders, understanding that getting the right mix together — and leading it well can yield substantial success.