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acorns, pinecone closeup

I’ve been a raving fan of creative business and marketing strategies for years.

In particular, businesses that are delightfully irreverent (like Squatty Potty and Cards Against Humanity) which I’ve written about in the past.

I’ve also highlighted the stories of how people stumbled their way into YouTube virality, like AcousticTrench or attracting a niche group of fans, like East Forest.

There’s something irresistibly attractive about it when someone is “up to something,” especially something cheeky and audacious. You can just feel it. They’re having so much FUN it inspires the bejesus out of me.

And sometimes, it actually works to attract an audience and make money!

I can smell these magical projects from miles away because they’re not like anything else. They aren’t imitating or following the status quo. They’re quirky and weird, niche or esoteric. The kind of awesome that can only come from creative experimentation and emergent creation.

Well, I stumbled across another example to share with you. This was so cute it left a goofy smile on my face.


Meet David Bird and his adorable Becorns.

Magical Woodland Creatures Photographed In Nature

Watch this video of “Orioles vs. Catbirds” and I dare you not to smile:

According to David Bird’s website, “Becorns are woodland creatures crafted from acorns, pine cones, sticks, and other natural materials, then photographed in nature with birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and other wildlife.”

According to me, they’re an adorable example of where following your creative impulse can take you.

A few inspiring lessons I take from the Becorns saga…

#1 – Start with an idea and let it take you on an adventure.

The idea for building and photographing Becorns came as a random idea that occurred while David was sweeping the driveway. He wasn’t even a photographer at the time!

You probably won’t end up where you think, but you will always have an interesting journey.

“As usual, I started out with a goal and it changed along the way.” – David Bird

#2 – Be you and see what happens.

What kind of business should you start if you’re a toy designer and illustrator who loves spending time outdoors?

“Build cute creatures out of acorns and pinecones, learn to take photos so you can make them into art and postcards, and create viral YouTube videos,” says no one EVER.

As far as I can see, this project emerged and evolved from following random inspiration and seeing what happens next. In short, from being yourself and creating what you love, just for the sake of it.

#3 – Work doesn’t feel like work when you’re having too much fun.

David sets up his Becorns scene, and then waits for the animals to come so that he can photograph them. In answer to comments such as, “You must have the patience of a saint!” he says:

“It’s easy to be patient when you’re having so much fun!”

A one-of-a-kind project like this doesn’t come from a business plan. Can’t ever.

And the amount of hours spent on iteration and experimentation isn’t apparent in the results when it finally hits the “big time” of viral online consumption and social media attention. Only true love inspires this investment of time and energy without a clear payoff.

I bow to the fun-loving persistence of creatives like David Bird (and you?) who follow your passions and do what you love for no good reason.

You make the world a more beautiful place, just by being you.