About Me

Think big, tell stories


I’m a creative director relentless in a pursuit to think bigger, and tell stories that drive real value and inspire change in our world.

Recognized for an unmatched vision and approach that sets the expectation for great work, I’ve built award-winning teams of creatives, designers, writers, digital strategists and technologists, brand managers, and marketers who don’t just value collaboration, but are propelled by it.

I studied musical theatre at Millikin University, and after 15 years on stage in the performing arts, transferred to University of Maryland Baltimore County where I received my bachelor of arts in English literature. Since college, I’ve tackled an assortment of creative challenges, including casting, sales, editing and producing in the Middle East, branding, strategic communications, and even directing grassroots internet broadcasts in the early days of live streaming for social justice causes and campaigns in Los Angeles.

My goal in all of these (download my resume) was to learn everything I could at all levels of production and storytelling to better position creative solutions into client thinking and amplify these into meaningful platforms, narratives, and brand experiences that excited audiences and businesses alike.

I started at Booz Allen in 2012 working as the firm’s Chief Creative Director where I built and led a team of in-house creatives who catalyzed an effort to transform perceptions and renew the brand, marketing, advertising, social and digital capabilities of a 100-year-old company from the inside, out.

Today, I am the owner of Bugle Creative, an insights inspired creative agency assembled in Washington, DC. Our mission is simple: to create and promote experiences that inspire, challenge, and make belief.

Sound like fun? You bet it is.

—Joseph Smallwood





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[2017 - Present]
Owner & Chief Creative, Bugle Creative
[2012 - 2017]
Chief Creative, Booz Allen Hamilton
[2011 - 2012]
Brand & Communications Director, Eidolon Data
Senior Account Executive, Reingold
[2008 - 2010]
Senior Communications Advisor, Barbaricum
[2007 - 2008]
Director of Studio & Post-Production, Brave New Films
[2006 - 2007]
Executive Producer, Lincoln Group
[2005 - 2006]
Lead Creative, Apple Computers