Is there a place for art in the startup world? If you ask Rine Boyer, Signal’s Manager of Knowledge Management, there’s no question: Working in a tech firm, where nothing stays the same from one minute to the next, and everybody has to think quickly, breeds it. “Sometimes, I feel like I’m more creative in my day job because things need to be figured out on the fly,” she says.
If anybody at Signal understands how art intersects with business, it’s Rine. In addition to overseeing the documentation of Signal’s technology and describing that to our clients, she’s also an internationally-known artist. Rine’s work has been exhibited around the world, most recently in solo shows at Bluerider ART Gallery in Taipei City, Taiwan, and at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. If you have a sharp eye, you might have noticed her work hanging on the set of NBC’s Parenthood.
A mixed media artist, Rine hand-makes all of the elements in her multilayered portraits, which focus on how people interact with one another. This focus that led her to a career in ad tech. “I was drawn to advertising,” Rine says. “One of the things that interests me is how advertising influences the types of people the ads portray – it’s an interesting feedback loop.”
Rine started her career in a more traditional media agency as an ad trafficker in 2006, then moved into the ad tech space as a technical account manager before settling into her Knowledge Management role at Signal. She sees several parallels between her work at Signal and in the studio. “The most important thing with art is that you’re describing something you can’t put into words.” Her role at Signal, she says, follows a familiar process: “Similarly, I’m taking something abstract, in this case a technology and how it works, synthesizing that and conveying it to somebody else.”
Even if you don’t see coders as artists, Rine sees a place for the arts alongside technology. She is currently hard at work on a new project inspired by Signal’s Hack Week, curating a show that will feature local artists here at Signal’s headquarters. “I think it’s relevant for technology to have a connection to the arts. It’s nice for people who aren’t in a creative field but are thinking creatively to see what’s out there,” she says.
And it’s opportunities like this, along with other ways the company encourages creativity, like Signal’s book club, design group, supper club, and games night, to name just a few, that open the doors to creative problem-solving for business. “Signal offers us a lot that’s not just sitting at your desk doing work. It’s influencing how I think, but it’s not specifically for my role,” Rine says.
Rine continues to enjoy the startup ride, both as an artist and a knowledge manager. “It’s really interesting to be part of a company that just grows and grows, to see the culture that enables that growth, and to experience what it feels like to have things changing quickly. That’s really fun.”
Images courtesy Rine Boyer.