West Point 100: Creators
LUKE PELL USMA ‘07
Welcome to the “West Point 100: Creators” project. This effort is both a creative project and an insightful ethnography - curating a collection of 100 West Point creators.
This endeavor will ask the basic question: What do West Pointers create? And why?
In this Q&A we will explore with West Point creators the topic of creativity and the impact West Point had on their ability to think critically about the world around them and their place within the construct of the American Dream.
This past april WE CAUGHT UP WITH LUKE while he was IN CHICAGO, IL. THE NIGHT BEFORE HE WAS IN DALLAS, TX. He AND HIS BAND DROVE THROUGH THE NIGHT TO THE WINDY CITY BEFORE HEADING TO SPRINGFIELD, IL then MINNEAPOLIS, MN then DES MOINES, IA AND finaly OMAHA, NE. LUKE PELL IS is no stranger to the grind of life ON The road. each night he PLAYs TO packed rooms of adoring fans. HIS FANBASE continues to grow and LUKE finds himself PLAYing OVER 100 SHOWS A YEAR. ON THIS NIGHT, WE got a BACKSTAGE vantage point TO life on the road WITH RISING COUNTRY MUSIC SUPERSTAR LUKE PELL.
PART I - THE BASICS
In the simplest of terms, what do you create?
Music and to spend every day making a positive, purposeful impact.
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
The future. Next year.
What do you collect, and why?
Song Title ideas and business ideas. One is a passion and expression of life in music and the other is a functional passion of creating a comfortable lifestyle.
If you could only keep five possessions, what would they be?
2. Handgun with infinite ammo
3. Flint Rock
5. Solar Panel
If you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be?
The Resurrection of Jesus.
On my deathbed, I will wish that I had spent more TIME on:
Building a Legacy. Building one to pass down to the next generation.
On my deathbed, I will wish I had spent more MONEY on:
Definitely, Apple stock, but all the way back in 1999
What’s one thing you own that you should throw out but probably never will?
That favorite baseball hat - that one perfect hat.
Let’s talk influences - Give us one musician, one book, one tv show, one movie, and one podcast that impacts your creative mindset.
Muscian: Adam Levine
Book: Same Kind of Different As Me
TV Show: Shark Tank
Podcast: Butterfly Effects
PART II - THE CREATIVE PROCESS
What ritual or habit is especially important to you?
Reflecting, Praying, Meditating, Travelling all are especially important to me.
What is the best investment (money, time, relationship, education, etc) you made in getting to where you are today?
Going to and graduating from West Point.
What tool or object could you not live without in your workday?
What are you not?
What do you do to get into a state of flow or your creative zone?
Step away from day to day noise and distractions - reflect, pray, meditate.
What is your biggest roadblock in your creative process?
Name one company or person you’re itching to work with.
Shane McAnally .
PART III - WEST POINT
Talk about a West Point connection that was meaningful or unexpected.
COL Craig Flowers who I developed a mentor/ mentee relationship with after West Point. He inspired me to chase the big life goals. He had a big impact on my transition back to civilian life.
What has been your high point, thus far, with West Point and its community?
Finding connections of like minded individuals.
What aspect of your time at the academy affects your currents endeavors as a creator?
What question(s) or favor would you ask of the greater West Point community?
Business investment advice and partnerships.
In 6 words, describe being a cadet.
In 6 words, describe being an Old Grad.
ABOUT THE WEST POINT 100
This project is intended as a survey of the West Point community, done through the lens of creativity. Through this process we hope to discover how each creator embodies leadership lessons learned at the Academy, and how each are shaping culture and driving industry across town, region, country and globe.
You may recognize some names and faces, while others may be new to you. What’s common among them is that they are all leaders, innovators, and trendsetters; they are pathfinders and creatives; they are all members of the strongest brotherhood and sisterhood in the nation - The Long Gray Line.
Through this project, we will carve out, perhaps, the first ever visual snapshot of West Point culture by exploring the Long Gray Line’s creators and their creations. Individually, the images and words will introduce you to 100 Old Grads and cadets. Collectively, this compilation will tell a meaningful, interwoven story about an often under appreciated and overlooked skill set developed during the USMA 47-month journey: the creative process.
The ultimate end state is a coffee table book featuring the stories and works of all 100 creators. If you are a creator or know of one in the USMA community, please reach out and help us highlight the creations of the Long Gray Line.