Adam Brunes

What do you do in your day-to-day life?
I’m co-founder and creative partner (with Donna Kramer) at creative communications agency Aruga, based in beautiful West End. In another hat, I am co-founder of production house The Little Red Company, with Queensland’s leading lady of stage, Naomi Price.

Why do you do it?
Before Aruga, I tended to tire quickly in other full-time roles from doing the same thing day-in, day-out. At Aruga, we’ve just celebrated our second birthday and, over the past two years, have had more than 100 unique clients. While it’s a lot to juggle at times (and essentially means having 100 ‘bosses’!) the variety is incredible, the people are amazing and the work is both challenging and very rewarding. In any given week, we might be planning a product launch campaign for Taco Bell, announcing a major festival line-up, or hitting print on a lifestyle magazine. There’s no time to be bored. This, coupled with The Little Red Company as another great creative outlet, means my soul is nourished and my brain is full most of the time.

What do you love about the city you live in right now?
I’ve always adored Brisbane as a city of tremendous opportunity. We don’t wait for opportunities to land in our laps, but rather hustle hard to create things for ourselves. The weather is better than anywhere in the country, the hospitality scene is absolutely firing, and there’s never a shortage of things to see and do. Brisbane’s been underrated for a while, but in recent years, the rest of the country appears to have woken up to its charm.

What's the best thing about being a part of the LGBT+ community?
This is a bit of a tricky one to answer as my entire life and career has centred around the creative industries, for which the LGBT+ community is the heartbeat. As such, I don’t know anything else. I’d say that one of the best things is that we’re non-threatening, so people naturally gravitate towards us.

In your opinion, what is the most misunderstood thing about the community?
We all love Kylie Minogue. I mean I do, but I met a gay guy once who didn’t.

Do you have an LGBT+ icon/spokesperson that you look up to and if so, what do you love about them?
Not specifically. I attended a talk by Magda Szubanski recently that was positioned as a chat about ‘identity’. It followed her very public campaigning during the marriage equality campaign, so naturally the audience expected her talk would focus on that. Instead, she spoke about ‘identity’ more broadly and shared remarkable stories about her Polish ancestry. Her father was an assassin in a counter-intelligence branch of the Polish resistance movement in WWII and the stories about his plight is the stuff of Hollywood blockbusters. I was impressed that Magda used that particular platform to steer a broader discussion about identity rather than simply fuelling the much-publicised bits we already know about her life.

How do you define happiness?
The active pursuit of the thing, or things, you love.

Are you happy with your work/life balance?
Ha! I’m happy with it, but I don’t know that my partner, family and friends are. Running your own business grants you incredible freedoms, though the trade-off is that you never really switch off. I’m just lucky that most of my work is in areas I choose to spend my free time, and that I get to work with so many people I love, respect and admire. As such, it rarely feels like ‘work’.

If you could travel back in time for a day, where would you go?
For years, my late grandmother pleaded with me to write down all her stories about the family history. I never seized the opportunity to do so while I could. I’d love to right that wrong.

What is the best lesson you've ever learned?
People do business with people they like.

What is your spirit animal?
My cat, Meow Meow.