Allowing Ideas to Solve Problems
Briefly highlight your creative journey–education, work experience, achievements, etc.
I was working a sales job and not exactly thriving at it, when I suggested some creative ways we could promote the brand and advertise though. I was told that it wasn't my job to solve those problems. So I quit and went to a portfolio school. A couple of years later I began working at an ad agency as a Copywriter. Since then I've worked for in-house and tech departments and become a Creative Director. Along the way, I've picked up some awards but it isn't about that to me.
Kindly elaborate on your skills and roles as a multi-faceted Creative Director.
I think of myself as a creative problem-solver. It's about figuring out the challenge first rather than approaching it through a writer or designer's lens. I also try to keep my mind open about possibilities and remain media agnostic.
What do you mean while referring to "looking at the big picture" as part of your creative/work process?
It's easy to get bogged down in deliverables. You have to take a step back and look at the brand or campaign and make sure the pieces fit first. Also, make sure you look at how things could be perceived through a multicultural lens.
How do you effectively work across departments to collaboratively find the right solution?
Often, creative briefs are very prescriptive. Sometimes, however, the right solution answers a different question. By keeping communication open and breaking down silos, you can sometimes do things you never thought were possible.
Please tell us about your involvement in leading teams.
I started mentoring junior teams pretty naturally, wanting to check out their ideas and encourage them. Being a Creative Director is very similar. My job is to support the team and get out of the way as much as I can while keeping us aligned with the strategy and end goals.
Ideas need time to breathe.
What have been the greatest lessons from your overall experience so far?
Stand by your people. Play nice. Ideas need time to breathe.
Could you please elaborate on "creative problem solving" through an example?
My favorite question is "What if?" One of my favorite projects started as a naming assignment for an extreme fitness challenge/event. After naming it Alpha Showdown, we thought it would be cool to promote it with posters. So we crafted copy and hired an illustrator to bring our vision to life. The posters got stolen. We thought we must have hit on something so we printed more and gave them away to participants. The event was a huge success and soon the athletic director wanted a name for a training program around it. We suggested creating a larger brand that would not only cover training programs but also stand-alone studios, apparel, merchandise, and anything else we'd want to add later. So we came up with Alpha. But it all started with a simple naming assignment.
Please highlight your most cherished project so far.
The Mistaken Identity Project is my most cherished one just because it was so much fun. It proves how far you can go on a shoestring budget too.