BEHIND THE SCENES: THE 9-5 OF A GR CREATIVE DIRECTOR PT. 1
Eddie and his entire family, black lab included, are native Texans. Since graduating from Stephen F. Austin, he’s taken the creative lead at Dallas agencies, helping local and international clients find their voice and tell their brand story.
What about Globe Runner drew you in?
All the orange. And the clients. But that’s it – the orange and the clients. Oh, and the people. The entire Globe Runner team is the rocket fuel for the work that’s setting our clients up to succeed online and beyond, and I’m having a blast on this adventure.
What is the scope of your role as a GR creative director?
To provide direction in strategy and design; to produce work that is strategic, creative and timely; to encourage GR team members to be strategic, creative and collaborative; and to provide creative support for account management and new business, or any other department that puts out creative work for our clients.
It’s also about helping clients achieve brand consistency. To help them show up authentically across all platforms, from fully branded campaigns to social media to using all aspects of their brand.
Which three skills do you use most often as a CD?
Collaboration. Encouragement. Recognition.
It all comes down to the art of communication and collaboration. Using an unsophisticated stick figure to help illustrate your point can sometimes be more effective than writing the world’s most thorough creative brief. Finding that finesse and getting the whole team aligned helps me turn out the otherworldly work we create for our clients.
How does the GR culture impact your work?
It’s fun here and everyone is a lot younger than I am. They already know so much and are eager to learn more. They inspire me to keep learning and pushing myself to be better at what I do.
What is your favorite part of a marketing campaign?
The strategy that goes into it to make an advertising campaign smarter than the competition. That’s when things get really interesting.
What does a typical day look like in your role?
60% putting out creative fires, 30% selling ideas, and 10% sweating the fact that there are no new ideas.
Where do you find your biggest creative inspiration day-to-day?
Through my own participation in the world. Watching what interests my son, my wife, my parents. I had an old Executive Creative Director once tell me to pick up a coffee table book, an art book, or even an old album cover when I needed inspiration.
Creativity is contagious!
How do you deal with challenges in your role?
By prioritizing my time. It helps me pivot and shift my own task list when I’m called to help someone with something small and simple. I look for the easy wins to keep me going when things are tough. It helps me spread the idea that creativity matters to me.
Which five tools do you use most in your every day?
A pocket knife, a phillips head screwdriver, a corkscrew, my phone and my belt. OR – humor (funny to me anyway), a little self-deprecation, Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
In addition to my hard tools and soft skills, it really comes down to the Adobe Suite’s ‘big 3.’ If you don’t know the programs, it slows you down. Being able to move between Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign helps me show visually what’s in my brain. It’s the only way to move from ideation to implementation.
Type. Sometimes that’s all you have to communicate an idea. If you respect it and work well with it, you can design so much through it.
Do you have any advice for someone looking for an agency role?
Learn to communicate. Whether you draw on a notepad, use your words, or engage full programs you need to find the best outlet to get an idea across. This may change with your audience or based on the project, so there’s never just one ‘right’ way.
What’s one piece of advice you wish you’d received before starting out?
When someone challenges your work, be prepared with answers. Show that you’ve thought about your work. Creativity is a thinking man’s sport.
Where do you hope to take GR clients in the future?
Soaring light-years above their competition.
Every day, my goal is to make us a little bit better than we were the day before. To move forward. Whether that’s by creating better design, or simply delivering a project quicker.
I especially strive to push the boundaries and limitations of a campaign. In fact, sometimes that’s my only job. It’s why I always focus on variety, even if a design seems a little too cool or risky at first pass. Part of the job is to help clients dream a little, push past their comfort zones, and pull back off that. That’s the way to give clients the propulsion needed to take them beyond themselves.
Eddie’s Final Remarks
Marketing communications and advertising are a company’s way of having a relationship with their customers. If we can make our clients a little more attractive while showing the heart of their company’s personality, we consider it a win. We believe that win will be reflected in their increased web traffic or increased sales, etc.—everyone’s version of success is different.
Our customers are really good at their jobs, but that doesn’t mean they can bring that same level of proficiency to branding. That’s our job. We’re here to launch them into the stratosphere in whatever ways best serve them.