Meet Our Creative Director, Rebecca Wrenn

With the start of summer has come lots of new design work at Sweeney! We can’t wait to show you what we’ve been up to, but until then, we sat down with our Creative Director, Becca Wren, to discuss her role, interests, and what she sees next for Sweeney’s creative department. Without further ado, meet Becca Wrenn!

  • Describe your role at Sweeney.

As creative director at Sweeney, my role involves everything from developing creative strategy, to managing client relationships, and directing our in-house design team and creative partners, to promoting our own creative work.

 We work with a wide range of clients from local non-profits to large B2C and B2B companies. No day is ever the same!

  • Were you always creative or artistic growing up?

My parents always encouraged my creative side. It all started with finger painting — they would cover a table with newspapers and let us go wild with paint. This is a favorite childhood memory of mine and something I’ve continued with my own daughter.

Growing up, I wanted to work in the magazine industry — starting at a young age I would construct my own magazines out of colorful paper. As a teenager, I had extensive piles of Vogue and Vanity Fair, and I would spend hours just looking at the layouts and reading articles. I was intrigued by the combination of words, photography and design — I knew that I wanted to be a storyteller using all these elements.

  • What’s the hardest part about your job?

The most of challenging part of my job is always feeling the need to seek a balance on multiple levels — for the team, budgets, client needs, project management, balancing family with work. I’m just now starting to understand the idea that maybe the perfect balance doesn’t exist, and that’s actually ok.

  • What’s the best part about your job?

The best part of my job is when we deliver the best possible solution for our clients. We are not in the business to make things look pretty — we strategize, we research, we live the brands, we create, and we tell stories. It takes effort and it’s not easy, but when we deliver a solution it’s all worth it.

  • Something about this role you didn’t expect

What I love about my role, and just working at an agency, is that I get to be an expert in industries that I never thought I’d work in. Just from my work, I’ve become an expert in everything from crafting and textiles, to animal welfare, IoT and kidney care.

  • What are a work-related skill and a non-work-related skill you’d like to develop

Work-related: How to keep coffee hot throughout the morning.

Non-work related: I would like to learn how to water-color paint.

  • Where/how do you fuel your creative side outside of work?

Right now, outside of work, my life is focused on my daughter and teaching her to be creative. We love to paint and talk about all the colors we see. We love to pretend with stuffed animals. We go to music class every Monday evening, and do lots of singing and dancing at home. I especially love taking her to all the museums. She’s learning so much every day, and that’s my fuel right now.

My creative outlet is my home. I enjoy decorating and creating a happy space for my family. I also love exploring new plants (indoor and outdoor). I have my vegetable garden right now. I’ve also been dabbling in succulent art.  I’m a proud “plant mom” as well.

  • Any tips for keeping your creativity fresh / to avoid burning out?

One thing that Sweeney always encourages is to put our family and personal lives first. Work should never come before family. And I think knowing that they support us in this way helps to keep me excited about our work and what we do.

I work remotely for the most part, so I love working at different coffee shops and having a fresh view every day. I always recommend getting out and exploring.

I also think music is crucial. If I’m feeling mentally drained, I usually break out the showtunes and belt out a song.

  • What’s the most significant thing you’ve learned so far as the creative director at Sweeney?

I think the most significant thing being at Sweeney has taught me is that “creative” is not a siloed practice — it goes hand in hand with everything — customer experience, marketing strategy, media relations, social media — it’s a puzzle and every piece creates the big picture required to tell the client’s stories and achieve their goals.

  • What are your aspirations for Sweeney’s creative work?

I want us to get a little more focused in certain areas and grow in other areas. I want us to continue pushing the envelope and honing the team’s skillsets. I also want us to continue being agile, especially seeing how technology is going to impact marketing — there’s so much to explore!

Olivia Hiles

Senior Art Director

Olivia leads the Sweeney creative team with an eight-year history of agency experience and an education from the University of Cincinnati’s School of Design (DAAP). She specializes in identity and brand communications, having contributed to work for Verizon Wireless, Whole Foods, P&G, and more. Olivia’s approach to design places a strong priority on objectivity and intentionality, achieving optimal audience communication based on scientifically backed visual principles. She applies an unwavering standard of quality to the creative team’s work, with high expectations for both concept and craft. Olivia prides herself in her ability to empower teammates to do their best work, and her determination to push creative work to its ultimate potential.