As we move on to the latter half of June, Sweeney remains consistently busy with tons of amazing work, especially within the creative department. Taking a quick breather, we are continuing our team highlights by sitting down with our newest member to creative, Olivia Hiles and getting to know a little more about what makes her awesome.
- Describe your role at Sweeney.
I came on board about a month ago, my full, official title being “Associate Art Director & Creative Integration Lead.” So, while about 80% of my role is to guide the aesthetic and technical qualities of our design work, my other goal in this position is to further integrate Sweeney’s creative services with our account and digital services.
- What inspires you to be creative/What is the origin of your creativity?
The main driving factor of my creativity is the challenge. The determination to solve a difficult problem, tackle a tough set of parameters or to really “wow” a client with a smart idea motivates my creative side. I get a huge sense of gratification when I know my team and I have been innovative and when the client is thrilled with the work we’ve provided them.
- What is your favorite Pantone Color and why?
Pantone Bright Red C — confident and timeless.
- What excites you the most about working at Sweeney?
The open-mindedness and positivity of everyone at Sweeney is really exciting. Everyone is encouraging of off-the-wall ideas, which I find very valuable because the only way to push the envelope as a creative agency is to be fearless and willing to consider taking risks and stepping out of comfort zones.
- What do you find to be the most challenging aspect about being in a creative field?
In my experience so far, the most challenging aspect about this field has been the business element. Creative work can be seen so subjectively that it can be tricky to define all the different elements of it in a way that allows it to operate as a business — making sure project scopes are specific enough that everyone knows what the project entails, yet also fluid enough to allow for the unexpected; managing expectations of everyone involved when the name of a project can mean so many different things to different people; articulating the purpose of design techniques in an objective way, etc. Although this can be a challenge, when discipline and patience are applied to it, everyone prospers — the individual, the agency, and the client!
- Do you have any advice to maintain momentum and keep your creativity flowing?
It’s common for projects to get stuck in a holding pattern sometimes, especially when there are a lot of people involved or if a project is made up of many smaller pieces. To keep things moving forward, I find it helpful to follow a flexible, yet decisive step-by-step process and refer back to that plan often throughout the project, in order to see the big picture of where we started, where we want to end up, and where on the map we are at the moment.
My favorite way to keep my creativity flowing is to explore other creative interests outside of graphic design. I love fashion, especially mixing vintage with contemporary, so every morning I spend a few minutes putting thought into my outfit for the day. It’s really instrumental in waking up my creative side each day.
- What is your favorite project you’ve ever worked on and what made it so great?
Oh gosh, I’m not sure that I can choose just one! At a previous job, I worked on a campaign that encourages kids to avoid underage drinking. Not only did the project have a very motivating purpose, but the client gave us a lot of trust, which allowed us to do some of our best work, and the list of deliverables was extensive so we were able to apply the brand in a variety of creative ways!
- What is your dream project for the future?
I love any sort of full-scope branding project — from designing the logo and identity standards, to applying the new brand to collateral, web, environmental signage, etc. The more opportunity for creativity, innovation and craft, the better — as long as those elements are there, it’s automatically a dream project, regardless of industry or subject matter!
- Where do you see Sweeney heading now that you are part of the team?
I’ve been really impressed with the foundation that has already been laid in the creative department here at Sweeney. Our team members (in all departments) do really amazing work, which is why I was so interested in joining! That said, I’m aiming to open new doors for the types of work we have coming in, and raise the bar even higher for our output. We’re all going to be exploring new paths together, and learning new techniques and skills that are on the cutting edge of the design industry.
- What are your creative goals, both for the agency and personally, for the remainder of the year?
Personally, I want to start an Instagram account to showcase my creative work. Instagram is a huge source of inspiration for me and I think that inspiration would be amplified if I were to document my own work on there too.
For the agency, we have also been talking about showcasing our work on social media more, so keep an eye out for that! I’m also working on some new systems and processes for our creative department, which will help to push our collaborative efforts to their fullest potential, thereby growing our skills and elevating the results of our projects!