Q&A With Our Creative Director, Jon Taylor
“My favorite part about being creative and assembling things in novel and respectful ways is seeing the client be blown away by our vision.”
These words were spoken by Jon Taylor, our Creative Director and all things visionary. See what else he had to say when we sat down with him and spoke on managing creative assets, working at Divining Point, and decompression!
We know you cover a lot of ground at DP, but can you explain exactly what you do here?
Being the Creative Director, I oversee all the creative initiatives. I make sure we have a creative vision at a higher level and work it out whether it’s a design brief, website, photoshoot, or even written text. I’m basically paid to be critical and point out flaws. If I say, “it’s good, I love it,” I feel I’ve failed at that task. There’s always room for improvement.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
I like being creative. My favorite part about being creative and assembling things in novel and respectful ways is seeing the client be blown away by our vision.
What is your least favorite thing about your job?
I know most would say having their ideas adulterated, but I’ve been doing it for so long that it doesn’t bother me. One part of the process that bothers me is if I fall in love with a vision and it’s changed to the point where the vision is gone. In these cases, I will come up with an entirely new vision, ultimately breaking up with the other one and no one likes a breakup.
What was a recent obstacle you had to overcome? What were you thinking during this?
Working on a website recently I had to realize that the solution for a client’s sales system that I came up with – which was beautiful – wasn’t attainable in their scope. I had to go back to the drawing board and come up with something new, but that was also unattainable. Ultimately, the solution from the technical side seemed to destroy the whole vision in my head, and that’s still an ongoing problem.
If you could tell clients looking for creative work to be done, what advice would you give them?
I would say don’t start with who YOU are but who your customers are. When you’re creating a business, it needs to be about who you are. But when you’re getting into the creatives and trying to push sales it needs to be focused on your customers and who they are because that’s who’s going to fall in love with your brand.
What are your thoughts on the importance of collaborating and bridging the gap between other team members such as social media specialists and the marketing strategist?
If I had my own way, everyone would be involved at one point or another. That doesn’t always work out because of heavy work loads at a smaller agency, but I really like when everyone gets involved because I thrive with criticism and different viewpoints. Everyone brings baggage to the table and unpacking all of that creates a better product.
What advice would you give to someone just entering this role?
Check your ego at the door. You are not a badass. Most entering a position like a Creative Director feel they have something to prove. In reality, when you let go of that and let yourself flow as part of a team and accept criticism with grace, then you will create really beautiful things.
What recommendations would you give to clients to help streamline the process between their vision and your process?
It’s a mutual trust. The moment you don’t feel your creative team trusts you, is the moment you need a new creative team. They need to trust you and likewise– the creatives need to trust the clients. That needs to be taken seriously and not dismissed because it goes against your ideas.
What’s your favorite thing about working on the DP team?
The levels of trust. I lean into things that aren’t traditional employee traits, like laziness. I think it’s an important part but has to be structured. This is the right culture for that. I also lean into criticism and alternate ways of thinking about things. That doesn’t always work in other agencies because other agencies are systematic, and it’s worked out really well for me here.
For example, in a branding meeting I’m not going to ask the same questions, even though it may seem systematic. My questions depend on the needs of the clients.
What are your favorite ways to decompress outside of work?
I like to travel… a lot. I’m really into extreme stuff. A lot of times I’ll shut everything out of my life and relax and that’s when I find I’m the most decompressed.