Creative Director | THE MARS AGENCY

Ciara started out her career working as an in-house product and packaging designer for a small company in her home town in Ireland. With them she traveled through Europe to shows, events and pitches which was pretty great for a first gig. After that she spent time at different companies learning different design disciplines and eventuallly ended up at The Mars Agency after some time at FCB Chicago. She has had the opportunity to work with some pretty talented people in and out out of creative as well as some brands that include Coke, Oreo, Minute Maid, Big Heart Pets, and Conagra. Ciara also has written and illustrated 6 kids books, 2 animation series, 1 children's decor line and illustrated some of Harrods holiday packaging. As a creative lead for Conagra shopper marketing at  The Mars Agency she believes that shopper is the 360 we need to pay more attention too. 



1.)     What was your very first job? My very first job would have been sweeping up the hair in my mom's salon, then it would have been working in my parents B & B after my mom gave up hairdressing. My parents taught me the work ethic I have today. They are both humble and driven. My dad is incredibly creative with his hands my mom missed her calling as a interior designer. They didn't blink an eye when I said I wanted to go into the creative field.  2.)     Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails. As a creative leader my job is to make sure talent doesn't get lost in the noise and to find opportunities to help people grow, the other side of that is to help craft better insights, ideas and solutions with creative, planning, and account so we can tell better stories and experiences for our brands through the consumers journey.  3.)     How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? What was there train of events that brought you to where you are today? I have dyslexia, so school wasn't easy. I drew in all my books all the time. My parents were very supportive of whatever I wanted to go for and one day after I an art show someone asked me if art was my vocation. It is weird to think that being creative was a vocation but the question gave me cause for pause and I started looking into careers that allowed me to be creative. As for ending up working at an award winning global agency in the U.S. I leave that to love, luck and faith.  4.)     In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant? Don't look at the world through your computer, don't look just at what the competitor of your brand is doing, look beyond them, look at culture, pop-culture, listen to people, read the news not just watch it, go on adventures, have experiences. Break bread with people you don't know or agree with. Learn, experience, live.  5.)     If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be?Ah this is so tough - it would have to be Big Heart Pets Seasonal Treats innovation. It was earlier on in my career. The team working on it were amazing, it was lead by one of my most favorite mentors and creative women Suzanna Bierwirth. I led the 4 day shoot with dogs, who doesn't want that, and the project went on to win a reggie and an effie. 



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