A 20 year industry veteran, Karen’s ad career began at Cramer Krasselt where she worked as an Art Buyer before expanding her skills as an Art Buying/Producer specializing in still, motion and broadcast. Her agency background includes JWT, DDB, Simon, and her current agency, The Marketing Store/WAU. Clients she’s happily partnered with include McDonald’s, Coke, Nissan, T-Mobile and Anheuser-Busch InBev.


  • What was your very first job? 

    My first job was for a fast food establishment that I quickly resigned from due to wardrobe differences. I did not agree to wear a scarf with an earring attached.  It was uphill from there.


    Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.  

    I’m a Senior Art Buyer/Producer. Try telling that to your family or a group of people at a party. Oh, you buy pictures? Well, kind of. I produce photoshoots, illustration projects, radio and TV. This means I’m a big party planner, coordinating all that goes into what you see for any given client project. This includes creative collaboration, talent procurement, negotiation, contracts and coordinating all aspects of the project, as well as on-set production and delivery.  It’s complicated to explain, but not for me to execute. It’s second nature.



    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 knew from an early age I was different in that I noticed things and observed the world’s content in a unique way. Growing up when I did it was a total mashup of conservative meets wow. I liked wow. I wore bell bottoms and an apple core necklace.  At home my creative side was never stifled. My dad had an album collection and I studied the art. My grandmother had so much color in her life from the garden to her Pucci dresses, it was art to me. Both she and my mom always had a way of “arranging   things” visually and always taking note of the aesthetic of things. I often think I’d be a stylist if I wasn’t a producer. I also had a weird but brilliant photography teacher that inspired me. Thanks, Dr. Blackwell. 


    In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant? 

    Even with the evolution of the industry, some things remain. Art is inspiration at its core. I continually take in as much as I can, keeping up with trends, but if you remember the roots of the industry and identify how art relates to people, relevancy will come. It also helps to have continual access to active partners in all social media relevant to their age groups (my kids:).


    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? 

    I worked on the World Cup fry boxes for a client, collaborating with artists from around the world. This was eye-opening from both an artistic standpoint and a human perspective. Communicating with artists around the globe with the common thread of art is something I will never forget.  




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