Group Creative Director | O'KEEFE REINHARD & PAUL

Marian started her advertising career at Leo Burnett Chicago and was privileged to develop her craft working under a group of highly awarded creatives that championed visual design as an integral facet to compelling advertising. After 9 years running her own branding and design studio, Marian is now a Group Creative Director at OKRP - a fast growing ad agency in Chicago. Over the years she has worked closely with brands including including Target, Kohler, Nestle and Redbox.


1.)     What was your very first job? 

My very first job out of college was working as a graphic designer at a healthcare internet startup company called Helus. I worked as a graphic designer in the marketing department with a few people who had left ad agency jobs to try something different.  


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

I am a Group Creative Director/ Design Director at OKRP. I oversee the creative development of tv and social work for clients like Nike Chicago, Big Lots and Home Chef. In addition to that, I also work with our design team on branding and visual design assignments for clients like The University of Illinois and Chili’s Restaurant.


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?

 It all started because I was making Grateful Dead locker art for my friends at my high school in Nashville. One day the Commercial Art teacher found me in the halls and flashed one of my locker posters at me and said “You should be in my class.” I was 15 years old when I started commercial art classes and I’ve never looked back.



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

 It’s all about creating space to be aimless and let my mind wander. Baby strolling through the city and taking pics, vintage shopping, DIY art projects, internet rabbit holes, museum exhibits, new and old books. The short answer is not working is what helps energize my working life.


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?

 Print ads for Villiger Bikes. It was a weird but insightful concept our team created that I never thought the client would buy because the actual bicycle image only took up 10% of the page. But they loved it, and  I stood corrected. This work reminds me to not to kill an abstract or “out there” idea before it has a chance to live, in fact it’s important to always start in the weird place.



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