Mark CAROLAN

Creative Director | SAATCHI & SAATCHI

(Maybe) one of the only Creative Directors in the world to have worked across 6 Continents. 

 

Over the years, I’ve gained invaluable experience launching, re-branding and developing the biggest brands in the world across multiple media channels in over 30 countries. As well as Creative Director, my business card also reads Artist, Furniture Designer, Publisher, Photographer and Director.

questionnaire

1.)     What was your very first job? 

I started my advertising life as a visualizer in the best art studio in London (at the time), a place called Helicopter in Lexington St, Soho. I worked the night shifts, just laying base colors for the ‘experts’ to then sketch over. I’d marvel at how they used to draw so effortlessly. We used to get all the storyboards from the best agencies in London and it was fascinating for me to see how scripts and films were strung together. In some small way, I like to think that my base colors helped sell in some of the most memorable tv ads in history.

 

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

I work as a Creative Director, overseeing work for Toyota. Whether on global Olympic and Paralympics sponsorship work or the latest national car launch.

 

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 the train of events that brought you to where you are today?

I’ve dabbled in a lot of different disciplines over the years, both out of curiosity and as well as having a thirst to try everything. I design furniture, I paint murals, I photograph, I illustrate, I write, I publish, I direct, I animate and I sculpt. I’ve created some of the biggest load of crap ever but I learnt from every single mistake I’ve ever made. 

 

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

People-watch. Buy obscure books and magazines in odd bookstores. Visit galleries often. Watch bizarre movies. Read blogs. Travel. Travel. Travel a lot. When you get to a new city, walk. Just set off, no checking google maps, just take the turn that feels right. Let your mind wander as you do. Take photographs, write notes and sketch ideas - always carry a notebook - and talk to strangers. Try things that scare you. Go off-piste on the menu, smell new smells, drive to a town you’ve never visited before, fill the filing cabinet in your mind with wonderful things to draw from. To paraphrase a great man, my mind has been stretched by many new experiences, never to return to its original dimension.

 

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? 

The recent Toyota ‘Start Your Impossible’ campaign for their global sponsorship of the Olympics and Paralympics is up there. To be able to oversee Toyota’s first ever global campaign was pretty special and we got to meet (and work with) so many inspiring athletes. We shot a Super Bowl commercial with Lauren Woolstencroft. The most unassuming person I’ve ever met, Lauren was born with no arms and one leg, but through sheer determination she went on to be one of the most successful Winter Paralympians of all time. Humbling. 

 

6.)     Which creative disciplines are you most interested in and use the most? i.e.: photography, film, social, experiential etc

I do have a soft spot for photography - because I’m a wannabe Magnum Photographer - but with my role and the projects I work on, I get to jam with a lot of the best crafts folk in the game. I learn from every single second I’m with them and I’m immensely grateful for it. From directors to animators, editors to sound engineers, typographers to designers. I couldn’t do without them.

jury

Art Producer | VANS
Creative Consultant
Art Director | JOHN PAUL MITCHELL
Sr. Art Director | AQUIS
Sr Producer | THE NORTH FACE
Director, Brand Strategy | TWITTER
Assoc. CD/Art Director | LULULEMON
VP Creative Director | RPA
Design Director | SELECT WORLD
Creative Director | DECKERS - UGG
Communications Manager | INSTAGRAM
Photo Director | ORACLE
Photo Director | GOOGLE
Global Creative Director | STARBUCKS
Creative Director | FITBIT
Creative Director | DISNEY
Creative Director | NBC
Sr Content Mktg Manager | LINKEDIN
Creative Director | DAVID&GOLIATH
Creative Director | DOLBY LABORATORIES
Creative Director | SAATCHI & SAATCHI
Group Creative Director | CONILL
Creative Director | RPA
Sr. Art Director | AMOUR VERT
SVP Integrated Production | DEUTSCH
VP WW Photography | PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Sr. Photo Editor | WIRED
Sr. Art Director | AKQA
VP Creative Services | OGILVY MEXICO
Associate Creative Director
Managing Director | ISSUE
Sr. Art Director | HAUTELOOK
Co-Founder | NIXON
Sr Direction Creative Production | NIKE
SVP of Creative Marketing | E! Entertainment
Exec. CD | CIRCUS MARKETING
Creative Director | PITCH
Design Director | PHENOMENON
Global Creative Director | BENEFIT COSMETICS
Global Photography Lead | PAYPAL
SVP Creative Director | DEUTSCH
Creative Director | MORPHE
Sr. Director, Creative Services | FABLETICS
Marketing Director | DESIGN HUNTER
Global Creative Director | MURAD
Producer, Brand Mktg | UBER
CMO | BELKIN INTERNATIONAL
Photography Lead | AIRBNB
CMO | STANCE SOCKS
VP, Creative Director | NBCUniversal, Inc.
Dir. Of Video Prod. | Restoration Hardware
Director of Photography | WILLIAMS-SONOMA
Creative Director | FERNWEH
Producer | FACEBOOK
Head of Content | TWENTYFIRSTCENTURY
Dir. of Creative Advertising | SONY
Creative Director | RPA
VP, Executive Creative Director | STITCH FIX
Creative Director | ANOMALY
Photo Art Director | UBER
Associate Creative Director | AMAZON
Sr. Manager of Creative Services | HOURGLASS
VP Creative | SONY
Freelance Producer | ANOMALY
Art Director | SEPHORA
CD | FACEBOOK
Photo Director | APPLE
Art Director | SEGA
Associate Creative Director | FACEBOOK
EVP Creative Director | MEKANISM
Creative Director | NORDSTROM
Art Director | OLD NAVY
Sr. Digital Marketing Manager | ASICS
Marketing Director | HASBRO
Sr Director, Photo & Creative | BANANA REPUBLIC
Design Lead | DOORDASH
Art Director | FACEBOOK
VP Creative Director | LYFT
Design Lead | NETFLIX
Art Buying Manager | STARBUCKS
Creative Director | PEREIRA O'DELL
Creative Director | ANOMALY
Personal Systems Creative Lead | HP
Creative Agency Lead | GOOGLE
Creative Lead | NETFLIX
Sr. Creative Director | DOLLAR SHAVE CLUB
Print Creative Lead | HP
SVP Creative Director | THE REFINERY
Executive Creative Director | DDW
VP Creative Director | BANANA REPUBLIC
VP Creative | DAVID'S BRIDAL
VP Group Creative Director | TECHSTYLE
Sr. Intgrtd Art/Content Prod. | 72ANDSUNNY
ECD | SID LEE LA
VP Creative | JUSTFAB
Sr. Art Director | NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP
Executive Creative Director | ELECTRO CREATIVE
Art Director | BANANA REPUBLIC
Managing Producer | GAP/BANANA REPUBLIC
Dir. of Art Production | INNOCEAN
VP Creative Services | WARNER BROS.
Global Creative Director | AMAZON STUDIOS
Art Director | VANS
Senior Director, Creative | OLD NAVY
Creative Director | INTERSCOPE
Sr. Integrated Producer | LINKEDIN
Head of Creative | GOOGLE
Creative Director, UX | VISA
Creative Lead | PAYPAL
Creative Lead, ACD | SALESFORCE
Sr CD Global Brand Imaging | NIKE
Chief Creative Officer | OMELET
Partner | WALTON ISAACSON
Chief Creative Officer | POP
Assoc. Creative Director | M/H VCCP
VP Creative Director | BLAIR
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