#AgencyLife: An Interview With Creative Director Matt Sharpe

Written by

Erik Schmidt

“Sharpie” is the guy everyone wants to be around. No ego, plenty of ideas – and a thirst for doing things that haven’t been done before.

Here’s how our creative leader does business, in eight questions and answers.
 

What the hell does a creative director really do?

Every CD has their own answer here, but I try to lead by providing tools and space to bring our clients the smartest thinking. I like to work alongside our creatives, not dictate to them – whether we’re creating new campaign ideas or executing animated banners ads.

I’m also continually working on the new biz team to ever expand our roster. And encouraging coworkers to check out a new album I deem awesome (see below).

 

Creative directors can go wrong by…

Not placing trust in their creatives. Being domineering jerks.

 

Describe your creative department in three words.

Dedicated, smart and hungry.

 

What makes you feel joy at work? What irritates you?

Joy: Producing a smart, effective PSA campaign for a grateful client that has something important to say. We’re not always saving lives in this business, but there are moments when we get to make a difference.

Irritation: Negativity, clutter, and being in meetings that I didn’t need to be in.
 

What’s on your work-computer playlist right now?

Zonkey by Umphrey’s McGee. It’s a fun mashup album of past popular songs performed by the band. The mashup of the Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams, Corey Hart’s Sunglasses at Night and MGMT’s Electric Feel is particularly awesome. I also have the new Jim James album on repeat.

 

What should clients expect from you and your team?

That they’ll always get our best. We may not always nail it the first time, but we leave nothing on the field.

 

Most embarrassing client experience ever?

At my first job, we ran a full-page ad for one of our clients in a national news pub celebrating the life of the late Payne Stewart. It wasn’t until the CEO was enjoying his coffee while reading the Sunday paper that we discovered “Payne Stewart” was spelled a couple different ways in that ad (Stewart not Stuart). He was the first person to notice this … the CEO. I’ve always sweated the details since then.

 

Project you’re especially proud of?

Our new campaign for the Colorado Hospital Association coming out in January. Stay tuned!