Creative Circus Alumni Spotlight – Alex Morgan
Freelance Sr. Creative at Weber Shandwick & Freelance Creative Director at TCG Collective
#AlumniSpotlight The Creative Circus graduates the most sought after creatives in the industry. Take a moment to read about the lives, careers & personal stories of some of our fantastic alumni.
Advice to the Graduating Class:
Here’s a few:
- Some of the best work comes from what might seem at first like a lousy brief, so look for ways to put your foot in it anyway!
- Look for shops that let you do work that can contribute something meaningful to the world with a net positive outcome. Companies are dying for these kinds of ideas.
- Work with smart and fun people whenever possible. A great squad with good energy helps to prevent burnout.
Advice to the Incoming Class:
Two pieces of advice:
- This might sound obvious but BE NICE! And outgoing. And not judgmental. The people in your class are your greatest asset. They are not just your classmates, they are your lifeblood in this industry. These folks can get you jobs and move your career forward. Go to all the things and hang out with all the people. The guy/gal you thought was a lemon might turn out to be a dope creative in a few quarters. The old platitude goes: your network is your net worth.
- WORK ETHIC! If you have coasted through life up until now, that is about to change kiddo. You will inevitably have too much work on your plate. This is intentional because it mirrors real life. You will not finish it all, but you’d better try. Set milestones, manage expectations, be transparent, and pull your weight. Make sure you are ready to put in the hours, ESPECIALLY in collaborations. Nobody likes a weak link. Easiest way to get passed over as a partner is to phone it in.
Oh, P.S. they make you do a short little speech when you graduate. Nobody told me that and I regret not saying something more meaningful.
What do you wish you knew in school?:
While you are focusing on the technical aspect of becoming a creative, don’t forget to practice the art of communication. You have to be able to articulate your good idea so people know it’s good. The difference between an AD/CW/Designer and a CD is the ability to put people at ease and make them believe in you.
Also, don’t be afraid to go to sleep! Your brain needs it.
What does the Circus mean to you?:
For me the Circus was a way forward. I’d always been an artistic person but never really wrapped my head around how to monetize that. I also met my wife there, which they tell you not to do. WORTH IT.
Describe a monumental, light bulb moment for yourself while you were at The Circus:
Part 1. You can work really hard on a bad idea, and it’s still a bad idea, no matter the execution. Don’t be discouraged when you get to a milestone review after many hours of working on something, and somebody yanks the bottom block out of your precariously cobbled Jenga tower of an idea. Ask why, ask them to be as specific as possible with their feedback, and carefully consider their opinion.
Part 2. Believe in yourself! Your instructors are not infallible. They too are humans who get things wrong. Maybe they had a bad morning. Maybe they don’t see the vision. If you know you’re right about something, get some more opinions. If literally everyone says it sucks, refer to part 1 and let it go.
Favorite project you’ve worked on:
Fresh out of school in 2010 at my first small agency gig, I had the opportunity to create a nationally televised DJ competition reality show called Master of the Mix. Our small, now defunct shop in Castleberry Hill created this content property with Smirnoff’s brand team to help push real DJ culture into the mainstream (while selling vodka, of course). We did three full seasons of 30-minute episodes that aired on BET and VH1, had over 34 million viewers and over 300 million impressions. And most importantly for the client, we helped increase case sales of vodka. Our tiny shop made huge ideas that top agencies ended up also working on. Lots of stories good and bad (ask me sometime), but ultimately this was my favorite because it tied in my lifelong passion of DJing. In the process I became good friends with a few of my DJ heroes.
I just re-launched my portfolio at whatifalex.com check it out!