CONFESSIONS OF A CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Photographs by Andrew Pieroni
Ever wonder what it takes to become the creative leader of a world-famous agency? We sat down with Patrick Maravilla – a CCO with an incredible journey to the top. Learn his secrets to the trade, tips and tricks for those starting out and some real life, success-driven advice for your entire career as a creative.
Patrick has an insatiable skillset that has lead him to great success in his creative career. Growing up in Alaska, he’s had a pretty full life and has gone from comedian to copywriter, creative director to SVP. Claiming to have once bought Tom Morello a drink, then bragging about his Guitar Hero winnings; Patrick is a new-age creative with lots of energy, wit and an impressive background. He can grow a beard that makes LeBron James’ best friend jealous and he sold his first screenplay in 2013, (although he’s still doing rewrites). Fun facts include: teaching and performing improv comedy for 19 years and buying David Hasselhoff breakfast once.
An incredibly creative (and pretty humorous) mind, Maravilla began with a love for creative writing and improv comedy, but what kind of career could he make out of that? Advertising proved to be the perfect landscape for his creative output.
“I really wanted to be a creative writer and I was writing sketch comedy in college and then I found out there was a job that lets you write sketch comedy and then film it”.
An avid supporter of the advertising industry, Patrick sees it as a place where art meets business.
After graduating his undergrad, he was hired in New York, but decided to go back to a portfolio school after realizing he wasn’t doing the work he truly wanted to do,
“I wasn’t able to do the kind of work I really wanted to so then I stepped out of the industry and went to an ad program / graduate course like Miami Ad School that was able to get me the networking and the portfolio I needed to take the next step up”.
A network is crucial and in a dog-eat-dog environment, it’s difficult to create the relationships you need to stay afloat. Maravilla shared advice for any new, eager and aspiring creative:
“When I got out of ad school I was super competitive – I wanted to sell every brief I wanted to produce every commercial I wanted to be the writer that wrote the headline that got into the award show manuals, or I wanted to be the writer that wrote the commercial that did this and that and I think that cost me. I missed a lot of good friendships and a lot of good relationships because of that – because I had my priorities a little bit mixed up.”
Mentorship is a crucial and incredibly helpful part of the industry, but how do you land the right one? Instead of zeroing in on just one person, Maravilla looks to everyone as a mentor:
“I try to learn from everyone – and I think creatives by nature like to feel like they’re appreciated – you do that from getting positive reinforcement – so if you find yourself growing under someone and looking at things and doing things better and different, it’s probably a good idea to stay close to that person. You should be able to learn from everyone and everyone should be your mentor – even now I’m senior but i still look at people that I work with and say “oh thats a good idea” or “oh that’s a good way to do that.”’
Now, Patrick Maravilla is the copywriter and creative director for dozens of award winning and big-time advertising campaigns including top winning #1 Super Bowl campaigns with stars like Lebron James, Paul Rudd and Seth Rogan. See some of them below!
Client: Slim Jim