In Focus: IAA Awards Interview with Brian Priest

This interview originally appeared on IAA Awards.

 

Interview with the 2018 Muse Creative Awards Winner - Brian Priest

 

1. FIRST, TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF, YOUR COMPANY, JOB PROFILE, ETC.

I'm a creative leader at Upshot, a mid-size agency in Chicago. My background is in branding and retail experiences. Upshot brought me on to build out their retail and environmental design team as more and more brands were looking to retail experiences to create powerful connections with shoppers. The work has changed and evolved over the years—from shoppers to consumers. And from stores to social. But as a creative leader, I have always considered myself part strategist, part brand builder, and part designer. I've lead hundreds of campaigns, programs, redesigns or repositioning, you name it—for some of the top brands in the U.S. But at the end of the day, my passion is always to captivate consumers, shoppers, and clients.

 

2. TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS AND WHAT YOU DO.

Upshot is a Chicago-based marketing agency that has been building brands and inspiring action for over 20 years. We call ourselves The Seamless Marketing Agency because that's how we think and how we work. It's also how we deliver bold brand ideas that resonate with how consumers experience the world—seamlessly. The result is creative that flows through digital, social, mobile and in-store environments. When it comes right down to it, we're a creative shop. A brand activation agency. Consumer marketing mavens. Shopper marketing specialists. Brand builders. Passionate people. And impassioned marketers. We develop creative solutions for some of the world's best-known brands, including Google, Starbucks, Corona, P&G, and New Balance.

 

3 WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE (3) FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT OUR INDUSTRY?/p>

1. I love that it never stops changing. 2. The change keeps me inspired and energized 3. And, it is great to just come up with cool stuff.

 

4 WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU IN YOUR LIFE AND WHY?

After deciding pre-engineering was really not my thing, I returned to my dorm room to thumb through the college catalog for new options. Commercial Arts, as it was called back then, was where I stopped. This led to my first design instructor. She saw talent in me that I never imagined I had. She taught me the fundamentals of great design and how to use a strange thing called a Mac Plus. Her inspiration ultimately led me to Chicago, and career I had never really planned.

 

5 IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE TO SOMEONE CONSIDERING A CAREER IN CREATIVE INDUSTRY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Even after being a creative for almost 30 years, I can still say, "I love what I do". (Well, most days.) And even on the bad days, I can't imagine doing anything else.