The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?
Katie Reardon Sellon: Katie Reardon Sellon, Freelance Creative Producer of commercial and photo content on both agency and production side.
TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?
KRS: When I'm home I practice yoga. I love the feeling of turning everything else off and getting out of my head. Being a producer, you seem to always be multitasking and planning ahead -- I can't be like that in yoga class. Seeing where my brain goes after class is always a good barometer for where I should be focusing myself for the week ahead. For example, if I come out of class feeling like I'm full of rad ideas for cool projects I know I need to focus on my creative side for the week to come.
My husband and I also love traveling. Most recently that's meant traveling in our van. We are really into road trip mode and have found that the feeling of van life -- going with the flow and exploring wherever the road takes you -- has been a great addition to our creative lives. We shot a ton of amazing photos while on the road last and it inspired us to pursue more adventure/lifestyle type clients for our work.
TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?
KRS: No I don't -- but I think that's the nature of the video and photo commercial side of the creative industry in particular. Everyone I work with seems to have this underlying understanding that we all need to hustle on our side projects to keep our day job skills fresh. It's just how it works. Take risk on weird art and that will push commercial work to keep up and be more creative. And on top of that, I feel like I've been really lucky to have clients that give my teams a lot of creative freedom to make work we are proud of both professionally and creatively.
TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?
KRS: I feel like I'm really receptive to good light. I get the most done when I'm one mug of coffee in for the day and the morning light in my dining room starts to get just right. Some really killer production spreadsheets and reference decks have been made during that light.
TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?
KRS: When I left my full time job in advertising to work as an independent freelance producer I decided that my north star for my career goals would be to make myself known as a producer you hire on projects that need a strong level of creative collaboration. Some of my best projects have been ones where the creative team brought me because they felt I was a good fit for the script. Getting that sort of creative-based recommendation makes me really proud, so I want to keep trying to make that happen. This means staying tapped into what and how art directors and copywriters exist in the industry, not just my fellow producers. I'd also really like to produce more projects that utilize dogs, cute kids and van road trips this year. Send me those scripts, guys!
TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?
KRS: I recently finished producing and helping concept a shoot for my friends' band, The Flavr Blue. It was really nice to not just be trusted with the producing, but also some of the art direction. My husband shot the photos. To concept the work we decided it was best to just go walk around the hardware store until we felt inspired. Queue these weird metallic fluorescent light screens coming into play! We are super proud of how these photos turned out and even more proud to have friend-clients to work with that trust us with creative collaboration on set.
TCU: What does success mean to you?
KRS: I think I'm in a transition right now with how I define success. When I was working full time at an ad agency, I felt really fulfilled and happy when I was assigned to bigger gigs and given bigger titles or industry awards. Now that I'm working independently, I have put a lot more value in working with teams that I love and connecting people who's work I really respect. Finding folks that love what they do, really love it, makes me feel like I have succeeded on a job. To me that's why I've gravitated towards producing -- I love figuring out what people are really good at and rounding them up to build a good crew. A successful set now to me means one where everyone trusts each other and we all get to do what we are best at. Good work and good energy will always come from teams that trust one another.