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Today we are talking with Maxwell Griffin about his role as a Lead Associate Creative Director at Target.
Maxwell and I are former colleagues who worked together at adidas here in Portland, OR. One of the things I have always admired about Maxwell is his ability to create meaningful, creative content about just about any subject you put in front of him. Maxwell is filled with kindness and genuine care for others. Combine that with the passion he has for making an impact and his potential is absolutely unstoppable. I am so honored to know Maxwell and to be able to watch him continue to make his mark on the world in so many creative ways!
Now let's learn more about Maxwell...
Name: Maxwell Griffin
Lead Associate Creative Director
Time in Current Position: 1.5 years
Where Can You Connect with Maxwell?
Connect on LinkedIn!
What does a day in the life of a Lead Associate Creative Director look like?
In a nutshell, my day-to-day consists of working with business and marketing partners to develop creative concepts that will tell a story in the most impactful way. Partners come to my team with a specific moment or story that they’d like to amplify, and it is my role to take that information and bring it to life in a compelling, visual way – working alongside talented designers, videographers, photographers, and producers.
What roles did you have prior to your current role?
My career path was far from linear. Before this role, I was a Media Designer at adidas.
But, to rewind back to the beginning, I was actually a Sociology major with a Film/TV minor in undergrad where I also played collegiate soccer followed by four years professionally. I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do after I was done playing – I just knew that it was going to be with something involving sports. After a lot of grinding, networking and following my passion for storytelling, I was able to get a foot in the door position at adidas, and the rest is history.
How did your experience in previous roles help you succeed in your current position?
Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork! Playing competitive sports all my life taught me the value of teamwork and the collective. Since I work with so many different creative minds, it’s a beautiful thing when we can all come together to make one dope final product!
I will also say, when it comes to the design/creative side, my earlier role as a Media Designer also helped me tremendously because I was doing more hands-on work with videography, editing, design, and photography. I now go into projects with a HUGE appreciation and understanding of different roles that bring a project to life.
Is there any specialty training or area of expertise needed to succeed in your current role?
I’m a believer that in order to elevate your ideas, you have to first get your hands dirty with the technical work. Everything I know now was mostly self-taught, so for me, it was really diving in and understanding how to:
1) understand the principles of both photography and videography
2) learn how to use a lot of the Adobe Creative Suite software relevant to my work – Premiere Pro, After Affects, Lightroom, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.
In the early days (and even now!) YouTube tutorials were my best friend.
How do you think your job will change in the next 5 years?
It is changing as we speak! Content creation is forever changing by the day at a rapid pace. So as a creator, it’s my job to keep up. There are so many talented creatives these days pushing the boundaries of how we experience stories.
I think in the next five years, my role and the projects I work on will shift more from linear video storytelling to more immersive experiences that incorporate interactional web design and video experiences involving augmented and virtual reality.
What parts of your job do you find most rewarding?
Turning an idea into something tangible that evokes an emotion from the audience. If we can make the audience feel something – that is always one of the best feelings to me.
Are there any professional journals/organizations/etc. that someone interested in this field should be aware of?
Most of my inspiration came from Adobe’s platform, Behance, as well as Pinterest and Youtube. Behance and Pinterest more so for creative inspiration and Youtube for creative tutorials and how to improve my craft.
Another phenomenal resource that I can’t stress enough – if you have time, and are interested in the Creative/Design space, attend the Adobe MAX creative conference (it’s virtual, and free!). Trust me, you will be surrounded by the most creative and resourceful energy imaginable. Click here to learn more.
How did you find this career field?
Through a lot of networking, meeting people, asking questions, and ultimately challenging myself to learn about design and production. It was basically me cold-emailing people saying, “Hi I’m Maxwell. We don’t know each other, but I’m new here and would love to know more about what you do.” When I first started working in the “real world” after playing soccer, I had no idea what positions were even available in the creative space. Networking led me toward a lot of exploration into different design career paths. Long story short, after meeting so many people and understanding different jobs in design, I didn’t want to just focus on one thing like videography/editing, for instance. I wanted to touch every facet of design, and creative direction allows me to do that.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume?
I actually wanted to pursue Aerospace Engineering going into college. I was very into math/science/engineering throughout school and geeked out about everything related to outer space – I still do! My focus, of course, shifted to soccer in college but I hope to still one day find a link between my love for science/engineering and creativity/design. More to come!
Want to learn more about Maxwell??
Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn. There is a direct link at the top of the blog!
If you would like to be featured on the Talent Spotlight Series, please contact me here!
I would love to share your career journey!
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