Meet Matt Clark, the newest addition to our team. An avid football and Star Wars fan, our new creative director has 20 years’experience working in branding, design for print, digital design and art direction at agencies from Manchester to Newcastle
Matt first started working with us on a part-time consultant basis last year and has recently joined our team full time. Here’s a little bit more about Matt and his impressive career to date…
You’re in an elevator, tell us all about you in 30 seconds…
I’ll begin from the start… having moved around the North East and Yorkshire amongst other places, I studied at Salford University in Manchester. I went into the creative industry after completing my university course, got married to my wife Louise, had two children (and a dog), and after working for a range of different agencies, decided The Works was where I wanted to continue my creative career.
Tell us something about you that not many people would know…
Due to me not having a broad New York accent anymore, most people would be unaware that I grew up in America. My family moved to New York state when I was 5 so I started my education across the pond. I was a pitcher for a baseball team, won trophies at bowling and played for the local ‘soccer’ team (and even though I was rubbish I was one of the star players). That’s also where I think I developed my slightly dodgy taste in music.
When did you first know you wanted to work in the creative industry?
I’ve always loved art and drawing for as long as I can remember, so I was fortunate that I knew my career would be in something creative. In fact, I was determined to be an architect until I realised the study lasted nine years! I studied Graphic Design at Newcastle College before moving to university in Manchester and from there I got my first job working in a local agency before I had even left uni. It was quite weird how I got the job, one day my lecturer asked me if I wanted a job, I nearly said no as I thought he just wanted a hand with some boxes or something, but the next minute I had an interview with an agency - the rest, as they say, is history!
What do you love most about working as a creative director?
I can honestly say I love every part of my job. The job is different every day but at the minute, I’m particularly enjoying working on our brand strategy and digital projects - I love seeing how an idea develops and a brand identity comes together. I have an interesting idea for an internal campaign so I will be sharing that with the team soon –that’s the thing about working in creative, you never switch off!
What is the most memorable moment of your career so far?
When I was in my late twenties (which seems like a lifetime ago!), I was selected in The Drum magazine’s ’30 under 30’- which highlighted exciting talent from all the creative industries. This was a big achievement as my work had been nationally recognised –that was cool!
What do you think is the most important thing about succeeding in our industry?
If there’s one piece of advice I would give to anybody in our industry, it’s to get involved in everything you possibly can. Yes, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses but you need to show you’re willing go out of your comfort zone and learn a wide range of skills. Also, I think no matter what your job is you need to be looking at what other people are doing, looking at the newest ideas and seeing how you can move with the fast pace of the industry.
Why did you decide to go back to working in an agency after working as a freelancer?
I started freelancing in 2015 after working in a Newcastle-based agency. I started to work with The Works as a freelancer and was involved in campaigns I really enjoyed, with a mix of really interesting clients. I realised freelancing wasn’t right for me at this point as I was enjoying working at The Works and focusing on the creative side of things, so it just felt right to start working with the team full time.
What is it you like best about working in an agency environment?
Agency environment or The Works?- there’s a big difference! I think agencies are all different and The Works is a more approachable environment, there’s no barriers and no walls (physically and metaphorically) so instead of feeling like there’s different teams, it all feels like we are one big team. Nobody just has one job, instead we all work together and spur each other on –everyone is passionate about what they are doing each day which is always good to see.
Lastly, what would be your dream creative campaign?
I'd say something for Honda as they have done the most creative and bold car campaigns for as long as I can remember and clearly have a brave attitude to marketing - which I like.
Matt is currently working across all parts of our business to create outstanding campaigns with our clients and we can’t wait to see what he brings to The Works team!