Christian ERICKSON

Executive Creative Director | ZEUS JONES

Christian is a Founding Partner and Creative at Zeus Jones where he works across many of the company's clients including General Mills, UnitedHealthcare and Nestlé. Prior to founding Zeus Jones he was a Group Creative Director in the interactive group at Fallon, where he worked on innovative and non-traditional projects for clients like BMW and Nordstrom. Christian is also a longtime indie musician and producer and recently released an album based entirely on his favorite episode of “Doctor Who” from the 80s.

questionnaire

1. What was your very first job? What does it feel like to look back at it now? 
My very first job was packing boxes for a software company. The job was simple - take a floppy disk, take a manual, put them in a plastic bag and put all of that into a a shipping box. The task was boring but the environment was interesting because they were a small startup that was beginning to get national recognition.
2. Please describe, in your own words, what your current job is and what work it entails.
As a partner at Zeus Jones I’m still involved in day-to-day creative and strategy work across a number of clients, but also responsible for nurturing the culture and expertise of Zeus Jones itself. We’re a very people-centric business and are always looking for new ways to unlock the creative potential within  ourselves and  our clients.
3. How did you discover that the creative world is right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? Which train of events did bring you to where you are today?
I grew up in the 80s when creativity and technology were merging in new ways and becoming more accessible to kids like me. I got my first computer - a Commodore PET - at age 9 and my first synthesizer at 15. Being able to create pictures and stories and music on a daily basis was magical. So I never stopped doing it.
4. In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how and where do you usually find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?
Honestly most of it comes from outside the industry. There is certainly brilliant commercial art out there, but in most cases commercial creative work is a fast-follower of culture, rather than a creator of it (there are some notable exceptions of course). Gen Z and late-millennial culture are particularly inspiring because their cultural artifacts tend to be very multi-layered mashups of all kinds of influences and disciplines. I love that.
5. If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be?
The work I’m most proud of is not overtly visible to the public. It’s the fact that we’ve helped some very large business re-think how they practice marketing and how they practice business. We’ve help create new processes, new ways of thinking and new frameworks that have completely transformed the culture of some of these companies. Knowing that we have had an effect that goes well beyond the work we are directly involved in is very gratifying.
6. Which creative disciplines do you commission most, and are most interested in seeing more of and why? (ie photo, film, social, experiential, vr, etc)
Film and other visual storytelling media are becoming a bigger and bigger part of what we do, but honestly I’m very interested in how people are using emerging media like AR/VR and other experiential tech.

 

 

jury

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