CCGX25 Backstage Pass: Daryl

What happens when you throw creativity, innovation, a knack for cubicle jam sessions, partial lack of an indoor voice and over 20 years of industry experience onto a single office chair? You get Clark Creative Group’s Creative Director Daryl Anderson. As an industry veteran, Daryl runs a tight ship in our creative pit — where his creative edge is beyond razor-sharp when it comes to design, branding, strategy and marketing trends.

JACK: How long have you been at CCG?
DARYL: 16 years and counting.

J: What were you doing before CCG?
D: I was working for a company in the health industry as an in-house art director. There were three of us in the Marketing Department, essentially working as a small agency for the mother company and its three subsidiaries. Before that I managed the Art Department for Baker’s Supermarkets in Omaha and Oklahoma, as well as their warehouse stores. Prior to that I was an art director in the fashion and beauty industry and a freelance illustrator and designer. I had quite the resume by the time I was approached by CCG.

J: Talk about how your fine art background has impacted your career as a graphic designer and art director.
D: I think I was born with a box of crayons. All I ever wanted to do was draw. The only question my parents ever asked was, “How will you make money?” My high school art teacher submitted some of my early work to Northwest Missouri State University, where I received a scholarship into its highly regarded Department of Fine and Performing Arts. That’s where I learned and practiced the principals and elements of art. It’s this core learning that I still carry with me today when I approach, direct or critique any project.

J: As the creative lead, no day is the same around the office – discuss the pros and cons of working in a free-flowing environment.
D: For me, the biggest pro is diversity. We have a wide client portfolio, which demands a lot of new and original creative development. That’s my jam, and really the entire I reason I got into this business. But developing new and original creative is also a constant brain drain – that’s the con.

J: What’s one thing most people don’t know or wouldn’t expect about your job?
D: I don’t think people understand that creatives are constantly “on.” You literally absorb everything around you all the time. Anything or anyone can serve as an influence and/or inspiration.

J: What are some pros and cons of working at a small agency?
D: For me, the pro is that I can get my hands dirty in a lot of different areas – from developing new brand identities and creating strategic campaigns to directing super talented creatives and helping produce video. A con, which in all honesty isn’t really a con, is that in a small agency you do it all. There is no production department. You’re the production department, too. If you need something “comped” up, you better know how to use a X-Acto Knife.

J: How does CCG foster a strong work-life balance?
D: Family life is very important to the Clarks. So work-life balance is a very important aspect of the CCG culture. We are a mighty, 17-strong team that handles the work of an agency of 100. Time-off is readily granted for any of life’s little hick-ups. We enjoy early Friday outs from Memorial to Labor Day. Taking vacation time is stressed. We love our city, so you will also find that several of us are actively engaged in the Omaha community in various capacities.

J: How do you enjoy spending your free time?
D: If you’re talking vacation time – it’s travel. Whether it be camping somewhere in the Rockies or traveling abroad, experiencing new places is what really charges my battery. On a daily basis though, it’s spent with some form of physical activity, time with friends, cooking, gardening – I can go on and on.

J: Let’s get into some favorite memories at CCG. Tell us a story you’ll never forget – it can be about the staff, culture, clients, projects, anything.
D: That’s a big net. One of my favorites would have to be a summer party at the Clark’s lake cabin. All of us cruising around on their pontoon boat, drinking electric lemonade, singing at the top of our lungs and dancing. If I recall it correctly, I may have ended up wearing Lisa Meehan’s sarong. 

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