A Week In the Life is a series highlighting different roles at Centerline. Each installment is an opportunity to learn more about the people of Centerline and the work they do—like Associate Creative Director Nick Beeson.
In the agency world, there is a common understanding that every project is made of moving parts. Even the most straightforward projects can require flexibility and adjustment at the drop of a hat.
Being adaptable and inventive is the name of the game for an ACD. Read on to learn more, and if you’re interested in a new role, check out our open positions.
Position: Associate Creative Director
Centerline anniversary: April 12
Location: Raleigh, NC (our headquarters!)
In-his-own-words job description: I support the creative director. We break down projects and decide where support is needed and where I can act as the creative lead. There’s a lot of variety in the work of an ACD ranging from a huge campaign to a PowerPoint deck and everything in between.
Alternate job title: Creative Swiss Army Knife
How do you define Centerline’s ethos, “Be Essential”?
Being essential is doing whatever it takes to make a project successful.
The most successful creative directors are the ones who don’t let their ego get in the way—they do what it takes. From demo videos to high-level projects, being essential is also being a life-long learner.
Describe your typical week in 5 words.
Unpredictable, variety, collaborative, fast-paced, never a dull moment.
How do you usually start your workday?
I try to start with some type of quiet time or meditation, even if it’s only 5 minutes, and a cup of coffee. I try to prioritize my mental well-being, so I can experience those benefits every day.
What’s something you do every day without fail?
Caffeine. I have to be caffeinated. The biggest thing every day is relying on those around me. I don’t feel like I have the perception that I have all the answers so I rely on those around me and the creative process to come to those answers, especially with people of different disciplines.
What have you learned being an Associate Creative Director?
I’ve learned and grown the most by getting closer to the creative and being in the trenches with other artists. Also, learning that it’s not just the look and feel of something, but how you speak to it and have conversations with others to cast that vision and push things creatively.
What are the tasks that happen most often per project?
Most often it is being flexible. 70% of our process is rigid, and the other 30% is where we call audibles and fix things on the fly.
How do you find balance in your workweek?
Running is a constant for me. Getting outside and getting away from my workspace is important in finding balance when working from home and I know I am a better creative, a better leader, when I take the time to step away and do something that is physically active. Also, spending time with my wife and kiddos helps ground me and keep my work/life balance.
How do you prioritize tasks?
This is something I am actively trying to get better at. Right now, I start each day with a punch-list. A lot of times what takes priority is what’s burning the hottest.
Any beginning of the week or end of the week rituals?
Sunday night I find a few minutes to take inventory of projects and map out my priorities for the week ahead. On Fridays, I take a few minutes to recap where everything is to make sure we’re closing out the week strong.
Are you more productive in the morning or afternoon? Beginning of the week or end of the week?
I’m a night person, but I’ve learned to be more productive in the morning hours. In this role, I have to be on top of things in the morning so I can set up the teams or creatives to get their work done. The beginning of the week is where I am the busiest, getting everything aligned for delivery at the end of the week.
What do you love most about working at Centerline?
The people. I get to surround myself daily with a bunch of chill, creative badasses. That’s inspiring and it pushes me to be better.
What have you learned about yourself through the work that you do?
I’ve learned that there’s always something more to learn, but it’s also important to be content with where you are on the journey. It’s important to see the process for what it is—personal and professional growth. If you can look back every month and see where you’ve been challenged and improved, that’s what it’s all about.
How do you keep going when things get challenging?
Whiskey. Juuuuust kidding…Kinda.
You know, it can be hard being new, but I am not a one-man band. It’s about trusting and building trust with other individuals and creatives on my team when things get challenging. I’ve learned when you keep things on yourself, you can expect it to get more challenging. When I start to get tunnel vision, things start to fall apart. Instead, I trust the individuals around me to be the experts in their field.
Anything on your desk or in your office you can’t live without?
When I started out in art school, my aunt bought me this 16” tall light-up gnome. His name is Luigi, and he’s gone everywhere with me. Many times while in school, he was the only light in the room while I worked.
What does your creative leadership background look like?
I started out as a game designer and 3D artist. That was my passion. I wanted to be an animator.
At some point I went into the agency world and saw new possibilities in work like live event production. So I focused on motion, print design, web design, and I moved to a bigger agency and got into video production and climbed the ladder from there.
My background is a mix of different facets of creative, which is what what allows me to speak to a bunch of different deliverables and incite creativity in a team.
Any tips for a new Associate Creative Director or someone looking to change jobs?
My best tip is to be open. Go into a new position with an open mind because each agency is different. Each agency has a different rhythm and cadence for things, so be willing to ask questions, roll up your sleeves, dive in, and figure it out as you go.
What’s the last app you used on your phone?
I’m a weather geek. My daughter and I are both weather geeks. The WRAL weather app.
What’s your most-used emoji?
What’s your communication style?
I’m a thinker and I like to have my thoughts compiled and collected before I respond to something. My communication style is conversational, so I like breaking through the weird business formality because it doesn’t feel authentic. When you can get people comfortable talking, then you can build a relationship from there and it will be more successful.
Favorite GIF of all time?