There's nothing we enjoy more than asking one of our fantastic candidates to take a moment out of their busy schedules to tell us a little bit about who they are and what they do - and we're lucky enough to be joined by super talented creative director Tava who has very kindly answered our many questions about her career! What a legend. Enjoy!
What's your name, and what do you do?
Hi! My Names Tava O'Halloran - I’m a Creative Director who specialises in conceptual thinking, innovation, big ideas and experiential marketing/events - basically an Ideas Man(lady)
Tell us a little bit about your background:
I have spent the past 13 years working on forward-thinking concepts, uncovering trends, creating community and cultural movements, building strong messages, imagery, experiences and unforgettable brand atmosphere. Knowing that incredible ideas need to translate into brand exposure and awareness – and ultimately to increase revenue and strengthen customer loyalty.
What sparked your interest to become a creative director?
Since I was a very little girl I’ve been obsessed with drawing-snipping- craft- collaging-making-projects, dioramas and coming up with crazy ideas. As my dream job of a ‘get away driver’ isn't listed on Mumbrella very often I choose the more practical and legal path of Creative Director.
How do you think creativity is changing the world around us?
Creativity has been shaping the world since the beginning of time but digital trends and social media is making it more apparent in the everyday world. Users are now capturing and sharing their ‘creative interaction, consumption and life’ for the world to see. Causing the influx of crossover of creative ideas and commercial strategy. Forcing commercial industries to be more creative, thoughtful and alternative in their approach to connecting with their target market.
Who are some of your favourite Australian artists/designers/writers?
Baz Luhrmann, Jenny Kee, Norman Lindsay, Ignatius Jones, The Australian Ballet Company, Justin Hemmes, Angus and Julia Stone and the recently refurbished Australia Museum (which is spectacular) Now that's a dinner party I’d like to go to!
What are some of the online resources you use for inspiration?
I don't have a set of ‘go to’ inspiration web pages bookmarked. My online ‘worm holing’ is mostly done with specific ideas in mind but I am more likely to look to books, history, nature, pop cultures, fashion, architecture, and technology for inspiration.
What's your preferred social media site, and why?
I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. Love that I can daydream about exotic locations around the world, drool over all the mid century houses in LA I want to move into, see what my friends and family are up too etc but hate the false culture being created that projects a 'perfect life' and how this is starting to negatively effect some users. Like we need another platform to start feeling bad about ourselves!
What does a typical day for you involve?
Without being a cliché, no days are alike. It depends on the project I’m working on but the bones of a day will be something like this; researching, decoding briefs, working with the strategy and creative teams, sketching ideas, writing creative copy, creating mood boards, staring into middle distance, actually white walls are preferable it helps me think (trust me I’m working not just daydreaming) loads of coffee, lunch at my desk and walking around to think through more ideas, making mock-ups and then getting it all down into presentations.
How does living and working in Sydney influence your work?
Since moving back to Sydney two years ago my work has been more ‘polished and commercially viable’ Sydney is very beautiful but quite serious in its approach to creative ideation. This has been a good lesson in harnessing my skills and listening to what the market needs as my approach was a little ‘wild west’ before Sydney
What is a favourite project of yours that you've worked on and why?
I have two projects.
Recently I worked on a multi-billion dollar Australian tourism resort complex. Ideation and conceptualising what does the future of Australia lifestyle, tourism and entertainment look like, There was no budget limitations, no health and safety restrictions and it needed to be inspiring people to traveling across the world to visit. Now, that's a brief that doesn't come up often! It was an amazing journey to be involved on.
And the second was creating my own mini-empire of nightclubs and bars in the UK.
Do you have any advice for people who want to follow in your career footsteps?
Be nice to people, working in the creative space can be surprisingly vicious and battlefields for the ego, so kill them with kindness and then smash them with your AMAZING ideas! Oh and never give up! - that's a family motto of ours!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
From my Dad, but I didn't take it. Some days when I think ‘I just wish I had a normal job’ I think of him saying "You’ll be happy if you go for a good reliable position at David Jones" - David Jones was his bench mark of what a great company was. Now if David Jones is looking for a Creative Director to get the Christmas windows to dwarf Saks Fifth Avenue in New York... then I’m your gal! Imagine taking my Dad to go see the windows I'd done!
What do you like about being an Artisan candidate?
The personal and thoughtful approach.
Why would you recommend Artisan to a fellow creative?
I loved how they got to know me, my work and career aspirations before just blindly jumping in and farming me out to any old client.
What question do you wish we’d asked you, and what would your answer have been?
What are you working on now?
Funny you asked, something VERY exciting. Chambers of the Heart - It’s an experiential, interactive event space to celebrate the heart. Embracing, sharing and exploring love. Not just in the romantic sense but in all aspects of life, community, friendship, traditions, pop-culture and misconceptions.
An uplifting, fun, experiential installation that will inspire and enrich so many people, especially in a time when we all need to support, care and love each other. Using multi-mediums such as sensory experience, Virtual Reality, optical illusions, and installation art, it will be a thoroughly immersive, world of wonders... This is one of my own projects and currently talking to a few companies for partnership deals. Get in touch if you want to know more about this amazing project!
Thanks so much, Tava - what an accomplished and fascinating career you've had, we're so thrilled to have you on Artisan's books! If you'd like to work with Tava, get in touch with the team here are Artisan Recruitment - our Sydney office can be reached on (02) 8214 4666.