Creative Director Doug Murano knows a thing or two about storytelling. At HenkinSchultz, and as an accomplished writer and publisher, he explores new chapters every day and brings that experience to HS and our clients.
What originally attracted you to the business of advertising and your role as Creative Director?
I’m a big fan of the phrase, “Go where the energy is.” It prepares you to take chances and end up in unexpected places. That’s another way of saying I just kind of fell into the world of marketing.
Back in grad school, I failed to secure a teaching assistant spot in the English department and I needed a paying job to get through school. I heard the university needed a grad assistant/copywriter in their marketing department, so I applied. When I had my interview, I brought with me a class paper and a short story I’d written. My would-be boss looked them over and said, “You can write. I can teach you the rest.”
Just like that, my career was born. Since then, I have enjoyed working with dozens of creative pros over the years—one of my favorite parts of the gig is to watch talented people do what they do.
It’s a thrill – and as creative director – I get a front-row seat at the magic show.
Tell us about your writing and publishing business and any ways that influences your creative process?
I’m the owner and founder of Bad Hand Books, an independent, award-winning publisher of horror, crime and fantasy fiction. In that role, I’ve had the honor of working with some of the world’s bestselling authors.
My work at Bad Hand influences my process in two key ways: It keeps me hungry and it keeps me sharp. Pushing myself to hang onto the entrepreneurial spirit in my off hours feeds my competitive spirit and working with some of the world’s bestselling horror authors demands that I maintain a high level of professionalism and expertise.
That translates directly into the way I approach my role at HS because I can relate to clients as a creative pro AND a businessperson who understands the need for results.
Where do you seek and find inspiration for your work?
I find inspiration in stories—and every client has one. In discussions with clients, I push to find the heart of the organization’s narrative. What moves them? What drives their decisions? How do they fit into the community, the wider world?
Not only is that where the best creative comes from (because it is authentic), it’s also what causes me to become invested in the client’s success. One of the most important jobs I have as a creative director is to help clients understand the value and power of their story.
Be bold and share what superpower you possess.
I can identify, nurture, and bring out the best in the creative talent around me. It’s what makes me a savvy publisher who stays ahead of trends. It’s what helps me stay at my best as a creative director.
What do you find most rewarding about creating for advertising and marketing?
Let me reframe this a little. The most rewarding thing about working in this field is seeing my creative partners find something new in their toolbox and push themselves to be the best version of whoever they are.
I’ve always found that the best results (in art, in life) happen when the people around you are pushing into new territory and having fun. Creating energy, in other words. That results in discovery, which is the foundation of all great creative work.
Let’s Create Some Energy
Are you ready to create some energy and explore what is possible with your story? Contact HS at firstname.lastname@example.org.