You really should look at Miwon Seo’s LinkedIn profile. As VP, creative director at TBWA\WorldHealth in Irvine, California, you’d expect her to have some experience in various health-related fields. But Seo’s background reads like a primer in what CDs should bring to the table: a welter of experience in brands, therapies and clients ranging from Similac to endodontics, from Allergan to oncology. Chops’ ever-inquiring mind posed some questions to the Pacific Union College graduate:
So, what do you do all day?
Fight fires, solve problems and ensure that our team works as efficiently as possible for a better work-life balance and more time to create.
How would you describe life as a creative to someone who’s not familiar with your job?
Creatives are innate problem solvers — most people don’t realize this.
Did you ever think you’d be doing this? If not, what did you think you’d do?
In high school I presciently said my goal was to work in advertising because I loved the challenge of being creative in 60 seconds or a single page.
What can you point to in your past and your education that prepared you for this career?
I have a restless mind and a spirit for learning new things.
Any quirks in your career path? Odd jobs? Bad jobs? Cool jobs?
A lifetime ago, I interviewed at The Walt Disney Company in Burbank. Great campus, but not the career for me.
What’s the ideal office set up for you to do your best work? Quiet? Music, and if so, what? Open work space or closed door? Home or office?
Dogs in the office — they make everything better.
Name five things that help you do your job better.
- Fur babies at work
- Standing desk
- Limitless supply of La Croix
- Never stop learning
- Our team!
Statement shoes and rings, and designer collaborations — two creative brains are better than one.
What piece of work/project/campaign/creation are you most proud of?
Difficult to choose, so I’ll share my first project at my first job in marketing at a cochlear implant company. It was a video shoot where a 12-month-old heard for the first time in his life. It was definitely an “I’m not crying, you’re crying” moment.
What’s your favorite color right now?
Always green, never blue. Pantone’s color of the year is killing me.
Which individual has had the most influence on you as a creative?
My critical theory professor in grad school. Understanding the multiple approaches to interpreting content has been integral to everything I do.
Do you create on your own time? If so, what do you do and why?
I replenish, recharge and feed my soul so I can create.
Name a single piece of work, in any medium, that gives you the greatest pleasure.
Singin’ in the Rain — completely brilliant.
Name a single piece of work, in any medium, that leaves you thinking, I wish I had done that.
Beloved by Toni Morrison. It took my breath away with the beauty and agony of the craft.
Name a single work, in any medium, that leaves you wondering, How the hell did they do that?
I recently finished Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow. I’m astounded and humbled by the courage and resilience of Farrow and the women who came forward.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
Rescuing and training dogs.
How do you recharge?
Volunteer for a dog meat trade rescue organization.
What’s your happy place?
Drinking coffee and reading with my doggo.
Pastel or oil? Neither. A smooth ballpoint pen
Sound or vision? Both
Strings or horns? Strings
Clear or cluttered? Clear
Morning or night? Late night
Design school or liberal arts? Liberal arts