Chief Creative Director
My name is Cecilia Zalazar I am the Chief Creative Director with a large corporation.
I became the Chief Creative Director, head of the Creative Department as the result of a long career path and organic growth from Designer, to Creative Director and then Head of department this involved a lot of hard work and countless hours and a lot of “yes, we can do it”.
I manage a team of 25 print and web creatives including designers, art directors, creative directors, traffic, production, photographers and digital retouchers. I am in charge of conceptualizing campaigns and photo shoots for the portfolio of brands. We also create packaging, print ads, POP, and virtual content for websites and social media.
There is not really a routine to my role, while in the office I meet with the marketing and sales teams to receive briefs of projects, brainstorm with my team and create assets. I spend more than 30% of my time travelling for photo shoots and showroom setups.
As far as my career goes I have no regrets, I have taken every opportunity that was presented to me and move always forward. I don’t believe I could have done things at a slower pace; it’s just not in my nature as I am very passionate.
When I was young I wanted to be a fashion designer, started architecture and end up majoring in graphic design. I still love all of the above and I wish I had many lives to experience them all. But I am still young and one day I will have my own brand that will encompass all of my passions, a brand that today is my blog ellauniverse.blogspot.com
Being responsible at a very young age has been my motor and my challenge. I am an entrepreneur and leader by nature, so I believe that the best of me is yet to come. Being a woman in a still male dominated world is a challenge that we all encounter and I am not the exception. I am currently writing a book about Creativity and Women and the race to the top. Today amazing hyper-creative women struggle to get to the top, only 3% of Creative Directors are Women. I want to help change that, and with my already registered book: The Creative Btch I am going to explore the difficulties and walls the creative women has to literally knock down to move forward. You can follow my progress while I write my inspirational book on Facebook and Twitter.
I have accomplished a lot, survived many battles to create an inspiring environment for my team of creatives. We just won 2 awards this year and there are more to come. So I rate myself a 9+ for advanced difficulty and not a 20 how it should be, as I always want to find more room for improvement and I challenge myself to constant learning.
Secret of my success? Passion, talent, resilience and self assurance. Without these four pillars you can’t get to the other side. It’s not about one battle is about every day, every challenge, every person.
I was lucky to be young mother and work all the way. My daughter always kept me grounded on what’s important, a supportive husband has kept me stable and supported me throughout. I have always had a home to come back and recharge. I have suffered stress and politics and deception as any other natural leader, but I have seen success, growth and rewards. So life balances up when you have a strong core in your personal life and when you have the vision to see what is next, a purpose, if not nothing makes sense. Always look for a goal, for a dream, for a passion and they will give you the strength to continue.
Women are nurturing and natural mentors. As men have been hunters for a long time, we have been raising the future. So use that to your advantage, create your own management style from your feminized strength and go for it. We can multi-task and produce at a higher rate, we are stronger than what we think and what society imposes us. So let’s break the mould of what was before, it’s dated, it’s obsolete, we are the next big thing in management and leadership. So own it with stilettos and spikes.
What inspires me to do this job every day? My passion for what I do. I love design in all its expressions and I find inspiration in the people behind the stories of design. I learn from the masters, I learn from their process as I want to become one myself. So master your passion and you will be happy.
For young women entering the creative field my advise is always say “yes” and you will figure out later how to do it. Believe in your talent and work very hard. Many less smart and talented people have done it before. So believe in yourself and commit to it. Learn from the seniors and respect their path. They have been there and done that, so take the most you can from them. If they see your passion they will help you because it reminds them of themselves at your young age. They will mentor you, so be always very thankful and kind, because they are not obliged to do it. And dream BIG whatever that means to you, but always BIG!
No matter where you are in your life, employee or starting their own business be yourself always, be the professional you want to be from the very first day. Keep yourself updated, research, learn. And aim high while doing your job and take any opportunity that comes your way. The doers do, the rest just watch them do. The choice is yours!
For my legacy self inspiration (is the only motor in your life, you), example of resilience and unstoppable passion. There are still various projects that I have to give birth to, and they will be my true legacy: my book series and my lectures to young creative women, and of course, my experience brand Ella Universe. I already have a legacy to leave: I was able to be a loving and caring mother while having a successful career, and my legacy has a name and is making a path for herself today. That is a true accomplishment, the rest will be icing on the cake and I am going for the whole party.
“Don’t be delicate… Be Vast and Brilliant” _ unknown author. The author should be every woman that reads this quote. So go and take what is yours, whatever makes you happy, but remember what is most important don’t lose yourself in the process. Always be the best version of yourself.
Chief Creative Director