2 Minutes With … Giphy Vice President Alix McAlpine

On keeping it simple

Alix is a vice president of revenue at Giphy, overseeing advertising operations. Earlier, she served as director of international creative at BuzzFeed, leading branded content teams that helped scale the business across four continents.

We spent two minutes with Alix to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations and recent work she's admired.

Alix, tell us …

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I spent my childhood in Paris, but I think I really grew up in New York City, where I spent the majority of my 20s and early 30s. I now live in Los Angeles. 

How you first realized you were creative.

I've always been into arts and crafts. I started doing needlepoint in middle school. Later on, I hopped from medium to medium: cheeky needlepoints, lucite necklaces, abstract collages—and, more recently, textile arts. Being creative with my hands is a big part of my life, even if my output is often imperfect (which is always hard to accept as a Virgo).  

A person you idolized creatively early on.

I was very into my parents' surrealist art books as a kid; 12-year-old Alix was a total Magritte head. 

A moment from high school or college that changed your life.

Working for my college newspaper as the arts and entertainment editor was instrumental in helping me flex and grow my creative (writing) muscles. It also helped me meet people who made careers from their passions and talents.

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

I just saw André 3000 live a few weeks ago. How inspiring to see him find a new path for his creativity later in life. It was incredible: two hours of straight flute jams!

A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.

Life Kit never misses. I keep thinking of an episode they recently re-aired about How to Learn New Skills—so helpful! 

One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on. 

In 2022 and '23, I got to direct some shoots with my colleagues on the Giphy Studios team to create original GIFs, stickers and clips informed by some of our most popular search terms. I loved working with our team and local creatives. We built a 1970s living room and cast hilarious comics for a "Halloween House Party," and created a fictional kid's show made entirely of paper maché called Happy Place.

A recent project you're proud of. 

For Pure Leaf's Drynuary campaign, I worked to bring the brand to life in GIF form in really simple ways, inspired by GIFs we knew our users loved. One of the resulting GIFs has been viewed hundreds of million of times. 

Someone else's work that inspired you years ago. 

I think I sent François Rousselet's video for Pharrell's "Cash In Cash Out" to everyone I worked with when it came out. I realized later that he was part of the team that made the "D.A.N.C.E." video by Justice in 2007, which is one of my favorites of all time. It's something I've put on more than a few mood boards. 

Someone else's work you admired lately.

I just came across this Portland-based artist named Caity B. who makes THE coolest clothes. She upcycles clothing by drawing and sewing patches onto them. Some favorites: fish bag vest, bag of oranges top, heart doily suit.

Your main strength as a creative person.

Keeping it simple. Making it human. 

Your biggest weakness.

I sometimes get stuck in the details.

A mentor who helped you navigate the industry.

My first boss in the creative space, Leslie Bradshaw. She hired me to join the creative/design agency when I had no direct experience. I learned so much from her. I had the pleasure to work with her again as my career coach last year, and she helped bring clarity to how I add value beyond my tangible creative contributions. 

What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.

I love hosting crafternoons on my patio in L.A. and sometimes daydream about running a community space for arts and crafts. But, I imagine it would be incredibly stressful. I can barely handle hosting 10 people at my house. Imagine if they were strangers—ack!

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

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