2 Minutes With ... Karen Hart, VP of Creative and Content at Reach
Karen Hart is not a stereotypical "Karen." She loves human emotions, problem solving, synchronicity, chic 'tude, moodboards and being a mom. Karen unapologetically uses ellipses to convey thought. She has been with Reach Agency since 2014 and is currently their vice president of creative and content.
We spent two minutes with Karen to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations and recent work she's admired.
Karen, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I grew up in Philadelphia and now live in Los Angeles.
How you first realized you were creative.
I suppose from the way I created games for my younger sisters as a kid. I would make up games like the letter game or house clue game and develop them from scratch with rules, challenges, incentives and rewards. I'm not sure if they know that I made them up?
A person you idolized creatively early on.
I was and still am obsessed with the blurred, undefinable mixed art of Rauschenberg. My grandmother had a fantastic collection of his work that I loved since I was a child.
A moment from high school or college that changed your life.
It would be living in Israel during my junior year of high school on a study abroad program called Alexander Muss.
A visual artist or band/musician you admire.
Polo & Pan—their music is loving and welcoming and their shows are such high energy and their visual performance is so thoughtfully curated and designed. They've been my vibe for like four years now and I can't wait to see/hear what’s next.
A book, movie, TV show or podcast you recently found inspiring.
Your favorite fictional character.
Someone or something worth following in social media.
Design Hotels—they provide me with so much design inspiration, visual escapism, dreamy hotel and travel inspiration.
How Covid-19 changed your life, personally or professionally.
I learned what being depressed actually means and that it is not something you can actually fathom, define or describe to someone who hasn't experienced it. Through this, I really learned how to rely on my personal (not professional) creativity as an outlet for expression.
One of your favorite creative projects you've ever worked on.
I developed the social media strategy for the first season of The Voice and was "the voice" and visual storyteller on social behind the scenes for a few of the artists. Who wouldn't want to sit and listen to Christina Aguiliera and Cee-Lo sing and teach other music talent on set?!
A recent project you're proud of.
DiGiorno launched a new pizza called Fully Stuffed and we launched a soundtrack to celebrate it on TikTok. Combining seven different unique talents, they each created their own Fully Stuffed Track. #FullStuffedSoundtrack
Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.
Levi's Circles is forever a favorite. I love what it represents around unity and togetherness and individuality. Created by FCB, led by CCO Karin Onsager-Birch.
Someone else's work you admired lately.
MaryLiz Bender is an artist and storyteller that I discovered in Bacalar Mexico at Habitas. She is creating stories about space (and cosmic perspective) through sound and sharing knowledge on the #OverviewEffect in the most spectacular of experiences.
Your main strength as a creative person.
I'd say paying attention to human behavior and the human truths of life.
Your biggest weakness.
It's saying "No, I can't take anything else on right now." Oh, AND not drinking enough water.
One thing that always makes you happy.
Hugging my son.
One thing that always makes you sad.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.
I'd be running a glass bottom boat for snorkeling trips in the Caribbean or Asia. And planning trips for people all over the world. But even with either of these professions—I would of course have incredible branding and a stellar marketing strategy.