2 Minutes With .... Lauren Hartstone, Partner & Executive Creative Director at Sibling Rivalry

On Spencer, Legendary and streaming experiences

Lauren Hartstone is executive creative director at Sibling Rivalry. Previously, she worked as a creative lead at Gretel and Imaginary Forces. Lauren has experience with many major brands such as Apple, HBOMax, Google/B&H, Audible, CPE, Amala, FX, VSPOT, TCM andTeachable.

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

Lauren, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

Connecticut to Westchester, N.Y., by way of Brooklyn.

Why you pursued a career in entertainment.

I believed (and still believe) in the incredible, all consuming, and emotive power of graphic design combined with film, and sound. I was obsessed with Saul Bass, Mike Mills, David Fincher, Wes Anderson, Pablo Ferro, Sofia Coppola, Hitchcock … and I just set my mind to finding a way in. Sounds like a funny collection of inspiration but I think design threads through all of them. 

Three movies/TV shows you couldn't do without, and why.
  • Six Feet Under - This is the first show that really had me hooked emotionally on every level. It was dark, beautiful, funny and cinematic. It really made me think about TV differently and I think was part of that transition from sitcom to filmic, high quality dramas.
  • Mad Men - Design was such a fundamental part of the show and the brand. I loved every single detail and never skipped the titles (not just because they were made by dear friends of mine!)
  • Succession - Completely obsessed. I love the dialogue and bizarre family dynamics. Very sad it’s over.
Your favorite movie trailer or poster.

Currently, my favorite poster is Spencer. I had the honor of voting for this one at the Clio Entertainment Awards this past year. I couldn’t stop staring at it —I love how the dress just drowns her in darkness. Some older favorites include The LobsterNocturnal Animals, I'm Still Here. I am a huge fan of designs by Neil Kellerhouse and Akiko Stehrenberger.

One of your favorite projects you've ever worked on, and why. 

One of my all time favorite entertainment projects is the identity, marketing and social content we created for Legendary, a ballroom competition show released on HBO Max in 2020.

I genuinely love telling stories that go deeper into the lives and passions of under-represented cultures, and this particular project was an opportunity to learn about the history of voguing and the power and beauty within the ballroom community.

This was also the first time we were hired to create both the show branding and show marketing simultaneously (through Scout Productions and HBO Max respectively). It is very rare to get to approach an entertainment brand so holistically and this collaboration not only allowed for a more seamless experience, but ultimately more powerful and cohesive creative.





A recent project you're proud of. 

I am incredibly proud of the work we have done over the past few years to reimagine and launch Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball as streaming experiences.

One thing about how entertainment marketing is evolving that you're excited about.

Despite the rise of A.I., I believe there is actually a return to authenticity that is bubbling up. Marketing that relies on gimmicks, overt star power or billboards that yell with their dimensional structure or effects are becoming rapidly less effective. People (especially young people!) can smell a lack of authenticity a mile away. 

That Spencer poster was a great example of a break from eye candy. It grabs you with a smart idea and pure, raw emotion. I am excited to see how this type of work will continue to break through and evolve.

Someone else's work, in entertainment or beyond, that you admired lately.

I have recently been loving the work of my friend, Karin Fyhrie. Her design, photography and emotive AI explorations always offer a fresh perspective. And on the brand side, I have so much love for the new Heinz identity and campaign.

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

I am currently re-discovering the work of Martin Amis. He is one of my favorite authors and he just passed away a few weeks ago. I’ve also been binging on Jim Stengel's The CMO Podcast. Some great insights from Ukonwa Ojo, Dara Treseder and Melissa Waters.

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

My husband, Leo O'Connor. He works at Paramount and is an amazing musician in his spare time.

Your favorite fictional character.

Tom Wambsgans and Fleabag. Quite possibly for the exact same reasons.

Someone worth following in social media.

@visuelle.co.uk/ for design
@romanandwilliams for interior/architecture
@fancybethany and @wrightprojects for photography
@nowness for art/culture/film

Your main strength as a marketer/creative.

I am incredibly passionate about every project I take on. I sincerely love the work and have no problem sticking with it from the 50,000 ft view to the tiniest of details. 

Your biggest weakness

See above. The last year I have been working towards letting go a bit more, trusting my team to do their job. It is better for their growth and for the creative to have a wider point of view. 

Something people would find surprising about you.

I am an avid runner. I just ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon. Exercising is the fuel I need to be creative. 

One thing that always makes you happy.

Listening to my children, Eliza and Sophie, tell me about their day over dinner.

One thing that always makes you sad.


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

I am very interested in hospitality, interior design and travel. I could see myself creating design centric experiences in that world.

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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Jessica MacAulay
Jessica MacAulay is a contributor for Muse by Clio. She's also a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder's College of Media, Communication, and Information.

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