2 Minutes With … Tristen Norman, Head of Creative Insights for the Americas at Getty Images

Seeking out work that is underpinned by purpose, change or transformation

Tristen is a researcher and strategic creative lead at Getty Images. Leaning on over a decade of experience, she works across disciplines to understand what motivates image selection and identify shifts in our global visual language. She uses these insights to shape Getty's content and help brands make better choices. 

A passionate advocate for elevating underrepresented voices, she also plays a role in leading and supporting initiatives such as the Nosotros Collection and Project #ShowUs, as well as activations with advocacy organizations like SEEHER, Women's Sports Foundation and GLAAD.

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

Tristen, tell us …

Where you grew up, and where you live now.  

My family is from New York City by way of the Caribbean. My mother is from Jamaica and my father is from the Dominican Republic, but we have roots throughout the Greater and Lesser Antilles. Most of my life before turning 18 was spent in Brooklyn, but I've lived in a few other places up and down the East Coast. Today, I still live in NYC—West Harlem specifically—and I adore my neighborhood.

How you first realized you were creative. 

I have always been interested in making things, imagining things and reading things. I sewed, I drew, I danced, I choreographed, I sung (badly), I wrote, I created stories for a made-up newscast with my younger sister. I built elaborate spaces for my dolls and stuffed animals. I was always full of ideas and passionate about realizing them.

A person you idolized creatively early on. 

Aaliyah. At 11, I thought she was the pinnacle of artistry and still do. Also, I'm pretty sure that swoop bang belongs in the Black femme style hall of fame.

A visual artist or band/musician you admire. 

Kid Cudi is one of the most important artists alive today.

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

I recently saw Past Lives starring Greta Lee and it's been a while since I've been that deeply and profoundly moved. Plus, I learned the Korean word "inyun," which is about two people meeting over and over in the course of many lifetimes. How gorgeous is that take on fate?! 

Your favorite fictional character. 

Nadia from Russian Doll. She's a little bit debauched, a little bit harried, a little bit cerebral—and of course she has excellent style.

Someone or something worth following in social media. 

Hunter Harris! She has hilarious pop culture takes I live for and you should too.

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

The launch of Getty Images' Nosotros Collection was incredibly personal to me as an Afro-Latina, but also important in this industry given the size and influence of the Latine community.

A recent project you're proud of. 

I'm super proud of our latest partnership "Autistic Out Loud" that we launched with Hiki and Mindshare. The autistic community is one that's been woefully misrepresented by media in general. So, it's exciting to create content representing autistic people authentically, and also to work directly with autistic creators.

Someone else's work that inspired you years ago.

What Spike Jonze, FKA Twigs and Anderson Paak did for Apple Homepod a few years back was pretty special.

Someone else's work you admired lately. 

A dear friend of mine, Daniel Amoakoh, art directed an iteration of Nike's "Be True" campaign called "Be Legendary." It features ballroom legends and it's phenomenal.

Your main strength as a creative person.

My vision. I seek out work that is underpinned by purpose, change or transformation. 

Your biggest weakness. 

Attachment to said vision. I'm a bit of an idealist, so I can get rutted if I don't feel that magic or passion in the work.

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

Probably writing. Or making something. Or hosting something. Teaching something. Most likely all the above? All of these and then some are on the table for future me. 

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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