#WFH Diaries: Freelance Creative Director Matt Stiel

As coronavirus lockdowns linger around the globe, Muse is checking in with creative people to see how they're faring. Below, we catch up with freelance creative director Matt Stiel.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

People studier, curious to all things in life, creative director and artist.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

Currently living/working in Chicago with my Kari (girlfriend) and Quinn our cat.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

I worked at FCB Chicago for five years, but left to freelance and have been doing that for the past two years. I just finished up a gig at Edelman, and currently I'm working on a side project for John Blais—an amazing photographer friend. Just finished up doing a rebrand for him and now working on updating his website.

Describe your socializing strategy.

I've been staying connected with friends and family via FaceTime. Also playing lots of games online through my Nintendo Switch. Along with chatting with others in the industry (Mark Moll), I'm staying sharp by passing ideas back 'n forth trying to see what good we can offer others.

How are you dealing with childcare, if applicable?

Luckily, I don't have any. But who knows, with all this spare time...

What are you reading?

I'm reading Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up.

What are you watching?

Currently binge watching: The Last Czar, Medici the Magnificent, The Crown.

What are you listening to?


How are you staying fit?

Um, next question.

Have you taken up a hobby?

Does staring out my window 8-15 times a day count?

Any tips for getting necessities?


An awkward moment since all this started.

Forgetting to wear my mask while walking out and about, and stopping at the corner store, only to be wonder why people were giving me dirty looks. While reaching into my pocket, I remembered that I forgot to grab my mask before leaving the house. It's not nearly as embarrassing as feeling stupid.

Best work email you got since all this started.

Haven't gotten one yet.

An aha! moment since all this started.

Buckle up! This is is going to be the new norm for a while, or at least life will be very different moving forward.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

I believe this is only the beginning. It will become more common as we encroach into other animals' habitats. I don't expect this to be the last pandemic we have in our lifetime.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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