Thursday 23 September 2021

Q&A with Sarah Vincenzini and Kieran Moroney: AWARD School 2022 VIC Heads

As Associate Creative Directors at M&C Saatchi and VMLY&R respectively, Sarah Vincenzini and Kieran Moroney’s careers in creativity have been rewarding and impactful, channelled to influence change – and often for good. The two were recently announced as School Heads for AWARD School 2022 in Victoria, and will be hosting AWARD School’s 2022 application workshop on Tuesday 28 September (tonight!) to give potential students tips and tricks for submitting their best application. In the Q&A below, Sarah and Kieran share how an interest in creativity got them to where they are today, and why AWARD School is an invaluable career start for those who are creatively inclined.

What interested you in the role of AWARD School Head in 2022, or what made you decide to come on board to lead the program in Victoria with Sarah?

Kieran: Oh, that’s an easy one. What better opportunity exists to take the tough learnings I’ve had and turn them into something really useful and positive for the next class of world-changing creatives. 

And to do that with Sarah is great. She’s an unstoppable force. 

Tell us a bit about your background in and experience in creativity – what led you to the agency role you’re in today?

Sarah: I didn’t know that advertising was a real job, or what I really wanted to do, until I wasted a lot of money at uni. Like all kids of migrants, tertiary education was put on a pedestal in my family and so I never really considered that my obsession with making up stories (and 90s Michael Jordan commercials) could lead to an actual career. 

Once I discovered that advertising meant I could profit from my love of writing, drawing and deadlines, I chucked my degrees in the bin and taught myself Adobe Creative Suite so I could wrangle a start in studio. I did AWARD School then went from studio to junior art director to copywriter. Cut to <muffled> years later, and I’m ACD at M&C Saatchi Melbourne.

Kieran: You could say I’ve been conceptually responding to the world since putting a sandwich in the VCR in 1985. I’ve always had a great love of the arts; painting, sculpting, language, absurdist theatre, punk rock etc. But there came a time where I chose between being an artist for my own reasons and using creativity to impact more people through advertising.

So, over time I learnt to harness this responsive energy to do creative things for others. And for the last 15 years I’ve been in agency creative roles across Melbourne with the last six at VMLY&R Melbourne – formerly George Patts.

What creative project are you most proud of?

Sarah: During my second round of maternity leave, I developed Campaign Bechdel – a unique way to measure gender stereotypes in advertising. That project was a labour of love, and at the time led the conversation on gender equality and better representation of women in advertising here in Australia. It won some awards, but better than that, it resonated with people beyond our industry, influenced real change, and gave me free space to explore what I could do with my creative voice. Highly recommend turning your after hours ideas into a satisfying side hustle.

Do you think people are born creative or is it something that is learnt?

Kieran: Depends on how we want to define creative. There are those that perceive the world creatively and make stuff that is generally internally motivated. And then there are those that respond to the world and use creative action to solve a challenge outside of themselves. In the end, anyone can be creative. But whether you’re driven enough to turn up every day and make work that connects with people is another question. (‘Hell yes!’ is the best answer btw).

In your opinion, what kind of career opportunities exist for those who go through AWARD School?

Sarah: Aside from being the best way to get your foot in the door at an agency, AWARD School is like bootcamp for disciplined creative thinking. Every brief starts off feeling like a Rubix cube. The process of hammering at it from every angle until you come up with a banger creative solution gives you a money-can’t-buy attitude. Fostering that self-belief, or that reflex for innovative problem-solving is something you can transfer to any job, anywhere.

Why is the AWARD School application workshop on Sept 28 a must for someone considering applying for AWARD School next year, and who should apply? 

Kieran: Creativity, and learning how to channel it for effect, is the greatest skill in the world. How else does anything new, improved or completely rethought come into existence? The application workshop is a really great window into what AWARD School has to offer the creatively inclined, and for those already decided on a career in the creative industry, it’s an invaluable head start. 

For more information and to register for AWARD School’s virtual application workshop on Sept 28, tonight, at 6:30pm, go to:

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