In our Industry Interviews, we ask one of our Shillington Team to interview a creative they admire—this can be a friend or someone new from across the creative spectrum. Next up, Shillington’s Head of Marketing & Communications Laura Carrick chatted to one of her creative crushes Lauren McCurry, founder of Ballet Season.
Laura is a Tasmania-born, New York-based marketer, photographer and creative producer. She told us she wanted to interview Lauren because “[she] first discovered Ballet Season on Instagram and was immediately drawn to the copywriting and conversational nature of Lauren’s posts. I followed the studio’s trans-atlantic transition from Australia to America, and in a turn of fate, I was introduced to Lauren through a mutual friend back in Melbourne after we both ended up moving to New York. We have both spent years working in the creative industry, and share so many of the same passions for building brands, creative communities and fully investing in all facets of a creative project. The copy and tone of a brand is what can really set it apart, and Lauren lends her talents to her clients with such tenacity.”
Lauren is the founder of Ballet Season, a creative studio specialising in brand strategy, tone of voice, copywriting and creative direction also based in New York.
Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your current role?
Hello! My name is Lauren (she/her), and I’m the founder of Ballet Season, an NYC-based creative studio specialising in brand strategy, tone of voice, copywriting and creative direction.
What journey did you go on to get where you are today?
So many internal and external experiences have brought me to the place I am as a creative today. As a young person, I was an avid reader and loved being invited into imaginative worlds through language. My education has been paramount in developing my critical thinking skills – my undergraduate degree in media and philosophy and time spent in tutorials having amazingly rich conversations with people I didn’t know. My experience working with brands and agencies taught me so much about best practices and how to create rugged creative work that does more than feed my ego. I also believe my time working for other people allowed me to build my value system, which I wholeheartedly apply to my business today. I also feel like moving out of home quite young has meant I’ve taught myself to be resourceful with both my time and my creativity – which was certainly tested during the pandemic – yet ultimately led to the formation of Ballet Season in 2020.
Ballet Season specialises in copywriting, brand strategy, creative direction and editorial content for beauty, fashion and wellness brands. How often do you get to work directly with the graphic designers on these projects, and in what capacity?
At least 70% of my projects involve working with a designer—and it’s what I love the most about my job. Despite being a word-first creative, I am a very visual learner and love dipping into the brains of graphic designers more than anything. Helping a creative object make sense and ooze joy through colour, shape, and form is magical. It’s also really important in my field to communicate my ideas for creative direction to whoever is leading the design department to ensure the verbal and visual identities of the project are harmonious.
Do you have any advice for creatives starting as freelancers in the industry?
I have two really important pieces of advice (that I wish I had taken myself so many years ago!)
2. Be yourself. With its myriad spaces for grandiose self-gratification—social media can be an uncomfortable place to grow as a freelancer. The hegemony and imitation these platforms foster bother me! Just find your thing and do it well.
Outside of the scope of commercial work, what are some of your creative hobbies or self-initiated projects that keep you passionate about the creative industry?
I am a serial hobbyist and often feel distressed about how many things I wish I could squeeze into my free time. I am a proud fashion nerd and love revisiting the archives of my favourite collections and designers. I also love analysing what clothes mean to the people who wear them—and musing on how current trends across fashion, design and technology interact with and reflect universal culture.
Wishlist of Who and Why:
A graphic designer or design studio you want to work with:
I love New Studio!
A creative you want to work with (musician/artist/author):
I would love to work on a project with my friends Anna + Garrett from coolstuff.nyc. We both have a real passion for aesthetics and are obsessed with dinner parties and knick-knacks. And regional sodas!
Your Dream Ballet season collaboration:
Paloma Wool. I would love to co-curate a collection that brings clothing and language together in a Ballet Season way. It’s on my vision board.
Can you dive us five words that describe you and your creative style?
Irreverent, thoughtful, humorous, silly, romantic.
Big thanks to Laura for speaking to Lauren for us! Make sure to follow Ballet Season on Instagram and head over to her website to see more of her portfolio. If Laura and Lauren’s chat has left you feeling inspired, take a look at Shillington’s graphic design course—you could become a graphic designer in as little as three months.
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