Next Creative Leaders 2018: Lizzie Wilson

Posted on Nov 06, 2018

Hometown and country:

Athens, GA


Current employer, city and role:

McCann New York, Associate Creative Director


How did your upbringing, family or hometown shape you as a creative?

I grew up on a small non-working farm in the South, but was lucky to have parents who really valued creativity.


What’s your “breaking into advertising” story?

Literally a Google search: I wanted a creative career but had no idea what it was going to be. Somewhere I stumbled across the title of “Art Director” which sounded remotely in my wheelhouse, and then saw a Justin Gignac video on creative ideas. I enrolled in ad school and moved to NYC. It was basically well-researched kismet.


What’s the piece of work you’re most proud of and why?

Fearless Girl was a combination of everything I’d love to continue to make: something good for the world, in an unlikely medium.


What does meaning this award mean to you?

It’s such an honor. I remember going to my first 3% Conference and coming away with pages of creative ideas — I was incredibly inspired by the women speaking.


Who has most influenced you in your career thus far?

Coworkers. Having a job where you are literally drowning in other creative minds is incredibly influential.


What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing women right now (work or non work related) and how would you solve it?

Harassment, violence, and equal opportunity. Solving it haunts me.


If you were CCO of your company, what would be the one thing you’d change (if you could just wave your magic wand?)

I would prioritize service to the world above service to the clients. I know that’s a controversial thing to say, but if it’s not good for the world, is it really good for the client?


The theme of this year’s 3% Conference is “Bring it.” What do you think you bring to the table as a creative and a leader?

Emotional IQ.


What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in the past year?

Take your vacation days, dammit.


What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career so far and how did it pan out?

I started over. My undergraduate degree was in fine art photography, and when that career path stopped fulfilling me, I went back to school and found one that did.


How do you “fill up your cup” creatively?

Pinterest black holes and a Met Museum membership.


What’s currently inspiring you?

Lauren Greenfield’s “Generation Wealth” and RuPaul’s Drag Race re-runs.


What would be your dream project and why?

To create something incredibly beautiful that solves a problem in the world.


How are you leaving the work, the workplace or the world a better place than you found it?

By approaching every project with thoughtfulness and tenacity.


What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to women embarking on a creative career?

Never present something you don’t believe in. And always be kind.

Click here to view her award winning work 


Nedal Ahmed

Lama Bawadi

Maddy Kramer

Julie Matheny

Mietta McFarlane

Krystle Mullin

Evelina Ronnung

Jessica Shriftman

Gayatri Sriram

Lizzie Wilson


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