My Journey to Spark: Cally Tennant
Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do at Spark?
I’m an Account Director at Creative Spark, and alongside my colleague Sasha, I co-head up the Creative Spark account management team. It’s a very diverse role, as well as being the primary client contact through each project, I’m involved in proposals and pitches for new business, and a whole load of other things. I’d say a key part of my role is problem solving. Each client project requires a different strategic and creative solution, which may be influenced by a number of things – budget, brief, brand legacy…and so on. No one size fits all and so every day is different.
What’s the best thing about working in the agency/creative industry space?
For me, it’s being surrounded by creativity. I’ve worked in this industry for the majority of my adult life and I love it (most of the time). It’s hard to explain the genuine excitement I feel about new creative challenges. Coming up with ideas and solutions that solve problems is so satisfying, that moment when you just KNOW something is right. Or when something is so clever you can’t help but laugh! The human mind is an amazing thing and the creative industry is a perfect platform for it to really showcase what it’s got!
Tell us a bit about your journey before Spark
I started off as a creative, designing brand experiential, exhibitions and commercial/ retail interiors. After that I lived in China for a while, where I taught English. When I returned to the UK, I started on a different path managing projects and client relationships, starting as an Account Exec through to my current role of Account Director. Although my job title no longer includes the word ‘creative’, I have a strong opinion and like to stay very close to creative as it evolves. I think my experience has made me quite demanding when it comes to great design, I want the best! Luckily, the agencies I’ve worked for have enabled me to work closely with designers. Its super important to me that I can do that.
We’re a local agency with a global reach. Our flexibility, agility and ability to keep up the pace comes from being able to scale up resource when we need it. How would you describe our capabilities in being able to curate the right team to deliver client projects, drawing upon specialist skills from our extensive network when we need to?
At Spark, we pride ourselves on being a flexible and agile team which I think is vital in today’s creative landscape. Gone are the days when all specialisms are represented in-house. Agencies need to be adaptable in order to expand reach and respond more effectively to briefs, and so we bring in experts as and when a project requires us to. We have an expanse of trusted friends and partners – copywriters, videographers, photographers, illustrators… the list goes on – who we see as an extension to the team and love working with. Every new brief is a challenge, and it’s exciting to bring together a team we know will do a great job in delivering the best possible solution. Curating the right team for the client as well as the project, and responding to the brief in the right way is crucial to success.
Tell us an unpopular opinion
I don’t really like chips. They’re ok.
Do you have a party trick/fun fact about yourself?
Well, a fun fact is, anyone who knows me, knows I’m obsessed with The Moomins. As a child we had close family friends who were Finnish and they introduced me to them. I still sleep with the Moomin pillowcase on my bed that I had as a child (underneath my grown-up pillowcase)