Sharon's photo from the SaatchiNY faces project
Sharon Showalter is a creative technologist at SaatchiNY. Last year she graduated from VCU as one of the first 11 students to ever participate in the BrandCenter’s Creative Technology Track. She recently had a big hand in our SaatchiNY Holiday card, which you can check out on her last H/H post. For more information on Sharon’s thoughts and ideas, be sure to check out her website, blog & LinkedIn pages.
WHAT DO YOU DO AT SAATCHI & SAATCHI?
I’m a Creative Technologist. I take a holistic view of technology from experience planning to coding and I use this knowledge to help push creative ideas forward into the digital space.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
When I was five, I was paid 75 cents an hour to color. My dad owned his own beekeeping business and during the summer the entire family would work extracting honey. Babysitters were expensive so my parents paid me to tag along.
WHAT LED YOU ON THE PATH YOU’RE ON TODAY?
When I was in High School I joined the newspaper. I loved designing layouts so I studied graphic design in undergrad. I worked at Rosetta Stone for several years, and I saw the way that advances in technology had made the company what it was. It was started by two brothers who had the idea for a new immersive language teaching method, but technology couldn’t support the idea until the CD-ROM came out. It was a great example of how understanding technology can make an idea possible. So when I went to grad school at the VCU Brandcenter, I jumped at the chance to study in their new track called Creative Technology. I was part of the first class to graduate from the school with this specialization.
IF YOU WEREN’T IN ADVERTISING, WHAT CAREER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO TRY?
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE YOUTUBE VIDEO?
I like to watch Big Mama Thornton sing Hound Dog.
TELL US SOMETHING SURPRISING ABOUT YOURSELF:
I used to live in an old farmhouse with a woodstove, a garden and a dirt cellar, now I live in an apartment building in Manhattan; I’m not sure which one I like more.
WHAT ARE YOUR LOVEMARKS?
Trader Joes, Lindt, Threadless
FAVORITE CHILDHOOD TELEVISION PROGRAM?
My So-Called Life. I lived and breathed that show. It was the only show I ever saw as a teen that gave a realistic view into all the details that teenagers obsess over. I re-watched it last summer and came to the conclusion that Jordan Catalano was actually not a god.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CREATIVE PURSUIT?
I just come up with things I want and then make them. Lately, I’ve been focusing on robotics and Arduino, fiddling around making stuff move. I made a big paper umbrella with a friend; it opens using a servo and motion sensor.
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN?
Get up early on a Saturday and walk to the movie theater in my pajamas.
WHAT BLOGS/MAGAZINES/BOOKS/PAPERS/WEBSITES CAN YOU NOT LIVE WITHOUT?
My clock radio tuned to NPR. If I had to wake up to a buzzing alarm clock, I would go insane.
BOOK THAT YOU’RE CURRENTLY READING?
[Insert the name of a book that will make you think I am witty and smart here]
A GUILTY PLEASURE FOR ME IS:
Sleeping in until noon, and then making a big breakfast of the thinnest sliced fried potatoes, slow-cooked grits (I’m from Virginia), scrambled eggs with cheese, toast, orange juice, and coffee.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE GREATEST INVENTION IS IN YOUR LIFETIME AND WHY?
Open-source. It is the example of a new working model for humanity. The more open we are to sharing knowledge with one another, the more we will accomplish.
WHAT’S THE LAST GREAT TRIP YOU WENT ON?
I went to SXSW interactive and ate a waffle shaped like Texas every morning.
WHEN’S THE LAST TIME YOU GAVE A STANDING OVATION?
I saw Al Pacino in Merchant of Venice