Big ideas executed simply.

Evan Stremke
Mostly a designer.
Often a writer.
Always an idea guy.

I went to school for design because, after being waitlisted at UW-Madison's journalism school, advertising seemed like the next closest fit and an art degree was the easiest way to get into the industry without having to take math classes. Just being honest.

I started my career branding startups, but my first project as a writer came when, instead of using Greek for an ad I was designing, I wrote my own copy. Lorem ipsum be damned! 

I pride myself on using common sense to sell ideas instead of smoke and mirrors, and taking a holistic approach to creative—from copywriting and concepting to branding and design—because no aspect of a brand should be overlooked.

I try to incorporate new technology trends (and humor) into my work, but I still love me a good, honest and simple commercial spot or print ad. New business pitches are my jam.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Beliefs

I've learned a lot and my opinions have evolved during my time in this industry, but I don't claim to have all the answers; just the passion to seek them out and continue educating myself while also learning from those who have been here before.

Below is a list of things I've come to believe in and stand by. You might not agree with all of them, but that's okay. In fact, it's great. The best ideas come from a change in perspective. I am as willing to change as I am willing to stand up for what I believe in.

 
 
 

The most important thing for a brand is to stay top of mind. Make memorable advertising.

It's important to challenge the status quo. Embrace change and push for new ideas and thinking.

We use our eyes to see, hands to touch, ears to hear, tongue to taste, and nose to smell. All design is usability design.

Every agency should hire a full-time concept artist.

Creative Directors should be able to recognize quality art & copy, not just one or the other.

Being a good leader means identifying people's strengths and delegating accordingly.

Pitching multiple concepts is a great way to sell a second-rate idea.

My body of work suffers from Dysmorphic Disorder. I'm barely happy with any of it.

The most important quality to possess in advertising, and in life, is an open mind.

Bigger budgets usually lead to higher quality work. Not always, but usually.

Creative individuals and agencies are only as good as their most recent work.

Jony Ive should stick to product design.

Clients and agencies alike think too much. Trust your instincts and pivot when necessary.

Consumers don't trust facts, they trust their feelings. Sell with emotion, not rationale.

Logos should still translate effectively to one color, even in the 21st Century. 

The best clients will let you make more than ads.

No ad or idea should require smoke, mirrors, or heaping spoonfuls of bullshit to be sold in.

The left lane is for passing only.

What worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. Keep innovating.

It's important to say "no" early and often. Especially to clients. It leads to better work.

The best advertising is subversive and runs counter to culture.

Skills and abilities can be taught. Drive and ambition cannot. Seek hungry talent.

Humor can sell anything.

Internal competition is healthy and necessary, but a purposeful lack of communication is deadly.

Never skimp on production. The quality of an idea can only take an ad or campaign so far.

Timeless trumps trendy.

Video content will rule the advertising industry for a long time, if not forever.

Lee Harvey Oswald was the only shooter, but was part of a scheme involving the Russian and Cuban governments, and the Dallas Mafia.

It's okay to want to win awards. This is advertising, an industry built on recognition.

Consumers buy products to attain a certain lifestyle. Sell lifestyles.

 
 
 

 
 

EXPERIENCE

BVK
Nov 2013–Dec 2016

ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Lead teams of art directors and writers as they create effective messaging and visuals for robust campaigns developed for traditional mediums such as television, print, radio, and outdoor, as well as social media and guerrilla marketing stunts. Collaborate with producers, directors, and photographers on video and photo shoots to bring concepts to life in a compelling way. Work closely with account executives and clients to establish strong relationships, and build trust so that when I tell them humor can sell anything, they believe me. New business pitches are my jam.

 

Modern Climate
Aug 2012–Oct 2013

ASSOCIATE CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Collaborate with teams of developers, designers, and writers as they created effective messaging and visuals for robust campaigns developed for traditional mediums such as television, print, radio, and outdoor, as well as social media and guerrilla marketing stunts. Also worked with teams to develop websites, online interactive experiences, and mobile apps that worked most of the time, I swear.

 

Planet Propaganda
Jan 2011–Aug 2012

Art DIRECTOR

Collaborate with teams of developers, designers, and writers as they created effective messaging and visuals for robust campaigns developed for traditional mediums such as television, print, radio, and outdoor, as well as social media and guerrilla marketing stunts. Also worked with teams to develop websites, online interactive experiences, and mobile apps that worked most of the time, I swear.

 

Swink
May 2010–Jan 2011

Designer

Developed branding and identity systems for both startups and established brands, extending them through various mediums including, but not limited to, traditional advertising campaigns, websites and digital experiences, and social media. Would sometimes walk the office dog if others were busy.

 
 
 

 
 

Endorsements

I've worked with a lot of creative people over the years. Evan is breath of fresh air. He's fast, passionate about great work and he has an uncanny ability to take big, complex problems and come up with simple, yet still really creative solutions. Even though he's a strong conceptual writer/creative director, his design book is just as good. And he's awesome with clients (even the difficult ones). A rare triple threat. I would recommend Evan in a heart beat. Despite all the great work he's already done, Evan's only scratched the surface of what he's going to do in the future.

Gary Mueller
EVP Creative Director at BVK & Founder of Serve Marketing

 

I had the opportunity to work directly with Evan when he approached me asking if he could work on a rebrand for United Adworkers, the best ad club in the nation. He approached us. Wasn't asked. This shows how passionate he is about the advertising community and the work. Evan worked with the team to unveil our new brand identity and a revamped Adworkers.com website. Thank you for your hard work and passion for advertising, Evan.

Laura Gainor
Executive Director at Serve Marketing
Executive Director at United Adworkers

 

Evan is the type of person that makes you remember why we do what we do. His own personal standard of work makes you raise your own standard. He walks a unique line of leadership and collaborative supporter which is incredibly valuable. He knows when to take charge and get something done, and more importantly, when to step back and let something develop. He has an ability to take a concept, no matter how wild, and turn it into something that can be sold and created. Evan can be demanding, and he can be stubborn. However both of those traits come from a passion for great creative, with the best interests of the work and his team in mind. He is a tried and true creative.

Matt McNulty
Art Director at Arnold Worldwide

 

A lot of creatives talk about being a dual-threat because they can stumble through both Word and Photoshop. Not Evan. He's the real deal. From the moment Evan pulled me in to my first project while I was an intern at Planet Propaganda it was clear he had the skills to not only concept, not only design, not only write a headline, but do them all together and sell the idea through, to boot (add in the ability to foster junior talent and direct creative, for good measure). He's also been a guide for me in my career proving that it's okay to bat above your age and tout a portfolio of veteran quality work even as a younger, hungrier creative.

Steve Horn
Copywriter at Digitas

 

I followed Evan's beautiful and timeless work long before he came to BVK. Once I found out I would get the opportunity to work alongside him, I was floored. Evan's work is intentional. Smart. Relevant. He's way ahead of his years and some are intimidated by that, but any team would be extremely lucky to have his expertise and passion for both writing and design. He is a true leader and will always fight for standout creative.

Kelsey Barnowsky
Sr. Art Director at BVK

 

Very few people have the opportunity to work with a human like Evan. I had the pleasure of working with him for almost two years at bvk where we collaborated on several projects. I am particularly impressed by Evan's ability to present work and I was always in awe of his ability to command a room and get people on board with ideas—even people who were initially on completely different pages. No matter how tense a meeting, Evan made sure everyone left with a smile. He is very quick with the funny jokes. As a team member or a leader, I would give him a solid A.

Bryan Padovano
Art Director at R/West

 

Evan Stremke is a creative force to be reckoned with. His remarkable track record and impressive portfolio are testaments to his sharp mind and thought leadership. Evan challenges the norm and displays a highly refined mastery of each project's "big idea" and the power of a well-written brand narrative. His ability to integrate elements of comedy and human emotion into every campaign gives an important heartbeat to all of his projects. I recommend Evan and his strategic mind without hesitation.

Andrew Pauly
Social Media at Bill Nye's The Planetary Society