Employee Profile Series: Cody Tilson

By October 14, 2021 October 21st, 2021 No Comments

Meet Cody Tilson, NEXT/NOW’s new Executive Creative Director. Utilizing a bold creative attitude and diverse knowledge of artistic disciplines, Cody is excited to push an already impressive team to greater heights. Check out our interview with Cody below.

Tell us a little about your experience prior to NEXT/NOW:

My career has been anything but a straight line, dipping my toes in just about every creative discipline that I could along the way. I cut my teeth as an Art Director for Playboy Magazine, which was a masterclass in collaboration and embracing my weird as a superpower. 

After a great stint working on digital campaigns at Blast Radius, I joined Digital Kitchen and had my mind blown by the skill and artistry of the staff. As an Associate Creative Director, I was fortunate enough to lead content-driven experiences for Blizzard Entertainment, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Most recently, I was a Creative Director at Leviathan. The projects here were truly of epic proportion, empowering me to help transform environments into truly immersive story-driven experiences.

That embracing of creative spirit and technical ingenuity is what ultimately drew me to NEXT/NOW, and I am beyond excited to get to work with this crazy talented team.

Who’s your design inspiration?

I grew up completely enamored with artists and designers that skillfully merged many creative disciplines together. First, it was obsessing over the work of illustrators like Dave McKean and Bill Sienkiewicz that used every medium at their disposal — paint, ink, photography, typography — to elevate and innovate visual storytelling. Later on in college, I discovered graphic designers like David Carson and Chris Ashworth that had a similar distaste for the “rules”.

I’ve always admired people who didn’t give a damn about convention. There is no right way to be creative!

What does creativity mean to you?

Creativity as a process is a testament of determination and open-mindedness. Failure is a part of the process–the trick is to power through it and build on what you learned. This is where the breakthroughs accumulate over time, where you surprise yourself more and begin to fail less.

What does creative leadership mean to you?

First and foremost, it is a leader’s job to nurture and empower their team members to become more confident and powerful creatives. I don’t think it suits anyone in the long run to be packed neatly into an existing title or repetitive tasks. You don’t discover greatness without getting weird first!

Strong teams are undaunted by failure and tenacious in the pursuit of thoughtful and striking creativity. They are empowered with extreme ownership of their tasks, thoughtful guidance and direction, and unwavering support when things get shaky.

What do you like doing outside of work?

I make art when I can and I party with my wife and 3-year-old. That’s pretty much my life these last few years, and it’s just the freakin best. He’s already a better, cooler version of myself and already quite the punk rock connoisseur. It’s not uncommon for him to ask us to throw on some Idles or Bass Drum of Death at dinner.

There you have it, that’s what I love to do outside of work: headbang with my toddler.

NEXT/NOW has seen immense growth over the past year. With 12 new hires since the start of 2021 and more on their way, we wanted to create the Employee Profile Series as a way to highlight each new individual and showcase the strengths they bring to our team. For more information on open positions please visit our careers page (https://nextnowagency.com/careers/), connect with us via LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/next-now/), or send us an email at workhere@nextnowagency.com.

Next/Now Agency

1200 West Lake Street
Suite 2
Chicago, IL 60607

T: 312.945.6222
E: collaborate@nextnowagency.com