Capitol Communicator is running a series featuring an in-depth look at communicators in the mid-Atlantic. In this “Up Close and Personal” profile, we feature Christian G. Meany, Creative Lead, GMMB in Washington, D.C. Photography for the series is by Cade Martin, wardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire and Sybil Street for THE Artist Agency; and hair and makeup by Patti D Nelson, Janice Kinigopoulos and Lori Pressman for THE Artist Agency.
Christian, please provide us a short bio.
I lead cross-functional creative teams at GMMB that produce work across mobile, digital, on-air and environmental executions. I’m a big picture guy who understands perfecting the millions of little parts therein.
I’m a native Brooklynite and, until recently, a lifelong New Yorker. Currently I’m a Capitol Hill dad of a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old. In a town of lawyers and policymakers, I’m the only one who shows up to school meetings in 9:30 club t-shirts, jeans and Vans.
What are the things you are most proud of?
My wife for the amazing things she does in her career. And my children as I watch them learn, struggle and grow in equal parts.
Who are your personal role models?
Paula Scher because she realized the world should look as cool as the album covers she was designing at CBS records. Also because she knows that you have to get someone’s attention before you can talk to them. And David Carson for allowing me to break all the rules at will in pursuit of making beautiful things.
Did your role models provide professional advice that helped you in your career?
The best professional advice I ever received was from a Creative Director while I was working in magazines. He said, “What we do here isn’t new. If you can’t leave by 6pm, you or your organization is doing something horribly wrong.” In an age where nearly all of our outputs are digital, I still feel this to be true.
What professional advice do you have for others?
Good artists borrow. Great artists steal. I will steal this wisdom from Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed. They came up with just three rules to live by: “The first one is don’t be afraid of anyone. Now can you imagine living your life so that you are afraid of no one? And second is get a really good bullshit detector and learn how to use it. And third is be really really tender.”
What’s on your Spotify and Pandora playlists?
EVERYTHING (artfully curated). I have several public playlist on Spotify. Do please check them out. Search for “CMeany718”.
What’s your favorite restaurant?
In DC? The Dabney. In life? Maybe Frankie’s 457 or Angelo’s and Maxies on Park Ave. South back in the mid 90s. Also Torchy’s tacos in Austin.
Is there anything else we should know about you?
After working on creative executions that work to do things like creating peace in the Niger-Delta region or defeating the Senate health care bill all day, I found it’s important to stop. There’s plenty of time to be in the fray and tactically maneuver the details of current events. Lately, I try to put down the news and the podcasts to take a breath and recognize life around me. I spend time with my family and check out that new hip-hop documentary on Netflix. It’s amazeballs!