Home » Up Close and Personal: Getting to Know Shawn Huddleston, Creative Director at Rosetta Stone

Up Close and Personal: Getting to Know Shawn Huddleston, Creative Director at Rosetta Stone

by | Aug 18, 2017


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 Shawn Huddleston.  Photography for the series is by Cade Martinwardrobe 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.

Shawn, please provide us a short bio.

 I’m a local guy who was uprooted from Southern California at the age of seven to move to Reston, VA. I’m the Creative Director at Rosetta Stone, but had I stayed out west, I’d be the best surfer in the world today I’m sure.

Are you involved in any other organizations?

 I’m not, no. I was a part of the Art Directors Club back in the day, but now time is at such a premium that I don’t know how I’d fit it in. Once life slows down a little (heh), I’ll revisit the idea.

What are the things you are most proud of?

 I have three kids that are probably the smartest, funniest, sweetest people I’ve ever known…I’m pretty proud of them for sure.

Professionally speaking, I’m still in love with the 11 part real-time documentary we filmed in Italy last year for Rosetta Stone. We were all Rogue One with it and it was such a grind, but it came out great and given that I hate most things I’m working on halfway through them and want to start over, and that I STILL love this, that means something to me.

Who were your personal role model(s) and why?

My mother and my uncle.

I’m an only child of a single mother and we didn’t have it that easy coming up. She made things work when they probably shouldn’t have, and did an amazing job of shouldering the stresses and shielding me from them. Most importantly, she always brought home reams of copy paper so that I could draw almost constantly.

My uncle has always been the positive male role model every young lad should have. My dad wasn’t in the picture much and so my uncle was the one to give me the male perspective I needed on life’s many lessons, provided me honest opinions on my many screw-ups, and taught me how to throw a spiral.

Did they offer professional advice that helped you in your career?

My Mom instilled a solid work ethic in me from jump street and taught me attention to detail. No job done half-assed, and always be the best at whatever it is you’re doing. I’ve used that everywhere I’ve worked—from Taco Bell to Rosetta Stone.

My uncle possesses this super calm, deal-with-any-fiasco-in-stride way about him and since I don’t inherently have that, I often ask, “What would Uncle Rex do?” and it calms my ass down and provides me clarity that I apply both personally and professionally.

What professional advice do you have for others?

Probably to try to stay as even keeled as possible. Don’t let the highs be too high, or the lows too low. It’s all about about balance, bruh.

And I don’t know how healthy this is necessarily, but I have always gone in to a new job with a mindset of, “I’m a fraud and they’re going to figure that out in the first ten minutes.” As a result, I feel like I have a lot to prove and give anything I work on everything I have. I pour myself into projects—whether quick-hitters, or large global campaigns—and never put anything out that I wouldn’t be proud to put my name on.

What’s on your Spotify and Pandora playlists?

 A playlist of mine would include everything from Northeast Groovers to Misfits to A Tribe Called Quest to Dead Milkmen to Biggie to The Crank and Danks. With that though, Go-Go and 90’s hip hop are what I go to most often.

What’s your favorite restaurant?

 It used to be Reston Kabob but they tore it down for some ugly condos, so now it’s a dead heat between Popeye’s and this bbq joint called The Bone. The cook there gives me hard looks, but the wings are bumpin’ so what can you do?

Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?

 I’m a starving artist who doesn’t make enough time to paint, and I was the second-leading scorer on my old man lacrosse team last season.


About the Author

Capitol Communicator

Capitol Communicator is a unique online and offline resource for Mid-Atlantic advertising, marketing, public relations, digital and media communications professionals. The e-magazine, e-newsletters and events bring together communications professionals, fostering community and providing important information; news; trends; education; and opportunities for networking, career enhancement, business exchange and showcasing great work. Visit www.capitolcommunicator.com to learn more.


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