Can you all elaborate a bit on your specific positions and the role you each play within Sibling?
Lauren Hartstone (LH): I am Executive Creative Director at Sibling, and I’ve been with the company for about five years. As ECD, I lead many projects strategically and creatively from the very beginning. It is my job to help shape the vision, be a partner and resource for my clients, and provide my team with feedback, support, and inspiration. I also play a larger role in the agency as a whole, with new business development, recruitment, and company strategy.
Rosie Garschina (RG): I am a Creative Director at Sibling, focusing on our branding and strategic work. My role also entails new business, recruitment, social initiatives, and leading our DEI committee.
Lauren Infante (LI): I’m a Senior Art Director at Sibling.
How often do the three of you collaborate or work together on projects, and how does that process play out and influence your work?
LH: Lauren and I collaborate with each other all the time and can probably read each other's minds by now. Having the same name is often confusing for people. While Rosie and I do not typically work on the same projects, we consistently share our work with each other because we strongly believe in the value of outside opinions.
RG: The three of us regularly collaborate on a wide range of projects, both company- and project-specific. We are all highly invested in doing what we can to support each other and drive the company forward. It’s a very fluid and collaborative process with a shorthand that I find extremely valuable.
LI: I have the pleasure of collaborating closely with Lauren and Rosie on a daily basis. We push each other and build upon one another’s unique strengths. I am grateful to be in a position to glean from their expertise.
Did design and creativity play a prominent role in your childhood / young adult life? Or was this career path something you uncovered later in life during college or during an internship somewhere?
LH: Absolutely. Much like my daughters and my mother, I could always be found drawing or painting. My junior year of high school, I went to MICA for an art summer program and was hooked. I studied Visual Communication at Washington University in St. Louis (we actually have three alums at Sibling now), and I worked at MTV immediately upon graduation. I never looked back.
RG: I grew up in a very large family just outside of New York City. My mother taught theater and English and made sure music, art, and performance were a big part of our upbringing. We would wait in line for hours to see her favorite performer. Then, during college, I would take the bus down to roam around Chelsea. My friends all worked in galleries and were creating work of their own. I was lucky enough to be exposed to working creatives at a very young age and throughout my formative years.
LI: Growing up in a family heavily involved in the science and medical fields, I wasn’t naturally exposed to the creative world. With that being said, creativity was always in my bones, and I was proud to carry the honorary title of the family black sheep. I dove headfirst into any creative outlet I could find — from ballet to jazz composition. I finally settled on design in college, a medium where I could combine my passion for music, art, and choreography to tell honest stories.
What is the reason you love the creative world? And what pushes you to keep going?
LH: I LOVE what I do, and there is not a day that I take it for granted. I am equally and emphatically inspired by both my clients and siblings. Clients bring me into their worlds — I get to dive into their business challenges, endeavors, goals, and learn about an amazing spectrum of sectors and subcultures. Each project and client pushes me in a way I never thought possible. Additionally, my peers and team at Sibling inspire me daily. I am surrounded by brilliant, strategic and creative colleagues who come up with interesting ideas and keep me on my toes!
RG: I get a great deal of satisfaction from seeing how a brand can influence culture and business. This is a big motivator for me knowing how our work can create impact and emotion in the world. Our client partnerships are also highly collaborative and fulfilling. We have earned a lot of trust over the years and are always working to move the needle. For me, this level of trust brings consistent excitement and energy to our creative process.
LI: I’ve worked on projects across the spectrum from helping start a movement, empower those of a certain culture, to simply making people laugh. All of these experiences, big or small, are equally important and life-giving to me. What a power.
Are you involved in any side or passion projects you’d like to talk about?
LH: Yes! I have been working on an organization called KNOW OUR WORK, along with two other SR colleagues, Anita Olan and Ally Gutman. The movement is aimed at eliminating the stigma associated with mothers’ perceived gap in their careers due to COVID-19. You can learn more about it here.
RG: I recently worked on the branding and launch of .movtogether, a community of working professionals committed to creating a more diverse workforce within advertising and media. After a successful launch this fall, we are now in the process of pairing students with companies. Our goal is to create a pipeline for underrepresented talent within our industry.
LI: I am currently pursuing my Masters at Northwestern in Business Marketing Communications. Quite the side project! I am passionate about learning how to make honest connections with consumers, balancing the intuitive, creative process with data-driven insights to strategically build strong brands. School has really pushed me to see creative solutions through a new lens, and I am excited to continue to evolve and build upon my creative process.
How has or does your everyday life influence your creative work? Can you give us any recent examples?
LH: I cannot give you a specific project off hand, but I can tell you that being a mom of two girls influences my work tremendously. It has made me more decisive, efficient, patient, joyful, and has reinvigorated my childlike imagination and curiosity. All of these things influence my work on a daily basis.
RG: I had my second child during the height of Covid. Working around my newborn and toddler has been equally challenging and satisfying. Overall, I think this overlap of work and life has brought a new ease and rhythm to our client relationships that I find extremely valuable.
LI: I’ve always been an inquisitive person, especially when it comes to meeting people. I love listening to people talk about things they are passionate about, and I also tend to be someone strangers and acquaintances quickly confide in. While this ability to empathise is something I really cherish in my personal life, I have found that it has also allowed me to connect in deeper ways with consumers, clients, and co-workers alike.
Is the importance of women creatives an important aspect to highlight? Does the field need more input and voices from women creatives? Why or why not?
LH: I think the industry is definitely starting to get a new wave of female creatives, and that is incredibly exciting and inspiring to see. It certainly was not the case when I was just out of school. That said, there are not enough women, especially mothers, in creative leadership roles. I’m grateful that not only do Rosie and I make it work, I believe we are better at what we do as a direct result. Motherhood teaches all kinds of things!
RG: Highlighting women isn’t enough on its own. Seeing women and working mothers in the industry actively influencing the work and in leadership roles is what creates the most value.
LI: Up until I joined the Sibling team, I had never worked with a female creative director (let alone two!). While I am grateful to have worked under several extremely kind and talented leaders, I have seen firsthand the importance of input and voices from women creatives. Especially in a creative field, diversity of thought is imperative, and the only way to achieve that is through representation.
What is one tip you would give to someone young who is interested in pursuing design and creativity as a career path?
LH: Go for it and learn as much as you can from every single person around you. Designers, animators, illustrators, writers, producers, strategists, interns... Devour as much knowledge as you can. And most importantly, be kind to every person you meet along the way. Starting off is hard work, but you will never regret having a career you love!
RG: Be patient and open minded when navigating your career choices as each experience will give you the opportunity to learn something new. It's the journey, not the destination.
LI: Stay curious — learn new skills. Learn about people. Ask questions. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Becoming a lifelong student is important, especially in a quickly evolving industry.