CREATIVE DIRECTOR BRIGADE, HADLEY MA
Kirsten Modestow is in her ninth year as Creative Director at BRIGADE. In that time, she’s helped her creative team navigate national and international assignments and produce award-winning work. Prior to BRIGADE, Kirsten’s work on Electronic Arts, helped to gain her national recognition. She was the leading force behind the advertising for The Sims ‒ advertising that helped to make it the #1 best selling PC game of all-time. Her agency experience includes Hill Holiday, AKQA, See:, Odiorne Wilde Narraway + Partners and BRIGADE. And she has created memorable campaigns for brands including Target Stores, CMT Networks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Electronic Arts, SVEDKA Vodka, Burgerville, YesTo and most recently, Kim Crawford. As a former All-American swimmer, Kirsten thrives on intense situations, including tight timelines, working with celebrity talent, demanding clients, renovating houses, and controlling (with varying degrees of success) a giant dog and husband and two not-so-giant-yet children.
WHERE OR HOW DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR DESIGN WORK?
Often I find myself turning to interior design, the way space and line can create both subtle and striking effects. You can juxtapose old and new, modern and classic, clean and simple with detailed and fussy to create tension and energy. Color, textures and shape create personality. Great design is eclectic and borrows some of the same ideas.
HOW DOES WHERE YOU WERE BORN, GREW UP OR LIVE NOW AFFECT YOUR DESIGN SENSIBILITY OR STYLE?
I was born north of Boston in Topsfield where I was dying to leave my small town behind for the big city. After a stint in Boston and later in San Francisco I have settled back in a small town not at all unlike where I grew up. Today, I bring the big city to my small town ‒ I love the contrast and I think it’s a key component in my work, my work ethic and my life.
Too hard to pick one. I like neutrals with a pop of color.
Mrs. Eaves. Though you’ll rarely see it in our work, I think it’s impeccable.
FAVORITE TV SHOW?
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Tolkein’s The Hobbit, Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown, Flotsam by David Wiesner, Post Office by Charles Bukowski
Hedwig and the Angry Inch, ET, Cecil B. Demented, The Incredibles
FAVORITE MUSICIANS OR BANDS?
FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA?
Snapchat for silliness. Instagram for style.
FAVORITE FINE ARTISTS?
Travis Louie, Jim Henson, Mark Ryden Greatest Strength As A Designer?
Problem solving, guidance, and attention to detail. Being likeable helps, too.
GREATEST WEAKNESS AS A DESIGNER?
I wish I wasn’t such a focused, intense person. I would love to absorb more and get more outside influence.
TALENT YOU WISHED YOU POSSESSED?
ADVICE TO A YOUNG DESIGNER JUST STARTING OUT?
Tuck away your ego. Learn, absorb, work harder than everyone else, want it, compare yourself to others and keep yourself in check. Every opportunity is an opportunity, from the smallest to the largest assignment ‒ tackle everything with the same intensity.
IF NOT A DESIGNER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
A mathematician. Or a comedian.
A MANTRA OR SAYING YOU LIVE BY?