I wanted to design a creative space that would make our dynamic team inspired every day, so we embarked on a gut rehab that we feel is part Willie Wonka, part Museum of Modern Art. The former space was a dark gym designed in the 80s, and Nick Mociran and Justin Bala did all of the construction work, from building a new kitchen and bathroom, to handling the lighting, electric, tiling and flooring—their contributions are immeasurable.
The office houses two original graffiti murals spray painted by street artist Greg Gunter, @Werm312. The first mural in the main office represents all of the passion and creativity that flows through a publicist’s head and heart. Inspiration for this mural came from a photo of my daughter, where I thought determination and tenacity was expressed on her face, two necessary traits of a publicist. We watched as Greg selected various cans of his hundreds of cans of colored spray paint and masterfully made this mural come to life in just five hours—his skills are truly remarkable.
The second mural in our conference room features a woman embarking on a new journey, symbolically representing what clients do when meeting with us for the first time and connoting the excitement that you feel when you are starting that first step of getting to a new destination. When meeting with our clients in the conference room, we hope to make music happen, so, we hung retro 45 records that can be taken off the wall and played on an antique record player.
12 pieces of colorful art near the kitchen were purchased from the One of a Kind Show which our firm annually represents. Some of the other art was picked up at thrift stores, which I love to comb through.
The office has an open space concept that allows for collaboration and brainstorming at the bar and conference tables or in relaxation areas. Custom ceiling work was done by design firm The Build: Chicago, featuring Sapele mahogany to mimic the feeling of waves, complemented by maple sky diamonds with flora in the main office. Adam Gutkin and Tony Bozzuto boiled linseed oil, hand oiling over 1.5 miles of Sapele strips for the ceiling. The holes in the steel and strips required drilling over 3400 holes housing 1700 rivets in the ceiling treatments to match the metallic desk in my office which mimics the wing of an airplane, continuing our theme of launching – making clients’ venues a destination. Additionally, the team created the wooden mural in the conference room (look for the HA in the piece for Heron Agency) and the art surrounding our agency logo at the entrance.
Behind my desk is a picture that hung in the lobby of the legendary Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, where I got my start as an usher when I was 14. I went on to become the House Manager, Subscriptions Manager and Public Relations Director there over a 16-year period and they were very happy years. Over this time, Director Bill Pullinsi asked if I would serve as a dancer in A CHORUS LINE, which consisted of being in the first number “auditioning” and being rejected, about a four-minute gig each performance. I love that the production where I was rejected for nine months and eight performances a week sits behind my desk every day. It daily reminds myself and the team to retain the determination to get the role, make things happen, and ultimately create a memorable experience…all of what we’re about for clients at Heron Agency.