Costanza Rossi is a rather fascinating individual who has fought hard for her creative spoils. Her career involved something of a baptism by fire, having moved from Rome to the UK with a very basic understanding of English and finding her first placement at Saatchi and Saatchi under none other than David Droga.
Fast forward to 2022, however, and after stints at CDP, Mustoes and Dentsu, she finds herself heading up artistic work on accounts such as Coca Cola and Pringles as Creative Director and Head of Art at Grey London. She’s worked with some of the best directors and photographers in the industry throughout her storied career and today, we get to hear all about it straight from the woman herself.
Tell us a bit about your role! What is one typical day like?
As a Head of Art I look at the work in the agency across different accounts and projects. My role is to push the creative output and improve the work from creative concepts to production values.
What was the biggest challenge in getting to your current position?
Establishing myself as a female leader was the biggest challenge. Our industry is still very male led. There’s been many steps forward over the last few years. But there is still work to be done.
What is your personal background and what role did it play in your career?
I come from Rome - an open air museum. For so many years I was inspired by its beauty without even knowing it! Today I can say my aesthetic sense comes from there. A roman statue can teach you a great deal about the use of space, balance and impactfulness.
What is your biggest career-related win? What is your biggest loss?
The biggest win has been working from a country that has never been famous for advertising and becoming the number 1 agency in the world.
What’s your secret to remain inspired and motivated?
I think the beauty of this job is that we never do the same thing twice. Every project is different and every project has different challenges ahead. The use of unconventional media is what I find interesting. Asking yourself ‘how do I do this?’ is inspiring and motivating.
Which individuals and/or agencies do you gain inspiration from? Do you have any heroes in the industry?
I was lucky to venture into the fashion world in many projects I have done in the past and I find it a very interesting space to be in. What Alessandro Michele and Virgil Abloh, Balenciaga have done is a proper revolution in terms of how fashion communicates today. It’s disruptive and I wish the world of advertising would follow it more
How has COVID-19 affected you?
I think Covid has made us all realise the importance of finding the right life-work balance. Hybrid working was something we all benefited from and we probably wouldn't have discovered that if not for the pandemic.
What is your biggest hope for 2022?
What is your one piece of advice to aspiring creative professionals?
To be successful at doing something you read need to love what you are doing. Choose the people you want to work with. It’s important to have good mentors who can inspire you and advice you on the right career moves.
How do you recharge away from the office?
Spending time with my kids. Walking about in the forest.
If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?
I love interior design. I think I would love to be part of Wallpaper mag and collaborate with them. I find fascinating to see other people’s houses. You can tell who people are by looking at the objects in their houses.
What’s your one big dream for the future of the industry?
Purposeful brands become more and more an essential part of what we do. Entertainment with a purpose is what every single brand should aim at. A purposeful brand is a brand that defines purpose as something greater: a human-centred, socially-engaged conception of purpose. IKEA, Google and Spotify are three examples of brands that people think are driven by a strong purpose
Do you have any websites, books or resources you would recommend?
When issued by bottega came out I thought it was quite a refreshing thing. A visual feast and a real treat for the senses.
As far as entertainment, In search of lost time by Proust is a symphony about different ways we can, do and should love.
Limonov is a 2011 biographical novel by the French writer and journalist Emmanuel Carrère that I also can't recommend enough.