At home in Brooklyn. Christan Summers is the Director of Creative and Strategy at Raison D’Être, a full service agency, part of and partnered to award-winning production company Click 3X. Servicing the beauty, fashion and luxury industry. Photographs by Kristin Gladney.
Q&A with Christan Summers:
Tell me a little bit about yourself, who you are, and where you are from.
My name is Christan Summers; I like to believe I’m a unicorn from Paris. I’m originally from Boston.
As the Director of Creative and Strategy at Raison D’Être, what does your job entail?
I listen to people and put myself in their shoes. I translate ideas from strategic to creative and creative to strategic. Sometimes I change that order.
How do you describe your self as an artist and/ or creative agency and the kind of work you do?
It would feel funny to call myself an artist – I am better suited as a chameleon –an empathetic chameleon.
As a creative agency, we first seek to understand our client’s voice. Everything we do after that is adapted to the brand’s vision and campaign objective; otherwise, every brand would look alike and that would be very boring.
Are you working on anything else creative outside of your work at Raison D’Etre and Click 3X?
Loads of things, but one in particular is icuinparis.com, an e-commerce platform that features independent jewelry designers from around the world. We invite customers to engage in the purchase experience and create custom and made-to-order designs.
How did you get to where you are today? What has been career path?
Travel, risk-taking, cliff jumping, language learning, heart breaking, project failing, idea succeeding and a ton of reflections in between.
How did you figure out what you wanted to do?
I seek to learn, be challenged, create and grow. I was given a lot of freedom growing up and taught myself many things – there is not a specific place or title that defines what I want to do. I currently love where I am and what I’m creating – that is good enough for me.
How did you learn to do what you do?
I look to what fuels me and learn from every experience that I can remember. I’m a big believer in trial and error.
What is one of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?
I’m working on it right now – it’s work for The Estée Lauder Companies and their Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. I am very excited about it and can’t say much more than that, but please stayed tuned for October.
Describe your style. Is your personal style different from your professional style?
I dress how I feel and that changes everyday.
What do you love about the work you do?
The digital world is fantastically schizophrenic; it’s always changing, evolving and challenging me. I love that.
Anything unexpected about the work you do? Maybe something you didn’t know before you started on this path.
People are not as open and communicate a lot less than I expected.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Any aspirations? Something you’ve always wanted to do or someone you’ve wanted to collaborate with or a dream client or dream assignment?
I really want to be a mermaid and swim with dolphins – just for a short bit.
Do you have any creative rituals?
Sleep. When I sleep, I dream, and my dreams are very real.
How do you define success? What has helped you to become successful?
Success is the choice we have to change where we are and how we feel. My success comes from remembering this statement.
Any advice for someone interested in following in your chosen path?
Every path will be different and every experience teaches you something new. Be sure to own that because it molds you.
Some links where you can see more from Christan Summers:
www.christansummers.com (personal styling and creative direction work)
www.icuinparis.com (side business working and representing independent jewelry designers)
http://christansummers.tumblr.com (for a little inspiration)