Getting to Know You: Anthony ‘Hootz’ Taylor
Resilience, curiosity, bravery, service, care, and teamwork are just some of the characteristics that define every member of our WHOSAY team.
Founded in 2010, WHOSAY is built from the best of entertainment, technology, and advertising. The people that power WHOSAY are an incredible blend of advertising, technology and media professionals that foster a wonderful spirit of creativity, innovation, and commitment. Today you will get to know another one of our team’s members; Anthony ‘Hootz’ Taylor, Sr. Manager, Creative Services.
WHOSAY: What’s the first thing you do as soon as you arrive in the office?
Hootz: I try and get to the office early so I can get a headstart on my own projects and then be available to assist with other teammates projects as needed. But most of the time when I come early I make about 15 minutes worth of Instagram stories using the Facebook filters. I’m something of a filterphile and the Facebook face filters are very underrated.
WS: What’s the most challenging part of your job? And what’s the part you enjoy the most?
H: The most challenging part of my job is negotiating the distance between the client and the creative idea. Once we enter the feedback and revision phase, the challenge of addressing concerns while maintaining the creative integrity of the idea is challenge, but a welcome one since that process almost always makes the idea even stronger.
The part of my job that I enjoy most is working with my fellow creatives to crack their ideas open. I love coming up with creative on my own, but being a part of the creative processes of our incredibly talented creative team is my greatest joy at work.
WS: What is your role at WHOSAY?
H: My job at WHOSAY is to make Sam laugh as much as possible. Outside of that, I’m responding to proposals with business winning creative while managing the workflow of our pre-sale department.
WS: Who is someone at WHOSAY that inspires you and why?
H: Sam Jones inspires me on a daily basis. She’s such a completely free thinking creative and is also so committed to being exactly who she wants to be. I wanna be The Real Sam Jones when I grow up. Also, every speech our CEO, Steve Ellis gives at an all-hands meeting has me ready to take a hill and plant a flag in his name, so that’s pretty damn inspiring too.
WS: What was your job before coming to WHOSAY?
H: I’ve had a number of odd jobs before WHOSAY. They include:
Video Producer at Broadway.com
Writer/Director at Windsong Productions
Private saxophone instructor
Gas station attendant
Strip club DJ
Personal assistant to the Deputy Mayor of Fresno, California.
WS: What’s your secret life hack and/or productive hack?
H: I wish I had one, but I think that one of the reasons I’m able to create at the pace I keep at WHOSAY is that I’m a complete process junkie. I collect creative processes from co-workers or artists I admire like baseball cards. I’m definitely more in love with the making of great work then then actual product itself which I think keeps me sane during periods of heavy workflow.
WS: What don’t most people know about you?
H: I’m afraid of the dark. Which isn’t that weird, but my very specific fear of the dark is that in the darkness there are ninjas who have appeared that are laying in wait for me. Scary stuff, right?
WS: What do you want to achieve in the near and/or long term?
H: In the coming year, I’d love to develop a creative culture here at WHOSAY that makes people want to work here because they’re attracted to HOW we work even more than the actual work PRODUCT we put out. Don’t get me wrong, I want people to continue to be impressed by the caliber of our product. But I really want them to covet and fall in love with how we do it.
WS: Share your advice with aspiring young people who want to break into your industry.
H: The world is flat and the gatekeepers are dead. If you want to make cool shit, make the cool shit. You are the arbiter of your own creative fate. Get your chops and aesthetic in order and then find the creative home that fits you best. It’s out here. I promise.
WS: What’s unique about your company?
H: Not many people know this but every single person who works at WHOSAY has done extensive time in a Turkish prison. COOL, RIGHT?!?!?!
WS: What are your favorite books or quotes?
H: A Technique for Producing Ideas by James Webb Young, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott and You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. All of these books are useful tools for building, destroying, nurturing and developing creative process.
WS: What is the best advice you have ever received?
H: “Don’t give your locker combo to anyone” — my Dad on my first day of junior high school.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU is a series of interviews with the WHOSAY team.