Communication Is Key: Ashley & Savannah from BSSP

Pick a partner you can rely on. Ask a lot of questions, always offer to help other people out, and don’t be afraid to say what’s on your mind (phrased nicely, of course.)

Savannah Hicks
Senior Art Director BSSP
Ashley Suarez Wood
Senior Copywriter BSSP

Tell us about you how you met and how long you’ve worked together?

Savannah: We met at Intel 3 years ago and started officially working as partners about a year and a half into that.


How would you describe relationship between you two? In what ways has the dynamic changed since you first began working together?

Savannah: Our relationship started off with an interesting dynamic because Ashley was a senior copywriter when I was just starting to do art direction, so it was very much a lot of mentoring from her and catching up from me. It was a really fun time, learning a whole different discipline and how to lead conceptually. Now we’ve worked together so much, we’re pretty much always on the same page, but I still feel like I grow more from every project.

Ashley: It may have started that way, but Savannah caught up quick. I was recently on a car shoot where the visuals really drove the spot. She led the charge, fine-tuning every last detail. The results looked amazing.


Tell us about the first campaign you’ve worked on as a duo.

Ashley: Our first project together as a team was Intel’s Drone Light Show for the Winter Olympics 2018. There was so much momentum behind it; it was both an incredibly daunting and exciting opportunity for us. Some real bucket list sh*t. Fortunately, we got lucky that the whole world nerded out with us for a moment. And of course we had tremendous creative leadership in place that made it all possible.


Do you have a favorite campaign you’ve worked on together? What makes it special?

Savannah: We worked on a collaboration with Intel and the Smithsonian on an exhibit featuring the art of Burning Man. It felt special to work with Nina Meredith again (she was the director for the Olympic Drone Show). Having that repertoire built in allowed us to really push the visual style.

Ashley: Smithsonian was a great one. We also have a project launching soon that I think will soon become a favorite.


What has been the hardest part of working together? How do you resolve creative conflicts?

Savannah: The hardest part of working together is that Ashley is an early morning worker and I’m a night owl. We just aren’t on the same schedule biologically. Of course we’re not always going to agree, and sometimes arguments are a part of the process. But everytime you argue and resolve it, you learn something more about the other person and build on that foundation. Like in all relationships, communication is key. Telling the other person what’s bothering you is the first step to fixing it.

Ashley: I second that.


Is there any advice you’d give to young creatives looking for a partner, or a duo just getting their start?

Savannah: Pick a partner you can rely on. Ask a lot of questions, always offer to help other people out, and don’t be afraid to say what’s on your mind (phrased nicely, of course.)

Ashley: Find a partner who is genuinely interested in your side of the work (not just their own). Savannah is reading a book on copywriting right now. I’ve bought books on design. I think that allows for equal respect in what the other person’s talent is, and allows the work to come together in the best way possible.


Do you have a dream account that you haven’t had the opportunity to work on yet? 

Savannah: I think we’d both enjoy working on a fashion brand. But maybe dream accounts should just stay that. The reality of working on that account could totally change your opinion of it, and often I’ve found more delight in making a good creative platform for a brand you wouldn’t expect.

Ashley: I think the account is less important than the people behind it. You could come up with the best ad in the world, but if the CMO isn’t interested in doing exciting work, it won’t matter. I want to work with a brand that has a CMO with an appetite for beautiful work.