Texas Creative Spotlight: Dr. Glenn Griffin

Texas Creative is the creative focused portfolio program within the Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations, in which students acquire skills in art direction and copywriting while developing campaigns. Starting in the Fall 2023 semester, Dr. Glenn Griffin joined the School as the inaugural Director of Texas Creative, and I had the opportunity to speak with him about his background and this new role.

Dr. Griffin describes himself as a highly curious person, constantly trying new things and challenging his biases. He was fascinated by advertising from a very young age, often quoting taglines instead of nursery rhymes. When I asked him how he started in the advertising industry, he described entering the business and learning a lot on the job, "After college, I still didn't really know what a portfolio was and improvised a few campaigns that got me my first creative gig in an in-house marketing department." Since then, he’s made teaching his career for the past 20 years, built and led creative programs around the country and conducted research on the creative process. 

After a brief stint as a Texas Creative faculty member from 2003 to 2005, Dr. Griffin never envisioned returning to lead the program, but he now describes his Director role as his dream job. "It was an opportunity I didn't see coming. A friend reached out to me and urged me to apply, and as I prepped for an interview I became more and more excited about the contributions I could make to a program that had contributed so much to my own career." He feels confident in his ability to provide good advice to students about their work and careers, and he feels that the teaching and development of creativity is something UT does particularly well. 

As for his interactions with the students of Texas Creative, Dr. Griffin says they keep him feeling young and energized. "I love seeing their excitement when they discover great ideas and the pride they take when executing them beautifully," he told me. He encourages students to stay curious, noting that there is no single formula for success as a creative professional. 

Advertising is known to be a high-pressure, quick paced, and sometimes toxic business. Students must prepare for what the industry may bring and be ready to adapt at a moment's notice in this constantly changing industry. I asked Dr. Griffin if he had any advice for students entering the workforce. "Look for opportunities to be a voice against the cynicism and complacency we see too much of in our industry," he said, "students should understand that it's part of their mission to change advertising for the better."

Arlyne Barrera
Frances Lee