Libby DeLana is just the loveliest person. Meeting the sweet and laidback woman, you probably wouldn’t guess that she’s one of the advertising industry’s most successful and influential forces. Multi-talented Libby studied philosophy, trained as a graphic designer, and is now one of the industry’s leading creative directors. She actively advocates for female leadership in and out of the ad world, and is heavily involved with a handful of charities. In her spare time, she founded branding firm Mechanica in 2004 with Ted Nelson and Jim Garaventi. She also describes herself as a devoted mother and wife. Basically, she’s the woman who can do it all.
I’ve worked with Libby on many projects throughout the years. Most recently, we collaborated in January on a shoot for Saucony. Her vision for the campaign was a departure from the typical athletic wear campaign, where you see somebody running down a lonely road or through an urban landscape. Libby wanted to do something more minimalist and artful.
Working with Libby is always great because true collaboration is something she values, which I really appreciate–that’s what this industry should be all about. We had countless phone calls and chats over clamballs at Woodman’s where we bounced ideas off of each other for what the final pictures would look like. On set, she allowed me the creative freedom to deviate from the original plan and play around with light and composition. For example, the black and white portrait of the female model began with a strict lighting set-up and then evolved–or devolved–to a more natural shot taken with available light.
Libby is an inspiration to work with, the kind of woman who could pick a leaf up off the ground and design something around it. Collaborating with her fueled my own creativity, and being able to play off of her was a lot of fun. At the end of the shoot, I dragged her on set to take a couple of photos of her and her striking long, gray hair. I think they really capture her spirit.
Take a look at some photos from the shoot: