Part of an ongoing series highlighting the amazing people in the creative community.
Lydia Mazer is a Senior Talent Manager and an all around bad ass. She's one of the many amazing folks who have worked at 52 Limited, our long-time supporters. She's also on the board at IPRC, helps coordinates dMob for the AIGA, and is one of the event leads for Design Week Portland. We recently caught up with her to ask her how she does everything she does.
See Anthony Georgis’ photos and the interview below.
What’s the most important superpower to have as a Talent Manager?
The ability to juggle knives, on fire, with a smile. We are in direct contact with about 40-50 people every week about things that are going on, all at different phases, trying to keep things from going sideways while managing peoples' expectations, schedules and goals. It's fun, and there's hardly a dull moment, but it is also certainly a trick to pull it off without looking like you've got one hand tied behind your back (because it's calling that candidate that got stuck in traffic on the way to their interview).
How has the creative landscape in Portland changed since you started working locally?
There has always been such a killer creative community in Portland, it's why I moved here. Since I've moved here, though, I've seen an increase in attracting international talent to come speak and collaborate with locals. It's been a pretty awesome transformation to watch.
Another way it's changed is that there is so much more opportunity and at the same time so much more competition! I started doing creative recruiting in 2012 and it was pretty bleak out there. I met so many awesome designers and creatives that I just couldn't help. There were no full time roles, while also having little opportunity to hop from one freelance project to another. Now the awesome folks are hard to come by and can demand freelance, contract or full time work.
There are so many new startups, agencies, offshoots and international brands here- we're really able to keep up with some other creative-heavy cities, while also offering all the stuff they don't have (hello, Mt. Hood!).
Do you have any tips for folks looking for new opportunities?
Network, network, network. And of course, have your portfolio filled with your best (and only your best) work. To the portfolio point, everybody needs an editor- and if it's not you, find a friend (or a recruiter!) with good taste and ask them what to keep and what to scrap. Don't make it hard for hiring managers to understand what you want or what you can do. That's the quickest way to sink your own ship.
Beyond your day job, you’re engaged in a lot of community and arts organizations. What’s the most rewarding thing about doing that kind of work?
I'm such a people-person, and a bit of a busybody. I really just love knowing who everyone is, what they do and what they're working on. There's always more to learn about what's going on in town and being involved with things like Design Week and dMob are great ways to do that.
Through being involved as a board member at the Independent Publishing Resource Center, I get to help steer the ship on one of the best creative resources we have in town- and who wouldn't love that?