Stephen Szymanski is a native of Baltimore, a BFA graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and currently resides in Arlington, Virginia (spitting distance from DC). With over 20 years of experience helping clients achieve their marketing and communication goals, Stephen is an accomplished Creative Director, Art Director, Designer, Copywriter, Conceptual Strategist and Armchair Therapist. Before founding SDMC, Stephen was the Creative Director for Marsh - the world's leading risk management and insurance services firm. Most recently, Stephen was the Creative Director for Symplicity Corporation - a technology firm in Arlington, VA. He is also an Adjunct Professor at UMBC where he teaches classes in Brand Identity. If he had free time, he would be spending it attempting to escape the horrors of the world in which we live by reclining in the comfy leather club chairs of the Courthouse AMC theater, or trying to paddle a kayak in a forward direction, or by finally penning that great American novel.
How I Got To Memphis
In Aaron Sorkin's vastly underrated television show The Newsroom, "That's How I Got to Memphis" is a favorite song of a lead character's grandson who explains, "Memphis is just a stand in for wherever you happen to be at the time". The lyrics go, "If you love somebody enough, you'll follow wherever they go. That's how I got to Memphis." What originally seems to be a song about a road trip turns out in fact to be a love story.
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about geography, the passage of time and the question of how I got to where I am today. The answer it turns out is also a love story. A love of art and design. A love of problem-solving. And a love of being able to share those passions with others.
I've been lucky to have forged a career out of helping make brands better - the direct result of working with some very talented people. From directors of corporate marketing departments, to NYC ad men, art and design teachers, entrepreneurs, fine artists, and graphic designers from every manner of industry and region, everything I know about marketing, brand and design is due to their collective talent, wisdom and knowledge. I would follow each and every one of them to Memphis.