We had the good fortune of connecting with Christian Hoyle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christian, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Everything in life is a risk. I’ve always been one to jump into risky situations head on. It doesn’t mean that I’m not terrified of the risks, I just prefer to try and fail rather than live a life filled with “what if’s”. Risk is meant to push us forward as creatives. A safe place is not conducive to the best creative thinking. Now, I’m not saying we should sit on train tracks to come up with the next big idea; but we have to get out of our bubbles to see and understand who we’re communicating with. This is the way the best ideas are created. One of the biggest risks that I ever took in my young adult life was after my father unexpectedly passed away in my junior year of college, leaving me financially and emotionally high and dry. My father was a strong figure in my life. His influence on me reverberates to this day. He was the one to convince me to study Architecture instead of Graphic Design, which was my true passion. In those days, in Latin America, Graphic Design wasn’t viewed as a “real career”. It was seen as more of a hobby. While standing over his grave in Peru, I came to the realization that I COULDN’T live my life doing something that my heart wasn’t 100% into. When I came back to school (UT Arlington! Go Moving Mavs!), I immediately switched majors…one year before graduating. Without discussing it with my family. And without really having a firm understanding what the career of Graphic Design meant. What I did know was that my heart told me that this was the right thing to do. Throughout the years, I have taken risks to explore other aspects of my creative career. Not all have worked out how I expected. I went from larger agencies to smaller shops that were more susceptible to fickle clients and management, often leaving staff on their own. It sucked. What this taught me though, was to never give up on myself and my family. As trite as it sounds, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move forward. No one is going to solve your problems for you, so you have to stay in the fight till you hear a bell. Most recently, I made the jump to an in-house agency. I’ve been an agency rat since day one of my career, so this risk scared the crap out of me. But the potential rewards were too great to pass up. So I stepped into the halls of Frito-Lay in Plano to help build out the agency. It’s been a wild and thrilling ride. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that going corporate is boring. I’ve done some of the most fun work and have been the most engaged in all my career. Working at a place that constantly pushes you to leap into the unknown recesses of creativity every day is terrifying, in the best possible way. The biggest risk that I can say that I ever took was to steal a kiss from a girl I liked a lot in college. That one alone has led me on the best journey of my life, and it’s spanned 22 years so far. All in all, I don’t regret a single risk I have taken. I try my best to learn from each one, whether or not they work out. It’s always a fun ride.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is the art of concept. Through insightful concepts I can help create memorable creative, whether it’s a piece of broadcast advertising, or a digital experience, to everything in between. I am honestly most excited about the future. The world is changing right before our eyes. People are looking to have a more meaningful connection with the brands that they’re buying. This pushes us creative folk to have to rethink the ways we’ve approached our craft before. Long gone are the days of “build it and they will come”. Your audience can see through the bullshit and has zero problems calling you out on it. We have to be better and faster. This is the real challenge. I have reinvented myself throughout my career multiple times. As a creative, if you’re not in a constant state of evolution, you’ll invariably be gone the way of the dinosaur in no time. I firmly believe that my strongest creative comes from a strong sense of empathy. My empathetic nature was forged through growing up in countries led by dictators (and subsequently toppled – Panama). At that time, I was able to see through my privileged life and understand that my situation was not the norm. It embarked me on a lifelong journey to understand, listen to, communicate with, and help those around me. That’s how I am able to hone in on insights that create connection. that’s the super power of creative.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We’re talking pre-COVID times here when we actually HAD guests and went out. In that world, I would say, the first thing I’d do is take my friends to the Nasher Sculpture Center, spend the day there. That place never gets old. Then, something I haven’t done in a hot minute, but love about the city is to ride bikes around White Rock Lake. We’d have lunch at The Angry Dog in Deep Ellum. I live out in Frisco, so I would also show them around up north. If there are kids involved, we head over the to Heard museum in McKinney or In-Sync Exotics to see some big cats and support the old timers a little. For dinner, we’d probably hit up 3 places in town over a few days, Hutchins BBQ, Testa Pizzeria, and Simply Thai in downtown Frisco.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d love to give a shoutout to my team in Frito-Lay’s internal agency and our brand team partners. They’ve each pushed me out of my comfort zone and into some amazing work. To Jaime Andrade, my first Creative Director, he taught me how to lead, how to mentor, and how important it is to pay it forward. I’m in great company with the 2020 class of my AdWeek Executive Mentorship program fellow mentees. I’ve learned so much from them, we’re going to change the world, just you wait. My family that has at times dreamed bigger for me than I ever thought possible. I wouldn’t be half of what I am without them all.
Headshot by Chase Rodriguez