Javier Osorio, Francisco Vargas, Leopoldo Zerpa, Mario Brito and Maddy Kramer

Álvar Suñol of alma: The pandemic heightened creatives’ vulnerability
12 de noviembre de 2021

“I believe that professionals known for their creativity normally have a sensitivity that makes them more emotionally vulnerable,” said Álvar Suñol, co-president and CCO of alma, during the webinar¿Tenemos consciencia sobre nuestra salud mental?, (Are we aware of our mental health?), organized by the Circulo Creativo USA. He was the first of three presenters to take on a delicate subject that has been affecting labor forces, particularly in the advertising industry.

“We’re constantly being judged by what we do. In the end, an idea is the most debatable thing in the world, and the filters a creative has to go through are many, and that takes its emotional toll,” Suñol said. He added that in addition, creatives are all currently quarantined because of the pandemic, which means “you’re left without stimuli and that causes an anxiety that can lead to low spirits and the feeling you aren’t able to do anything because you lack the stimuli that usually inspire you.”

Suñol was accompanied by Maddy Kramer, freelance creative director & co-founder of Invisibles Creatives; Mario Brito, clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst; Javier Osorio, director of the Círculo Creativo USA Chicago; and Leopoldo Zerpa, director of La Academia de la Ignorancia and the meeting’s moderator.

For Kramer, what the pandemic left in its wake is a need to rethink what the industry used to be. “Agency culture was an illusion, always based on the physical place of the good times, of being with the creatives in person.” He said the people worked more during the pandemic, “and that has left companies’ culture a little broken down because they needed the others to feel they weren’t overworked. But once we didn’t go to the office, we’ve worked more than ever when it should have been just the opposite.”

In the light of the long working hours and pressure that creatives generally undergo, Suñol referred to Kramer’s words when he said that agencies should have a strong culture to compensate for the stress, “but with a genuine atmosphere, not in a place that seems based on extortion. That’s why I think this culture is very important to make people feel respected, so they can live their life and enjoy it, and so get the help they need,” he said.