Side Gig: Laragh Gallagher, Artist

September 26, 2019

Creativity never goes off the clock.

This blog series delves into the creative work our people do when they’re ‘off the clock.’

By JD Sutherland, Senior Copywriter, TMA

Inside the TMA hallways you’ll find the typical agency titles: account executives, copywriters, creative directors, operations managers, and more… but behind the scenes, those same folks double as photographers, artists, screenwriters, novelists, singers, actors and a plethora of other creative roles.

At TMA, we pride ourselves on creativity that matters – both inside and outside the office. In this new blog series, we take a closer look at the creative endeavors our people get into when they’re ‘off the clock.’ We recently sat down with Senior Vice President of Creative, Laragh Gallagher to talk about her unconventional approach to her paintings and audio art performances.

The clock hits 5 and our creativity shuts off for the day, right? Absolutely not. For creative folks – and we’re not just talking about copywriters and art directors – for creative individuals, there is no off switch.

Laragh Gallagher has been with The Marketing Arm for over 13 years, growing from a Creative Director into a Senior Vice President of Creative; but long before she began her career in marketing, she was simply an artist. Over the past several years, she’s taken her paintings and her art to a new level, collaborating with fellow TMAers to create and produce two experimental shows that not only give voice to her unconventional portraits, they push the boundaries of where art can go.

It began years ago in her studio when she had the idea to personify the seven deadly sins. What would these sins look like in human form? What would they feel like? How would someone feel when looking at them? She created a series of seven colorful, yet incredibly raw and real portraits. From there, the natural questions arose: what are these people’s stories? How did they get to this point? Where do they go from here?

The amazing thing about working at a place like TMA is that you’re surrounded by like-minded creative individuals. It’s a hub. A home base. A mecca of talented, crazy, bizarre, imaginative little monkeys trapped in a corporate setting. It’s fantastic.

She showed her pieces to members of her team and it clicked in their minds instantly. They got it. She was excited to share her ideas, and her team was excited to help make them a reality. Together they crafted a story set in a Waffle House at 3AM, and as they say, the rest was magic.

Laragh’s marketing experience taught her to break the traditional in order to stand out. She wanted her audience to have an unforgettable experience. She didn’t want them to interpret the paintings, she knew exactly what they were and wanted to leave no stone left unturned. How they felt about it, however, was completely up to them.

Her team of writers crafted a script made of predominantly monologues with short dialogue interactions in between. The monologues dived head first into each character’s personal stories, illustrating how their ‘sins’ came to be.

Like most creatives, Laragh is an observer. She’s fascinated by human behavior and why we do the things we do. Why we feel the things we feel. You wouldn’t think there’s a blended line between a graphic, boundary-pushing painter and a corporate business woman crafting million-dollar marketing ideas – but there is. Laragh’s creativity is unique, and her determination to keep her personal creative works moving forward inspires her fellow teammates to do the same.

As the saying goes, everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, and lucky for the creative individuals at The Marketing Arm, every minute is spent day-dreaming, imagining, brainstorming and creating. Anything from dynamic in-store points of sale and engaging digital campaigns, to experimental art shows that inspire us to reflect on our own lives. Anything goes.

To see more of Laragh’s work and upcoming shows, follow her on social media.

Facebook: Art by Daragh