Carmen Love, Founder, Creative Director at Love Collective

Carmen Love—Founder, Creative Director at Love Collective— has 17+ years of agency experience working for some of the most influential brands in the world. Here’s a glimpse of her mindset when it comes to talent, leadership and lessons the pandemic has taught.

What is the number one quality you look for in talent?

A mix of integrity and curiosity. Most skills can be trained but the way a person sees the world—the degree to which they’re true to themselves, and their level of interest in the unknown—speaks volumes about their creative character.

These are people who are intrinsically motivated to find truth and stand by it, even when it’s unpopular or uncomfortable. Their sense of wonder protects them against cynicism and the ordinary. If you consider doing any sort of creative work, there’s a kind of earnest restlessness that goes a long way in finding new solutions, and enjoying that process.

I find that the best recruiters are adept at connecting with candidates on a personal level and identifying these qualities in them, whether they say so in as many words or not.

What is something the industry isn’t paying enough attention to that they should?

The fact that remote work is here to stay. That allowing talent to create the circumstances where they are at their happiest and most productive can only be a win-win. That companies who embrace this have a massive advantage over those who don’t—and it’s already changing how talent evaluates job opportunities, compensation, and company culture.

What part of your role as a leader do you find most rewarding?

It’s very much about impact outlasting physical presence. Depending on the role, that can mean winning new business, contributing to a shift in culture, or building up creative talent that continues to succeed long after we’ve left the building.

 Even more so as an independent creative partner, where every day is day one: it’s an ongoing challenge that keeps me inspired to do my best work.

What is one thing you have learned from the pandemic in 2021 that you hope to carry into the future?

Prototyping as a way of life. We seem to be moving faster and faster through cycles of chaos and reorganization—which can be disorienting, but also provides an incredible amount of freedom to experiment in real time.

It’s important to remember that, regardless of circumstances, it’s always possible to create a microclimate where you can thrive on your own terms. And if enough of us are doing that, we can bring about important change for the greater good.

By Sasha The Mensch