An Interview with Steve Vranakis

This year we have Steve Vranakis, Executive Creative Director Google Creative Lab. Steve is on board with Creative Conscience, its vision and is part of our judging team. Here’s what Steve has to say…

What are you passionate about? What motivates and inspires you?

I truly believe in the transformative power of technology. I’ve experienced it first hand.
Having access means having equal opportunity for all. It means betterment through education. It means knowledge through information. It means it no longer matters who you are or where you come from. Creativity in itself inspires me. The idea that we use our very ideas to make and do things in a better way. From redesigning products to be more sustainable to creating platforms that help people with their day to day lives. This is what we are capable of doing and need to do more of.

What is your greatest professional (and/or personal) accomplishment?

My team and I were fortunate last year in winning both a Yellow pencil at D&AD as well as a Grand Prix at Cannes but the thing that we’re most proud of was a little mobile site that we built in 36 hours to help Syrian refugees fleeing civil war keep safe.
It helped a lot of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. It’s since been scaled by dozens of NGO’s and charities as it was built in Google Docs across multiple regions all over Europe helping hundreds of thousands of people in need.

Who has been your biggest influence?

My father has probably been my biggest influence. He left Greece many years ago with nothing in search of a better life in Canada where I was born.
He worked two jobs as a labourer to provide for our family. But he is an incredibly creative guy.
From hand making beautiful musical instruments, to illustrating and painting (funny portraits of me mum!) I remember him coming back from work with stacks of paper with designs that he had made during his breaks at work. Really beautiful and ornate drawings. He did what he had to do to provide for us but had things been different, I’m sure he would have been an amazing artist of some sort. I’m thankful for all the opportunities he created for us.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given and who gave it?

Maya Angelou said something I think about every single day and use as my filter when looking at and judging creative ideas as well as being my overall modus operandi for life in general. It just doesn’t get much better than this:

‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.’

What moved you we get involved with Creative Conscience?

I talk a lot about this notion of Creative Activism. The idea that we can not only sell things but also make things that help people, the environment and just make things better. I feel that we as creatives are best positioned to make change. We are natural born problem solvers. We make things look awesome. We have the ability to design things in a better way. Our creativity comes from our drive to do the right thing, our beliefs, our values and our… conscience.