Agency Life: Simon Craig, Changemaker


Some of the most exciting positions today are found in agile creative agencies, like Toronto agency Send + Receive. We spoke to Simon Craig, one of S+R’s partners, to find out what his agency brings to the table, where the industry is headed, and the importance of always learning more.

working at an agency
Whether you’re just starting to map out your future or you’ve been down several roads before, it’s never been easier to start a new career. With so many tools and resources available at our fingertips, and a digital landscape that’s constantly growing and evolving, there’s no end to the hats you can wear as a creative professional. Simon Craig, Creative Partner at one of Toronto’s leading agencies, shares his insights on what it takes to succeed in this fast-paced career.

Creativity is the name of the game

Part of the reason we formed Send + Receive was a recognition that the industry had changed, and was in need of a new kind of agency. Small, flexible, hands-on and project-focused, even when it comes to billing.

As well, we had a different philosophy, tailored to the realities of today’s new communication culture. Today, it’s so difficult to be heard with the glut of information out there, you really need to send messages worth receiving.

More than ever, creativity is the key to getting your message out there, and really being embraced by the community. As such, we think creativity is not just the means to great work, but success in business as well.

Patience pays off

In theory, we all want a fully-formed employee that can do it on their own. But you can’t always get that person.

Everyone needs time to mature and develop, especially at the junior creative level. So there are circumstances where you need to have patience, and nurture that talent over time, while being more hands-on.

That can pay dividends, as you can help mold an employee in “your image”, so to speak, or within the parameters/culture of your agency.

The future is flexible

We all wear multiple hats at the agency. Part of that is because we’re partners, so we’re all equally responsible for fostering the business relationships and the output. But part of that is the new, multi-disciplinary world we live in, with multi-disciplinary roles.

People don’t do just one thing, they often do many things. And the more things they do, the more things get done. And, people are happier when you let them exercise different skills in their job. This, to me is the future.

It’s never too late to make a bold move

Honestly, I didn’t really consider a career in advertising until later in life. This is my second, maybe even third career.

At one point, I told myself that as long as I was engaged in something creative, I’d be happy. So I let go of the tough life of being an actor/musician. When I began investigating a career in advertising, and then studying it, I realized that it was a discipline where a lot of these other skills came together anyway.

And I still consider myself an actor and musician. Those are just a couple of arrows in a quiver that I hope keeps expanding for the rest of my life.

To learn even more come check out RED Academy’s Agency Night on June 23rd, where we’ll be discussing all things agency life with speakers from Send + Receive, Havas and Jam3.


Dan Ophaug
Dan Ophaug

Dan Ophaug is a copy and content writer currently based in Toronto, Ontario. Born and raised in the UK, Dan has also spent time living in Montreal and New Brunswick. With a background in both journalism and film studies, he decided his real passion was in writing, and has since worked with everyone from arts publications to tech startups to produce creative content.

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Vancouver 778 379 7175

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Vancouver 778 379 7175

Toronto 647 793 2333


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