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The Creative Essentials of Executive Creative Director Kurt Novack

Find out what items are essential to the creativity of this Leo Burnett Paris creative director.

Meet Kurt Novack, executive creative director for Leo Burnett Paris. Chicago-born Novack has lived and held a variety of creative roles in Paris over the years. In 2015, he joined Leo Burnett Paris as an executive creative director, leading a team of 25 creative minds on a variety of digital, social and traditional advertising campaigns. Novack’s recent brand work includes the interactive, app-based campaign “Chroma" for Musée de l'Homme as well as the Instagram-driven “#ReconnectWithNature” campaign for Crosscall.

We caught up with Novack during the recent GPC in Chicago, where he shared his “creative essentials”: the items that keep his creative mind turning. Read on below as Novack reveals why they are so essential to him.

“Superman vs. Muhammad Ali” Comic Book
“The ‘Superman vs Mohamed Ali’ comic book is from 1978, when I was a kid. I grew up on comics. They inspired me to draw, tell stories and to create cool stuff. Anything can happen in a story you make up. Even Superman and Mohamed Ali can come together.”

“The Lord of the Rings” by J. R. R. Tolkien
“This was the first book that my dad read to me when I was a kid. I love that it’s a story of a make-believe world but founded on symbolism of the real world. Tolkien used Beowulf as inspiration and made up languages based on Latin and old Anglo-Saxon. Perrott’s Folly at Edgbaston in Birmingham is a dilapidated tower that’s supposed to have inspired the Fortress of Isengard.”

“Tipping Point” by Malcom Gladwell
“Insights and strategy drive our creative work and I think Malcom Gladwell is one of the smartest of insight men. I wish he was my planner.”

“The strangest experience you will ever have watching a film about humans and technology. It makes you stop and think.”

“Reves de Paris” by Izis Bidermanas
“This book of photos from the ‘50sis by Izis Bidermanas, one of the five greatest humanist photographers. The book explores Paris before the cars, the noise and the mess of today. He juxtaposes his photos alongside short paragraphs by writers like Henry Miller, Jean Cocteau and Andre Breton that evoke the dreams of Paris. It’s truly inspiring.”

“Studio” by Paulo Roversi
“It’s a book of Paulo Roversi’s best portraits in black and white, featuring Natalia Vodianova among others. Craft at its best.”

Led Zepplin
“Because, hey—it’s Led Zeppelin.”