STEPHEN BAGINSKI BIO
Stephen Baginski is a Creative Director/AD currently freelancing in New York City. He received his BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design and began his career as an Art Director at Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago, working with major talents such as Larry Frey and Bill Davenport who would go on to put Wieden + Kennedy on the map.
From there, Stephen spent 2 years DDB before heading to Leo Burnett to work on Noxzema, casting Rebecca Gayheart as the Noxzema Girl and giving Jerod Leto his first acting role next to Rebecca.
During his time at Burnett, Stephen opened the Crux Art Gallery while also creating and selling his own paintings. His successful endeavors on the art scene drove him to New York.
Stephen was not quite done with advertising, however. He took a position as Creative Director at Gotham NY, to help reboot the Maybelline brand and had the distinct pleasure of working with iconic beauties such as Christy Turlington, Famke Janssen, Adrianna Lima, Manon, Frederique Van der Wal, Jane Seymour, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tyra Banks. Are we sensing a theme here?
Then it was on to J. Walter Thompson where he created awardwinning advertising for Lubriderm, The Wall Street Journal, Kodak and Clairol among others. He was also the lead creative on $120,000,000.00 win from Phizer in JWT being awarded the Celebrex business.
Currently, Stephen is open to new freelance opportunities. In addition, he’s enjoying all that New York City has to offer, as well as traveling, art. long distance swimming, and cycling.
DEAD TURTLE: A SHORT STORY
Dead Turtle: Location—1016 East 11th Street, Erie, Pennsylvania, 16503, “The Lower East Side.” The backyard of Dan Pomorski’s property was a neighborhood baseball field bordered by several pieces of inner city property. On the south side The Greek & Russian Orthodox Church with a tall row of hedges. On the east side running north and south, a long tall fence that belonged to the apartments he rented to The Davis’s & The Royer’s which joined Martin & Sally Pomorski’s (Dan’s older brother & family) property, bushes & fence as well. The north side was bound by the Prylinski’s alley/driveway and continued through the alley by The Temmenoff’s garages which were in the back of their backyard, the ones Danny Kaiser used to rent and where he would work on his old Chevy Hot Rods, drinking beer, listening to loud music, smoking cigarettes and getting high on weed. A little 5 year old boy walks south through the alley and directly onto the first base line and stands there with an antique four fingered baseball glove soaked fresh with motor oil his grandfather used to soften it up with and a brand new T-shirt his mother gave him so the older boys could use it to make a uniform for him.
“Hey Jimmy get a load of this.” someone said as I walked into the baseball field which was The Pomorski’s backyard but was a baseball field for now, I believed it was Three Rivers Stadium and The Indians were playing an away game that day.
I had the baseball glove that “Pup” (my grandfather Stephen “Steamboat” Kovac) had given me, the one with three fingers and a thumb just like the old school players Babe Ruth, Sandy Koufax, Cy Young and those guys used to play with. I don’t remember having a hat but my mom (Charlotte Baginski) had given me a brand new t-shirt to take over to the game so I would have a “uniform” and be part of one of the teams, the two teams, the only teams that played in The Pomorski’s backyard.
I think it was Danny Pomorski who snatched my t-shirt from me and said, “Hey Jimmy (Jimmy Royer) whaddah ya think? Pirate or Indian?”
I said, “Pirate.”
Jimmy said, “Indian.”
Danny grabbed the red magic marker, put the cap between his teeth, bit down, un-capped the marker leaving the cap in the corner of his mouth like the end of an old cigar and ever so artfully wrote ‘Indians’ on the back of my t-shirt and drew a little Cleveland Indian above the left chest part of the shirt. The next thing I knew I was in the batters box looking at some mean older kid with glasses as thick as Coke bottles throwing a baseball at me. I swung, I saw the ball fly over the bushes towards the Greek & Russian Orthodox Church, and I heard everybody yelling at me to run so I took off straight for the pitcher, over the pitchers mound and onto second base. The whole time I heard the other players and kids laughing and teasing me for running the wrong way and for running as fast as I could as one of the kids yelled, “He’s slower than a turtle!”
Another voice added laughing, “A Dead Turtle!” The laughter got even louder as some of the kids rolled on the ground laughing hysterically repeating my new nickname over and over again, “Dead Turtle! Dead Turtle, Dead Turtle.”
As I stood proudly on second base catching my breath I had not only simultaneously made a name for myself and been accepted into the neighborhood by the guys but I was a solid offensive threat full of untapped potential, I had a great nickname and was already wishing to be traded from the stinking lowdown Indians and become who I really was, pure Pennsylvanian black and gold, a Pittsburg Pirate.
Baginski "The Early Years."
My First Agency
Founder, CEO & Art Director
1973 Hires first employee
Erie Daily Times Hires Ad Agency
First Awards Show
Turns down WPP buy out offer
Going global. There were unbelievers, haters, they said it couldn't be done. Well after more than a decade in the ad game I guess we showed them. Even when we started I knew we needed to offer our clients more than just great creative. Our first effort outside Erie, Pennsylvania was doing a guerilla effort in Sherman, New York for our bait shop client on the Erie Downtown Dock, we offered a free quarter pint of worms to any of the firsherman who stopped at our Pop-Up Lemonade & Bait & Tackle Stand for a minimum purchase of $2.50, a huge success and added coal to our creative engine.
We were on a roll.
Ready to leave a mark? Contact us!
References available upon request