Maria Versace: Client Success & Creative Coordinator, Advocate For Living Consciously, Top Chef And Wunderkind
What is your role at Prager Creative?
I’m the Client Success & Creative Coordinator, which means I have one primary focus: everything. New business outreach, playing a key roll in the ideation process for our ever-evolving brand, white paper research, you name it. Whatever needs to get done, I get the ball rolling and keep it going in the right direction.
What passions drive your career?
I’m most interested in carving out a space in my industry where nonprofits and social movements have a real home. I want to build platforms for organizations that are making a difference on a grassroots, holistic level. Effective design has the power to amplify the voices of those who need to be heard, and I want to be that megaphone.
Favorite pastimes outside of work?
When I’m not cooking, painting, or making jewelry, I’m on a personal mission to try every Italian restaurant NYC has to offer. I’m half Italian so I take this duty very seriously. And I’m tackling a full course load at FIT. Safe to say I like to keep busy.
You mentioned painting. Oil or acrylic?
Right now, acrylic. Most of the pieces I create are mixed media combining splatter paint techniques with dried flower arrangements on canvas. Acrylic paint happens to work best with the materials I use.
Has creativity always been in your DNA?
Absolutely. As a kid, I took any art class I could fit into my schedule. Whether it was jewelry making or pottery, I dove in headfirst. Unlike a lot of kids, I grew up listening to AC/DC, Metallica, and Def Leppard. My parents even have a painting done by Rick Allen in their living room. Some people might think that art strictly has to do with still life portraits and classical music, but there’s so much creativity to be found in unconventional genres and media.
Favorite things about New York?
The restaurants and the architecture, particularly in the West End and Chelsea. Hands down one of the most beautiful spots in the whole city.
Call Me By Your Name and Parasite blew me away. For lighthearted movies, Moana and Crazy Rich Asians are always a good time.
Words to live by?
Live consciously. Whatever you are doing, make sure you’re doing it with purpose. Whether you’re eating a meal or writing an email, know how and why it’s getting done. That way, it’s easier to avoid taking the path of least resistance when it matters most.