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creative lead


Let’s team up and tell emotional stories that get people to look, listen and leap! My roles as Dean of Academics, Creative Lead and Strategist have armed me with industry experience I have adapted for use when building and leading creative teams — particularly when it comes to guiding and mentoring while simultaneously managing varied project scopes, facilitating a dynamic “yes, and…” dialogue and always leading the creative innovation charge!


core creative lead skills

Lead — Great leaders don’t tell you what to do, they show you how it’s done. Provide my team hands on mentorship and vision with a focus on brand, visual communication and strategy development and execution.


Collaborate — Closely engage with and advocate for our business partners, interpret their objectives and formulate engaging solutions that contribute to our brand’s evolution and success.


Vision and Voice — Generate and drive innovative concepts that result in “WOW” moments that resonate with our audience.


Communicate — High degree of authentic and effective communication skills to ensure the multiple facets of our organization connect and leverage each other’s strengths.


leadership philosophy

Our environment plays an enormous role in cultivating our creative spirit. As young children, we all started out playing with a box of 120 crayons to express our creativity. Somehow between that age and adulthood, that wide array has been reduced to only two colors — blue and red. These colors are often contained within a BIC pen and we’ve been conditioned to see red and think “wrong answer.” The best creative environment is one of “what if we…” True creativity only happens when we’re allowed to play like we did when we were our 5-year-old selves where we are curious and look at the world through a lens that is truly unique to each of us.


Collaboration is a vital ingredient to the team recipe. You will accomplish more with “we” than you even can with just “me.” Working as a team, we rely on each other’s strengths to help us solve the creative challenge. There will be moments when we listen and learn and others when we lead the creative charge. As creatives, we’re constantly adding skills to our creative tool kits. These collaborative moments help each of us to grow and become more effective communicators.


My team advocates for the brand and builds bridges to other facets of the organization. We’re the defenders of our brand’s visual voice and personality. Every interaction is our opportunity to make a connection and create an advocate who will support our collective cause. Our brand is a conduit to people expressing who they are and what they believe in. Our collaborative partnership will build a stronger, unified community that extends beyond our product or service.


My eye is ever focused on the guidepost firmly planted on the horizon. While I partner with leadership to ensure all steps we take directly lead us to that goal, I take full advantage of every engagement to learn who our brand is on the inside as well as the out — our internal culture must reflect our outward-facing story and ultimate truth!


supervisor recommendation

Michael Weeks | Director | Roper Mountain Science Center — Greenville SC

Dean Ballas is creative, determined, extremely efficient, and gifted. It has been a pleasure to work with such a multi-talented and engaging visionary to rebrand and define Roper Mountain’s outdated visual communication over the past year.

In a very short time Dean has worked closely with our administrative team and staff to determine a modern, fresh, and appropriate creative strategy and design for Roper Mountain. Not only has Dean set a clear vision and provided the framework for success, but he has also modeled a collaborative and open process that included all stakeholders. He took the time to engage with and understand the many programs and layers of our organization in order to lead an exciting and fitting graphic, marketing, and overall design to modernize our center.

Dean is truly a professional and is not only extremely gifted at design, but is also an excellent facilitator. He provided strong leadership and oversight to our team while patiently and purposefully mentoring us through the process. His graphic and visual design skill is evident but his ability to multi-task, innovate, and lead is what separates Dean from the rest. Dean has provided the creative vision that will set our organization apart and provide us with the clear, consistent visual communication that was so needed to excite, engage and expand our brand. I highly recommend Dean to anyone and am happy to speak to his many talents.

Want more information? Contact Mr. Weeks:


client recommendation

Hyram Laurel | Manager | Community Health Care Network — NYC NY

I am very pleased to recommend Dean, Creative Lead at I am the Manager of the Education and Outreach Department at Community Healthcare Network (CHN). We are an inner-city nonprofit organization focusing on exceptional medical and social services to diverse populations. Dean has volunteered his design services to CHN for over six plus years and has provided excellent guidance through the creative process of developing marketing health education materials that are appropriate for our demographics. He has helped enhance the overall quality of how we promote our services and how we provide health education and resources to our patients. As a non-profit, we do not have the funding to pay to produce high caliber materials, but with Dean’s guidance, this is now part of one of the things we our most proud of as an agency.

Dean’s award winning talent has lead us as an agency to develop a whole Health Literacy Department that will work closely with our marketing team to design materials that are simple to read and understand, provide useful information to all our patients while addressing education limits, language, culture, and comprehension. Dean is a dedicated, talented, driven and generous professional, as well as a born leader. He not only does great work, but also motivates others to do great things, both as the expert in charge and team member helping the group achieve new heights.

Want more information? Contact Mr. Laurel:


design team member recommendation

Jared Strouse | Graphic Designer | get READY girls — Doylestown PA

Dean was my creative lead at get READY girls while we were developing the brand elements for the company. As I see it there are three parts to what makes Dean a great creative lead. First is his ability to inspire. You can tell he has examined an extensive amount of design because he always pulls out examples that get your creative juices flowing and lead to a great concept of your own. The second aspect Dean does exceptionally well is push you past what you thought was your limit. The final creative concepts and designs are always where they need to be because Dean pushes you beyond “just good enough” on to “something you’re proud of.” The third thing that makes Dean a great creative lead is his attention to detail. As we would prepare projects for press or web, Dean would show me how to nail every detail to the wall before the project would leave our hands. From color choice and kerning to crop marks and bleeds, the attention to detail I have learned from Dean has been indispensable throughout the years. I have an easy time recommending Dean because he has helped me grow as a designer throughout my career so far as I’m sure he has done for so many others.