Westport may no longer be chockablock with illustrators.
And we’re certainly no longer the Marketing Capital of the World.
But artists and marketers still work here. Sometimes, they’re the same person.
You just have to know where to look.
Elliot Gerard is still young. He was raised on the Upper East Side. But he remembers the Westport of “old.”
His grandparents Philip and Lillian Gerard had a summer place here. His uncle and aunt, Darko and Jena Maric, are longtime residents. His parents were married here. Gerard spent plenty of time in Westport, and loved it.
After graduating from Pratt Institute, he worked in design for a gaming company.
He loved the New York Knicks. They loved his freelance artwork about the team. So did players, who reposted it on their personal social media accounts.
ESPN called. Then CBS, Vice Sports, Bleacher Report and Major League Soccer.
Soon, Gerard was creating animations for the Madison Square Garden Jumbotron.
As LeBron James led the Cleveland Cavaliers to the playoffs, Gerard designed a digital magazine cover that perfectly captured the star’s kinetic energy. James used the artwork on his social media.
“That put me on the map,” Gerard says.
When the Cavs won the NBA title, he was a natural choice to design the team’s enormous mural. It was displayed at their arena.
That helped land Gerard a job with MKTG. The marketing firm has over 2 dozen offices worldwide. Most are in major cities.
But there’s one in an office park on Greens Farms Road. Over 100 people work there.
As vice president, creative director he works with corporate partners like IBM and AT&T. He’s involved in events like the Super Bowl.
Gerard is well aware of the links between his current job, and Westport’s arts and marketing heritage.
Now he’s a Westporter too. He and his wife Meredith recently moved here, with their young daughter and son.
“I’m a city kid,” Gerard says of his new hometown. “But I played in my uncle and aunt’s backyard. Now my kids play in their own.”