Tools of the Trade: Caitlyn Pierre of Barker

By Kyle O'Brien 

Tools of the Trade is an AgencySpy feature to help highlight the many tools that help make advertising and marketing folks successful. The tools can be anything that helps people perform at their top form, from a favorite drafting table to the best software program to a lucky pen, a vintage typewriter or a pair of headphones.

Next up is Caitlyn Pierre, art director at New York independent agency Barker.

Caitlyn Pierre of Barker stands with the logo of her favorite show, Shark Tank.


What is one tool you use all the time at work, and how does it inspire your work?

One tool I use all the time to inspire me at work is Shark Tank, the television show featuring entrepreneurs pitching their ideas and products to a panel of venture capitalists in the hope that one of them will invest.

Why is it your favorite?

Not only do the stories and products of the entrepreneurs who go on Shark Tank inspire me, but so do the stories, passion, and advice of the “sharks.” A lot of the time, the entrepreneurs are looking to solve simple problems that people tend to overlook, which is exactly what I do in my job as an art director. As an art director, you are tasked with coming up with sophisticated, unique concepts that entice your audience, while also solving their problems—sometimes before they even knew they had them. It can be difficult because you have to gather information, assess all the risk factors, and also determine how it will be viewed from an outside eye—much like the Sharks do when considering investing in a product. I use many of the same techniques they employ on the show daily at work and in a sense, I use them in my day-to-day as well.

How did you acquire your tool or hear about it for the first time?

Shark Tank has always aired on ABC, which is one of the few channels that was available on antenna TV when I was younger. Being that there wasn’t much to watch on the few channels I had access to, Shark Tank became one of my comfort shows, funny as that may be. I could watch (and still can) for literally hours.

How does it help you be successful?

It empowers me to see how far my potential can go. Whether that’s making a small idea for a brochure or pitching for a big campaign, Shark Tank has helped me to gain a newfound perspective on the concept of idea-making and what it takes to bring your ideas to life which is crucial as an art director.

Does it have sentimental value?

In a sense, the show does have sentimental value. I love rewatching older episodes and being reminded of when I was younger and had dreams to become something “big.” Younger me would have never imagined at this age I’d have the career and passion that I do—that those dreams would actually become reality.

We want to know what tools you use to make you successful. If you’d like to contribute or know someone who would want to be featured in Tools of the Trade, contact and fill out our survey.