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Kean University

Emlyn Allen, Hudson Rouge

Raised on the faraway shores of Australia, Emlyn Ellen's journey to NYC was over 30 years in the making. As a kid, he almost always had a paintbrush or pencil in his hand with a penchant for writing and illustrating stories. Every school text-book was filled with cartoon characters and scribbles. Who knew this was to be his first creative director training.

Growing up in an academic family and being shipped off to grammar school, he often felt like the black sheep. Traditional education wasn’t his strong suit, his approached to problem-solving was always different from the other students. He excelled in art throughout school, developing a passion for graphic design.

He studied graphic design in college, further developing  his street-inspired illustration style, which eventually landed him the Illustration Award and his first gig at surfwear company Billabong. From there he worked as a graphic designer for multiple clothing labels, night clubs, music festivals and record labels. It was perhaps the most creative and fun time of his career, despite living paycheck to paycheck.

Looking for something a little more concrete, he cut his teeth in the advertising world at a small local agency. Starting from the bottom he learned all the skills of traditional and print advertising, the digital age as we know it had not yet arrived. He continued his studies at an advertising school which taught him the aspects of creative thinking. With hard work and a bit of luck, he finished as the top #3 student and went on to have some success at the Cannes Young Lions Awards.

This gave him the confidence to eventually try his luck in the holy grail – The USA.  

Moving to the States his learning curve was steep. It took him over six months to land a job and nearly returned to Australia deflated. Luckily 360i New York took a gamble on him. There, he worked on Toyota, Corona, Stella Artois and a bunch of new business, working on a much larger stage than he imagined.

He eventually moved up the ranks and found himself at his current agency, Hudson Rouge. There he has been responsible for turning aging car company Lincoln around and yes – making some of those bizarre Matthew McConaughey commercials. Never before has his work been more in the public eye, discussed and even parodied. Making a splash in popular culture has truly been his career highlight to date.

Emlyn Allen
Emlyn Allen