Introducing | New NYFA Board Member: Howard Pyle
“My career has always been a juggle between creative and commercial. This struggle is something that many artists are deeply familiar with, and I’m passionate about helping to make it an easier challenge to navigate.”
The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is proud to announce Howard Pyle, Senior Vice President in MetLife’s Global Brand and Marketing group, as one of the newest members of its Board of Trustees.
Pyle has led digital transformation and design programs for large brands, agencies, and start-ups throughout his 20+ year career. He believes strongly in the power of creating meaningful experiences that enable brands to connect and collaborate authentically with global audiences. At MetLife, Pyle is responsible for global brand transformation, digital marketing, and customer experience design. In his first year at the enterprise, Pyle led the development of a comprehensive new brand design system. Introduced in 2016, the brand has now been launched in 40 markets around the world and includes a new logo, photography, illustrations, and digital design to reinvigorate the heritage brand’s image within a traditionally conservative category. Before joining MetLife, Pyle was Vice President of Marketing Innovation at IBM, Senior Partner at OgilvyOne, and the founder of several start-ups focused on digital platforms and creative product development.
We recently caught up with Pyle to learn more about his work, interest in NYFA, and advice for emerging artists.
NYFA: What made you decide to join the NYFA Board?
Howard Pyle: We’re at a turning point in American history—we must invest in and support artistic expression as the key driver of cultural evolution and conversation. If artists are left by the wayside in an era of corporate and political extremism, then we have lost a fundamental way for us to progress, grow, and change as a people. NYFA plays a crucial role in supporting artists in bridging the gap between a commercial world the need to have time, space, and resources to make their work. This has always been a hard balance to strike, but it’s harder now than ever before. Through grants, training, resources, and relationships, NYFA empowers artists and therefore plays a vital role in cultural progress internationally.
NYFA: What do you hope to bring to NYFA as a board member?
HP: My career has always been a juggle between creative and commercial. This struggle is something that many artists are deeply familiar with, and I’m passionate about helping to make it an easier challenge to navigate. I’ve acquired a set of skills around design, marketing, and digital product development that I feel can help NYFA expand its reach and impact with artists. Also, I see an opportunity to create new and meaningful partnerships with companies who are committed to supporting cultural development and artists.
NYFA: What advice do you have for emerging artists?
HP: The biggest question you’ll be faced with is if you should starve and make art or go get a job and do your art part time when you can. There’s no magic answer to this. However, one thing is clear: creating and making work is the most important thing. Be relentless. The world needs you to do what you love. Ask for help, get advice, and seek out your peers. Pay your rent and eat but don’t equate commercial success with the real impact of the work you make. You’re changing the world, and the world needs changing.
– Interview conducted by Ryan Hudak, Executive Assistant
Image: Howard Pyle, Courtesy of Howard Pyle