stuart thursby

is a Swiss Army Knife of a Creative Director, joyfully hell–bent on making brands famous and agencies fun.

let's add a little pizzazz

Boring is bad. Let’s not make that.

I’m a Creative Director (art direction & design) based in Toronto with a 15-year track record of building and leading teams alongside rolling up my sleeves and getting the work done.

My creative career has blended the hell out of the concepts and craft of advertising, digital, experiential, and the web, working at some of the best shops around.

Heck, for a few years there, I even started and ran my own boutique shop, Stack Creative. Every day running Stack was an MBA, but I wound it down to focus on my two favourite parts of this business: the creative work itself, and the people.

My core belief is that the best creative isn't a one-off, but that magical mix of a spark of an idea that's got enough legs to work across the board. That’s why I’ve charted the path I have to date, refusing to stick to one media or method or agency size, but learning from all of them.


— Founded and creative directed at my own creative agency, Stack Creative, focused on a mix of digital & web, advertising, and branding.

— Creative directed at Array of Stars, one of Canada's leading cutting-edge firms that blends the best of digital , immersive physical experiences, and the virtual sphere.

— Hung my hat either FT or freelance at some of the best shops around, as art director, ACD, and CD: Array of Stars, BBDO, Cossette, DARE, DDB, Dentsu, Edelman, FCB/SIX, John St, Proximity, Quake, Smith+Mason, T4G, Teehan+Lax, Trajectory, plus Stack Creative.

— Creative directed or art directed 70+ website projects, including global digital products & platforms, enterprise-level corporate sites, e-commerce, and story-driven marketing sites.

— Creative directed and art directed traditional advertising, digital advertising, social, CRM, and experiential campaigns and experiences for clients in financial services, telecommunications, sports, food and beverage, not-for-profits, travel, pharma, toys, and the arts.

— Built and led creative and multi-disciplinary teams in big and small agency environments.

— Won virtually every award under the sun, alongside judging several shows and teaching courses in UX and digital design at both college and bootcamp levels.

What I'm looking for

It’s a fun business, and I love it with my all my heart.

Big picture, my goal is to join a team full-time and stay for the long term. But there are joys to the freelance life as well, and I'm currently open to short or long-term contracts across creative direction, art direction, design, or consulting. Drop me a line if you’d like to make some magic together.



what i can bring to the table

creative direction

Making the work sing, and building the creative team up to perform as strongly as can be. Working across disciplines, building and guiding teams, making the work better every time out, and building bridges with strategy, accounts, production, and clients are what bring me to work with a smile every day.

art direction + design

Concepting and crafting the hell out of everything from 360º campaigns to websites to brand identities to experiential to CRM to augmented reality (AR) experiences. Concepts are supreme, but they’re ultimately only as good as the craft with which they're executed, so I've built a T-shaped skillset by adding the thinking and tactics of UX, UI, and Graphic Design.

agency leadership

My 4+ years of running my own shop with a great team but without partners was quite the bootcamp, not to mention my time as ACD at FCB/SIX and CD at Array of Stars. Pricing, pitching, positioning, consulting, client relations, hiring, management, contract law, finance, and more — no stone was left unturned in terms of new experiences that shaped my creative practice forever.

strategy & UX

Great work is rarely a one-off, but part of a richer whole — and it's gotta have a reason to be. I've augmented my creative pursuits with the thinking and practices of of UX and IA, business and brand strategy, and channel strategy to help connect every dot.

where i've hung my hat


creative director / acd / senior art director

Freelance creative direction, art direction, and design work for clients, friends, collaborators, and co-conspirators. Focused primarily on advertising (360º, traditional, digital) and experiences (web, AR, XM).

Andrew Pellar Ltd, Home Hardware, IC Savings, TD, Wealthsimple

Cossette, John St, Normative, Quake, Smith+Mason, Salesloop, Soldier Unlimited, Wealthsimple

Advertising, CRM, Experiential, Social, Web

array of stars

creative director 

Creative Director at Array of Stars, the innovation partner agency that creates enhanced experiences built for attention across digital, physical, and virtual realities.

Compass Data Centres, Frank Walker, Google, Moccasin Identifier, ROM, Spin Master

AR, XM, Web, Video – plus a lot of pitches, creative strategy, levelling up cross-departmental processes, and a heaping help of agency self-promotional work.

stack creative

founder + creative director 

Stack was my own shop, a boutique creative agency that built websites, brand identities, and campaigns for growing companies on the rise.

Founded it without partners, and proactively decided to wind the shop down after a stellar 4-year run in order to pursue more creative-specific opportunities. Every day felt like an MBA, and I had a hell of a good time with my team, clients, and partners.

Algoma University, BILD GTA, Canadian Women & Sport, CocoaVia, Delta Growth, Digital Research Alliance of Canada, Focus Asset Management, Friends of Ruby, Governance Solutions, HealthPartners, IC Savings, ICLS, Jane Goodall Institute, Mars-Wrigley, Memory Labs, The Moment, Mother Raw, Parallax, Save the Children, Taggart Group, Tafelmusik, World Vision.

Websites, Advertising, Strategy, Content, Branding, Messaging, TV, Video, Design


acd / senior art director

Freelance advertising and design work for several of Toronto's best and brightest agencies and people.

BBDO, DDB, Idea Rebel

Keurig, Kraft, McDonald's, Mercedes-Benz, Rogers, Samsung

Advertising, CRM, Experiential, Social, Web


associate design director

Design-focused ACD at the hottest data/tech/creative shop in town, and quite possibly the world.

Azamara, Canada Student Loans, CIBC, Made in Space, PFlag Canada, Primus

Advertising, CRM, Experiential, Social, Web


art director

Blended role of senior-level Art Direction, Graphic Design, and UX Design within the in-house agency that was part of the national tech consultancy (now part of MNP).

Astley Gilbert, FRHI Hotels & Resorts (Fairmont Hotels et al), Loblaws, Mattamy Homes, Saputo, Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon, Tourism New Brunswick, Travel Yukon, WWF Canada

Web, Enterprise-Level Digital Product, Social, Advertising


art director

Freelance projects with some of the best folks around, in both Toronto, Canada as well as Berlin, Germany.

AJ&Smart, BF Design, DARE, Edelman, Ryan Edwards, Teehan+Lax, Trajectory, T4G

Art Canada Institute, Bioré, Bombay, BourbonFM, Chang School of Continuing Education, David Sanders, Deutsche Telekom, Fringe Festival, Georgian College, Grey Goose, Letsfeedback, Monoqi, Ontario Real Estate Association, Powerade, Rheingau Founders, Robert Kerr Foundation, Schutzklick, Scotiabank, Shipwire, Startup Messiah, Story Planet

Advertising, Branding, Digital, Social, Web


art director

Joined Canada’s Digital Agency of the Year at the height of it success within the BBDO and Omnicom networks. One hell of a first major gig that still influences my thinking and craft to this day.

Bayer, BlackBerry, Campbell Soup Company, Canadian Olympic Committee, Gillette, HP, Ontario Ministry of Health, Partnership for a Drug Free Canada, RBC, Rogers, SiriusXM, Soulpepper Theatre, Starbucks, Swiss Chalet, Ve'ahavta, Whiskas

Advertising, Digital, Social, Web, CRM, OOH, TV

Enough jibber-jabber. Let's look at some work.