Rules were made to break.

Creativity makes both a fine scalpel and a formidable sledgehammer.

Teaching young creatives to solve problems by wrapping smart strategies in layered, provocative, and memorable ideas.

(Or, pushing students off a cliff is an addictive high.)


While earning an MFA in painting, I started to experiment with teaching as a graduate assistant around 2012. It didn’t take long before I was hooked. Two years later, I was a full-fledged adjunct. By 2015, teaching had taken control and I was doing it full-time. In the Spring of 2017, I became the Director of Minerva, the Creative Portfolio Program in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations at The University of Alabama. I know I have a problem. I just don't know how to stop.

Student Portfolios

Student Awards
Class Critiques
Student Campaigns
Thumbnails Reviewed


I was honored to recieve the Donald G. Hileman Award from the American Advertising Federation, District 7. The award recognizes a college educator for outstanding service to advertising, to District 7, to a local advertising federation, and to college advertising students through a student advertising team, a student advertising club, and teaching of superior quality.

Ad Hoc Extracurricular Activities

(or, suits are for weddings & funerals)



First, make a really big lake. The bigger, the better. Then, go fishing. The best fish are waiting down in the deep water. I promise this analogy makes sense. So does the one about raw chicken.

Creative Culture

Creativity and complex problem-solving is key to becoming and staying competitive—no matter the industry. The best corporate cultures encourage creative exploration.

Pitch Coaching

This is not a presentation. It's not a sales call. It's not theatre. And, it's not easy. It's an opportunity to show (not say) you have, will find, or are the solution.

Creative Direction

Leading teams in unearthing the insights that lead to human truths, that lead to bold ideas, that lead to memorable activations, that lead to the engagement and loyalty you need.

“Keynote speaker” is a bit too formal for me.

(Or, running my mouth used to get me into a lot of trouble when I was growing up. Sometimes, it still does.)


I'm not very good at keeping my desk organized. I don't know the first thing about HV/AC repair. I'm awful with directions, terrible at math, and can't play the piano. That's why I don't stand on a stage and talk about that stuff.

But I know a thing or two about pitching ideas in a way that moves the needle.

  • “Pitch, please!”
    You've got a lot of competition. Some of that competition has a bunch of great ideas, just like you. But having ideas is one thing and compelling others to believe in them is something very different. Once the dust settles, you want to be the one still standing. Let's talk about strategies and tips that can help improve your odds.

“Many times he provoked thought to a new line of thinking on projects, and his humor and comradeship is indispensable. I hope to work more with Mark in the future, and I can recommend him without hesitation.”

Bob O'Brien Senior Director of Innovation and Concepting, Prophet

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Barry. And although he is highly qualified, and his dedication to teaching is clear, I also feel the need to say this: He didn’t just teach us how to create good work. He showed us how to be a good person.”

Larissa Magera Senior Copywriter, BBDO

“One of the most generous, kind, and real people you will ever get a chance to work with.”

Dave McKay Creative Director, SAP
Partial Consulting & Speaking Client List

Let's start a conversation.



134 Reese Phifer
The University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401



The University of Alabama: