Stephanie Hanlon

I’m both a corporate communicator and a wild artist. I think that’s where my magic comes from. I love the work I do in corporate communications. It might seem crazy, but acting as Director of Communications for a group of fintech companies, is quite fulfilling. I get to be innovative, challenged, work with the latest tools and technology, collaborate with really smart people – plus I still get to be creative. In between developing search engine marketing strategies or writing press releases, I walk around my office taking photos of my co-workers, many of whom have become close friends. Each day I toggle between exciting creative expressions to spreadsheet reports, lovingly.

But on the side, I have an alter ego, although this alter is more of my primary self than a side thing. You see, me being a communications professional – it all started with poetry. I knew early on that I thought about life a bit differently than my peers. When I discovered poetry as a young girl, it was like finding my people, my tribe. I’ve been writing ever since. And that led me down the path of communications, all sorts of communications. The photography developed in high school, although it was present throughout my life with my father being a photographer. I started life in front of the camera a lot. Now I’m behind the camera 90% of the time. Photography is the same as poetry for me, at least in the expression part. And it’s all communication. I’m about finding the poetry in us and the world we interact with – I’m always looking for the story. My blog, the Literary Lens, allows me to do what I did as a journalist for over a decade – cover newsworthy events. Only difference is I get to determine what’s newsworthy and I can write whatever I want. It’s whatever I feel. It might seem wild – but it’s just what I love to do. I’m obsessed really.

That’s the roundabout story about how we came to be in this moment.

Now, for the finer details. My undergraduate degree is in Journalism from Long Island University, and my graduate degree is in Communications from Southern New Hampshire University. I spent much of my communications career as a journalist in New York and in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I was a journalist in the USVI for over a decade, covering government, big business, the environment and the rum industry. The last full-time position I held as a journalist was as managing editor for the daily newspaper The St. Croix Avis. From there I went on to teach journalism and communications courses at the University of the Virgin Islands. After completing my masters, I moved into the corporate world and I’ve been here ever since. In 2017, I founded the Literary Lens, but the project was interrupted after St. Croix, my home at the time, was hit with two Category 5 hurricanes. Long story short, I found myself in Atlanta, where I am still. It took me a while to find my inspiration again for the Literary Lens, but that writers block was nothing against some heartbreak and a pandemic. Because now I’m coming hard with the inspiration.

Presently, I’m happily co-existing as the corporate communicator and wild artist – the artist gives the communicator innovation and creativity; while the communicator gives the artist the structure and discipline to see projects through.

I dig it.

Let me know if you dig it too.


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