creative director in chicago

I'm an executive creative director with a decade of experience leading pursuits, projects, and teams.

resume on linkedin


I've built my career on being the person you want in the room. In a brainstorm. In a pitch. In a presentation. In a weird call where no one knows what will happen.

Brent Van Horne.jpg

my story

I spent the first part of my life playing sports. I spent college reading and going to shows. I spent grad school writing and teaching. These three things are directly responsible for who I am as a creative.

I'm a natural leader who's not afraid to stand up for the right idea and for the team. I'm a curious, relentless learner with an insatiable appetite for new things. And I'm a creator and a mentor, who leads by example and knows how to get the most out of teams and clients.

I've used these skills to bridge the gap between strategy, creative, and technology, collaborating seamlessly across disciplines to bring the best ideas possible to life.



Over the years, I've collaborated with hundreds of incredible colleagues. A couple of them even have nice things to say.

From Strategy Director Bryna Corcoran: Not only is Brent creatively talented, but he also knows how to rally his designers to produce fantastic work, boost morale across all teams that he works with, and instill a massive sense of confidence in the creative direction for both internal and client teams. I have not met a client that didn't fall in love with Brent's ideas, personality, and approach.

From Senior Copywriter Kris Choma: Brent's direction is as detailed as it needs to be—no more and no less. He knows exactly what he can expect (and demand) from his team members, and he knows what he needs to do to optimize performance. He's extremely intelligent, he has a great sense of humor, and he has a nuanced feel for his co-workers and clients.


some things I like


Seth Fried

A ton of great writers love Seth Fried. They say things like, Seth Fried is the future of fiction, and Fried is one of the most exciting new voices in fiction. And who am I to disagree?

Seth writes short storiesnovelsjokes, and pieces for The New Yorker. If you've ever heard of writers like Italo Calvino, Donald Barthelme, George Saunders, or Jack Handey, Seth Fried will be your new favorite person.

I also happen to know Seth Fried, but don’t hold that against him.

read up




Song Exploder

If you like music, you'll love this podcast. Song Exploder is a podcast from Hrishikesh Hirway where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made.

There's something hypnotic and endlessly interesting about hearing how individual pieces of a song come into existence and are woven together to create a single work of art.

Plus, Song Exploder is hands down the best produced podcast I've ever heard and includes amazing art work from illustrator Carlos Lerma with every episode.

hear it



Game Maker’s Toolkit

If you've ever played a video game and wondered why you liked it so much (or didn't like it so much), you'll love Game Maker's Toolkit.

This video series from Mark Brown dissects how and why video games work, with in-depth looks at things like The Language of Video Games. It also includes a mini-series called Boss Keys that breaks down the dungeons of my favorite game series, The Legend of Zelda.

Since I discovered Game Maker's Toolkit, I've spent as much time watching videos about video games as I have playing them.

watch it