50 Most Beautiful Chicagoans

Frank Dattalo

AGE: 39
OCCUPATION: ad exec
HOMETOWN: Rochester, New York
LIVES IN: River North

As a kid in Rochester, Frank Dattalo loved to draw and doodle. His talents might have been only a passing fancy, he says, were it not for a high-school teacher who introduced him to graphic design, a profession that combines fine arts with technology. “There was a commercial side to it that I really enjoyed,” he explains. “I didn’t want to be a starving artist. I liked the idea of being paid for my creativity.” After college, Dattalo went straight to design school and then started his working life in advertising as a fledgling art director at Saatchi & Saatchi in Rochester. He moved to Chicago in 2000 to take a job with Energy BBDO and today is a senior vice president and group creative director there, as well as the creator of Wrigley’s Orbit gum, including the gum girl, Vanessa. “To me, working in advertising is sort of like working in the toy department,” he says. “I would spend 12 to 15 hours working and not even realize it. I still feel that way.”

 

 

Photograph: Maria Ponce

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