Nickolaus Sugai is a creative director, copywriter, and freelance editorial writer based somewhere between Brooklyn, Tucson, and Hawaii.

He believes all bios should be written in the first person, so here I am in Italy, with a regrettable choice in hair color.

I have a romantic view
of advertising and believe that when it’s at its best it should make people laugh or cry or compel someone to share it with a friend. Some of the most iconic moments in history have been commissioned by a brand and I believe there’s no reason why it can’t all be art.


We’ve been working with each other for five years and a majority of the work in my portfolio has been created with him. We’re also friends outside of our creative and business partnership. We started a wine club together, won a rec league basketball championship, and incesantly talk sports to each other. Book us for a production, new business, a social campaign, a get out the vote campaign, a World Cup brief, a feature length film. 





2020 - TODAY

2018 - 2020

2017 - 2018

2015 - 2017

2014 - 2015

2013 - 2014


Freelance Creative Director / Writer
We write, we pitch, we produce, we supervise, we brand refresh, we consult. Select clients: Apple, Nike, Netflix, Herman Miller, Spotify, FIG, The Martin Agency,  R/GA, Laundry Service, Grey, Deustch, Havas.

Translation, NY Senior Creative
Hired for the NFL. Made the best work of my career for Kaiser. Did a lot of new business.

Performix, NY Creative Lead
Went to the dark side aka brand side and opened up a high end gym from scratch.

R/GA, NY Senior Creative I worked with all of my friends on a lot of Nike stuff.

Anomaly, NY Copywriter
We didn’t do timesheets there.

Code and Theory, NY Junior Copywriter
Sold soda to children via social media. Take that.

72andSunny, LA Intern
Learned that I love Los Angeles.


2010 - 2012

2008 - 2010
University of Oregon B.S., Journalism
Go Ducks.

Lane Community College


Are you available?

Yes, I am available for freelance and open to full-time opportunities. 

Do you have a partner?

The very talented, and equally dramatic, Dylan Simel.

Where do you live?

I pay rent in Brooklyn, NY.

Where do you want to live?

Somewhere warmer.

Where are you from?

Honolulu, HI. I would also like to live back here, so if you’ve got a Hawaii client -- holler at ya boi ASAP.

What is your biggest flaw?

I’m a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan.

Why are you a Cowboys fan?

Because, I enjoy being miserable, but mostly I like wall-to-wall national coverage of my team. Regional niche sports team that doesn’t land in the top ten of richest franchises in the world? No, thank you.

Where are good ideas from?

Good ideas aren’t created in a vacuum. I think good ideas exist in classic forms of literature: film, books, music, cave paintings; and more recently in newer places like video games, unscripted reality shows, sports, a conversation with your Uber driver. I adamantly believe that a good creative is only as strong as the palette they’re pulling references from.

What are you top five films of all time?

In no particular order:
Lost In Translation, The Godfather, Boyhood, Arrival, Spirited Away.

Let’s talk about going into the office.

Okay, let’s talk about it. Do YOU want to go back into the office? Do you want to waste three hours of your day commuting? I like working next to my dog! Drinking my own coffee. Playing a cheeky game of FIFA in-between meetings. My partner and I won three pitches, produced two short documentaries and made two TV spots from our apartments. 
What is the perfect run time for a movie?

Somewhere between 92-105 minutes. I would say 97 minutes is *chef’s kiss*. I own and moderate #PerfectRunTime on Twitter.

Are you keen to move?

Idk, maybe.

I have a surfing project, are you interested?

Have creative, will travel!

What differences have you found working brand side vs agency side?

Neither have the right amount of chefs working on a particular dish. Agencies have too many personalities each trying to add their own signature spice and brand side doesn't have signature spices. Therefore, the correct answer is whatever place has better lunch options.

Where did you go to school?

I have a Journalism degree from the University of Oregon. But I also have an Associate’s Degree from Lane Community College. That’s noteworthy because going to a community college taught me a lot.

I’m a #UOCreativeStrat student. What advice do you have?

Listen to Deb. Make a lot of fun work for brands that you like. It’s the only time in your career where you will have the final say of what gets published. Here are the two projects that got me my internship.

What is your greatest achievement?

I read ‘A Little Life’ which felt like a feat in itself. I won my Fantasy Football league in 2014 and 2016. I also randomly scored a ton of points in a pickup basketball games a few years ago, which included hitting two transition 3's and blocking a dude going up for a layup. Never really replicated it though, more or less my version of Linsanity.

What kind of toothpaste do you recommend?

Sensodyne Pronamel Toothpaste is the only toothpaste that not only maintains, but restores your enamel that gets eaten away by coffee, red wine, and other acidic foods. Click to purchase. Please sponsor me Sensodyne!!!

Copyright Nickolaus Sugai 2021 ︎