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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Looking to break into the Toronto design scene

Looking to break into the Toronto design scene

Hi…I am an experienced and professional creative designer who is new in town (Toronto). I have over 7 years of experience but I wonder if you can help me with any tips as on how to break into the design scene from here. I have done loads of online research and have my resume on many sites already. I have applied to several posts online. I talked to headhunters (a handful of them) and they do not provide me with positive responses other than the ususal “we’ll have your resume on file”. I have my online portfolio and have had just one interview so far. Any help ot tips from you would be highly appreciated. Thank you.

intro Looking to break into the Toronto design sceneYou’d be surprised how far apart the design community is from the advertising community. There’s a lot of overlap in capabilities and training for creatives, but in a sense, they’re different worlds with different rules. One place in Toronto is both ad agency and design house: Taxi. They’ve been very clever indeed to offer clients both disciplines. It sets them apart and is a big part of their great success. Check out their site: You can try contacting the design creative director, Jane Hope. She’s an amazing, highly respected talent with recognition around the world. She’d give you helpful feedback for sure if you can get in front of her.

It sounds like you’re taking an ineffective approach to getting in to see people. Trawling the internet isn’t enough of an effort—you need to meet people, which can indeed be a trick. Broadly speaking, finding a way to stand out from the masses is the order of the day. A clever self-promotion piece has helped a lot of people get their foot in the door. Chatting up the assistant to the creative director can help, too–they are the ones who book appointments and know how to successfully find time in their busy boss’s day—if you catch them in a good mood/ make them want to help you (be your good, charming self— begging can help, too.) However, your book may be the problem—if a headhunter is giving you a weak reaction, you may have a pretty basic problem. Many headhunters are idiots so we don’t assume the judgement you got was a good one. What did the one creative director say at your interview? Give us more clues to what’s going on and maybe we can be more helpful.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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