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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Is it possible to have too much experience?

Is it possible to have too much experience?


My girlfriend and I haven’t had sex in over 3 months and I’m starting to wonder if she’s having an affair. Ooops. Sorry. Wrong site. But since I’m here anyway…
I’ve recently moved back from L.A. after having spent close to 8 years working with one of the top commercial production houses in the US as their in-house “creative guru”. What this means is that I pretty much prepared 90% of their creative approaches to boards they were asked to pitch on and suggested creative and technical alternatives when the situation mandated it. On a freelance level, I worked with some internationally known directors whose names I refuse to mention for fear of being unfairly accused as a name-dropper. Let’s just say I’ve worked on about 20 Superbowl commercials and Tony Kaye thinks I’m a stalker! But I digress…
Anyway, the question is, I am trying to make my foray on the agency side as an Art Director (jr.). I should mention as well that I have done a substantial amount of graphic design work, I’m am an award- winning music video director in Canada and have been a post and visual effects supervisor and producer on many commercials and features. This is a long question but, why do I seem to get the “you’re overqualified” as a reason for agencies not to hire me? I’ve been looking mostly at agencies in Montreal but, I’m now considering shopping my book in Toronto. With the experience I have, is there a place for someone with my production and creative background? And do you think you can do anything about my girlfriend? All I want is to be held…
Lonesome in Montreal.

intro Is it possible to have too much experience?Your girlfriend is having an affair. Now for the important stuff. You have amazing experience and our first question is, why is advertsing art direction the next thing on the list? Okay, we’ll assume you’ve seen others at the job and it’s got your name all over it. The bad news is, even with wonderful and related experience, you still haven’t created ads and you probably need some school experience to realistically prepare the portfolio that would get you that first junior art director’s job. We suspect the “overqualified” reaction you’re getting is not the real stopper. No portfolio would be. Check out the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto; they should be able to give you more guidance and it’s the best school in Canada for would-be art directors.

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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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