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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  I’m a teacher, but my true calling is advertising

I’m a teacher, but my true calling is advertising


I’m a complete mess! I’m have a BFA in studio arts, and a Masters in Education (with an emphasis on developing creativity and thinking skills) and I teach middle school, but I loath teaching. I want to become a professional creative, but I can’t make up my mind! I love contemporary illustration, I like design, and secretly I think I’d make a kick-ass art director. I’m looking at the Portfolio Center because I think I can focus on illustration and pick up enough design classes to still have some good work, I’m also looking at the Creative Circus, and the Miami Ad School, and the one year at the Chicago Portfolio School is seducing me (Wouldn’t one year be a lot cheaper?)
How does one know what their creative path is? Are certain “types” drawn and more successful at art direction vs. design? Where would be the best place to go?

intro Im a teacher, but my true calling is advertisingThe “path” can be filled with unexpected twists and turns. You’re realizing you’re on the wrong one now, and for sure you are right to look at what would make you a lot happier. Nancy’s path looked like this: went to the University of Delaware because her boyfriend was there (excellent reasoning), majored in art by default (a prof discouraged her from journalism, what was left was…ability to draw), then majored in advertising on the strength of attending a presentation about the department that sounded fun. So, there’s proof that one can “stumble” upon a great career that would have appeared to be flakey decision making at best at the beginning. How do you know which way to go? Meet as many people in a position to paint the pictures for you in your areas of interest as possible. Like Nancy, you may find that it takes one conversation with an “aha” moment to make a choice and go for it, seemingly on impulse.

Your gut can tell you a lot. But do try to have a well informed gut reaction. Study those schools and you will see there are different strengths to consider. We always point to the obvious: the school site with the best student work, best faculty and most successful alumni is always a good choice. Choosing based on shortest program is a poor way to make your decision. We don’t believe one year is enough to walk away with a killer portfolio, for most people.

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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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