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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  Making the switch from design to art direction

Making the switch from design to art direction


So I went to school for Graphic Design & Advertising, and halfway through the class branched into either Ad or design. At the time I thought it would be a good idea to focus on my weakness which was graphic design. I took that path, graduating with a design portfolio which inevitably lead to a design job. I have been working freelance for a couple years now but have hit the realization that I should have followed the AD path way back when as that is where I want to be now. Sooooo the question is, How would you recommend I start making my transition into the AD world in Toronto? and what would you look for when interviewing a junior art director?

intro Making the switch from design to art directionOk, have to say it…you pursued your weaker area because…? Very odd. Anyway, water under the bridge, now you know you set yourself back by years. Doing what you really want to do and what you’re good at is always a good plan. We don’t know how far away from an art director’s book that could get you hired with you are, but we’ll assume a fair distance, as design and art direction have obvious overlap but they are two different ways of problem solving and there’s a reason people go to school to learn either discipline. You don’t just know how to do it spontaneously, in most cases. So most likely you’d benefit from going back to school for some portfolio courses where you’ll learn the tools you need to achieve your goal. Be sure to look hard at any ad program including the student work and alumni success. The quality of the teaching staff is critical too. The more that staff works (or recently worked) in strong ad agencies the better.

Glad you’re ready to course-correct. Good luck.

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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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