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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  I want to be an AD but don’t know the software yet

I want to be an AD but don’t know the software yet

Hi Jancy!
I’m planning to attend portfolio school and I’m having trouble deciding between CW and AD. I think I’m a strong writer and I believe in my skill. Writing has always come fairly quickly and painlessly to me, so naturally, my present course has been heading towards copywriting. But after researching exactly what an AD does, I feel like art direction would be something I would be interested in as well. I’ve always been a visual thinker and the reason I wanted to get in to advertising in the first place was because I’ve always enjoyed the conception of the ad, thinking about what the ad would look like visually, and the different pieces that go into an ad to make it whole. I remember doing presentation projects in school and spending hours and days just on the look of it. I enjoy doing things like that so that’s why I’ve been considering AD. Here’s my problem, though. I have never actually worked in Adobe Creative Suite (I went to business school where we were very proper and Office driven and we just didn’t use those types of fancy-fangled programs) and being writing oriented, the thought never occurred to me to learn it. I’ve never done any real design (just concepts) and now that I’m thinking about leaving my comfortable writing bubble and going into AD, I find that I’m getting a little intimidated by my lack of experience. I know you go to school to learn, but I’m afraid of entering a portfolio program where I’m starting from zero when other students have had experience with design and design programs. I feel like I would be completely behind the pack. And more than that, you usually team up with a CW in school and I don’t want to be a disappointment to my partner or let him/her down. What should I do? Should I stay where I feel most comfortable and let my skill set work for me, or should I dive into a brand new world and hope I don’t drown? Would taking classes in Adobe’s Creative Suite before I start school (in July) be an adequate and sufficient way to get a leg up and some much needed practice? Or is it just too much to learn for someone starting from scratch?
Thanks in advance for your guidance…I need all the help I can get.
Caveat: If I felt completely comfortable in both AD and CW, then as a career choice, I would probably be an AD.

intro I want to be an AD but dont know the software yetLearning new technology is the easy part. If that’s all that’s standing between you and your art director dreams, good news, that’s not a real barrier. By all means learn up in advance of starting school, if that will make you feel more comfortable. But school is mostly not about learning about the software (anyone can do that). That’s merely a tool, and you’ll spend a lot more time learning how to think. Go for your dream. Btw don’t be surprised if you gravitate back to writing later. It’s common for people to struggle with the two. A strong writer also tends to think visually. And a great art director is often talented at writing, too. Maybe you’ll be a true hybrid. 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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