Become a Member
Proudly Sponsored By
ask jancy / if you have a question, Jancy has an answer
IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  I’m a suit who should’ve been a creative… HELP!

I’m a suit who should’ve been a creative… HELP!

Dear Jancy,
I love your book!
I recently just finished an ad internship at a very prominent digital agency in the midwest.  With a degree in business, I worked in the account management dept.  I quickly became frustrated with the stereotype that only the creatives think of the ideas, and  that AMs had no place in concepting.
At a young age I was encouraged to pursue art but never did, which I thought was a good decision until now.  What advice would you give a recent college grad who realized that he might have received the wrong major?  How do I start a book or take steps towards applying to portfolio school with no formal training?  I just can’t stand not being seen as creative…

intro Im a suit who shouldve been a creative... HELP!Some great people in creative departments started on the account services side. If you are one of those fortunate people who have both the left and right sides of your brain working for you, you have a leg up. It’s true, not many shops will regularly invite the account people to join in the ‘creative process’, although we’ve found one of the most productive starting points for ideas is inclusive of everyone and anyone—a brainstorm with the whole group, including media people, interns, a client—can crack a great strategy wide open, maybe even give birth then and there to a big idea. Great creative directors appreciate that everyone can have ideas and encourage a culture where everyone is encouraged to share creative thinking. However even at such a place, what you crave wouldn’t be an everyday experience.

So if you want to switch teams, you have a great background that can mean you’ll be a standout. But there aren’t any shortcuts to a portfolio that will make you employable in that creative role. You can start working on your book while doing your current job if you have go-to mentors to coach you through that, but it will be a slow journey. Portfolio schools will welcome you if you demonstrate you have the passion and commitment to succeed. You should work on some spec creative thinking to be able to demonstrate aptitude/potential. If you have creative friends you can turn to for help to get started, seek out those conversations. Read up on requirements for entry to schools that might interest you. Some obvious ones to check out as a start are VCU Brandcenter, Miami Ad School and the Academy of Art in San Fransisco. (The latter has an online version with some strong instructors:

Share/Bookmark this!

  • Dan Balser

    Kinda shocked that they didn’t mention The Creative Circus.


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.

Copyright © 2001-2017 IHAVEANIDEA inc. All rights reserved. No material contained in this site may be republished or reposted.
IHAVEANIDEA™ is a trademark of IHAVEANIDEA inc. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy

Copyright © 2009 ihaveanidea inc. All rights reserved.

No material contained in this site may be republished or reposted. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy