Mar 11, 2011

Ask WAS: Can I call myself an Art Director and... do all of us think we suck most of the time?

From Twitter comes another question:

I have a question for you guys. I'm a Jr AD, just started my career a couple o months ago and I love advertising,I love strategy and I even love to write. Here's the thing. I'm a good idea person, I know my way around software but I won't call myself a designer. I'm definitely not a designer. (I can design... But I have a long way to go)

Q1: is it bad to call yourself an AD if you cant design well or not an expert (yet) at the creative suite?

Q2: is it normal to sometimes think(or have a near anxiety attack) and say "shit, I suck at advertising, I have no good ideas, should I be doing this? Am I gonna get better? Am I kidding myself?" and sometimes you think: "hey! I'm great! My ideas were the best in the room, I kick ass!!!"  does that happen to you guys? Not sure if this is a normal thing but it's definitely a crazy thing.

Help. Id love to hear your input. And by the way, your blog kicks ass!

Restrictions writes: 
A1: The term Art Director implies mastering certain skills and possessing certain talents. Unless you master these, consider yourself a designer who will eventually become an Art Director. As I’ve said before, you must first be a cook before you become a chef.

A2: In the ad world, NO ONE will ever say that you are great. The agency universe is a NO environment, where everything sucks, nothing is good enough, and your work can always be improved upon by the Account team and the client. Ours is a world of rejection and ugly feedback. Get used to it… but most importantly, don’t let it get you down. Get tough skin and believe in your work. Learn to choose your battles.

Me writes:
A1: I agree with Restrictions. You are a designer. Director implies that you are the king or queen of your domain, so you need to suffer - I mean, work a little bit more. Soak up those lost weekends working. Try to design a campaign in less than 48 hours and make it awesome. Then we'll knight you AD.

A2: If you meet someone in this business who doesn't question his/her talent, voilá, you met a hack. A total douche. Trust me, 80% of the time we think we suck, even when we kind of know we did something great. Not being so sure of yourself makes you want to do better, makes you give that extra mile to your creativity. Never lose it. And by the way. We do suck, because we work in advertising.


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