Being an Amazing Art Director – By @ClancyForrest

By Forrest Clancy

Being an Amazing Art Director


Being an amazing art director is a hard business. Especially when you spend your whole day surrounded by copywriters who seem not to have eyes in their head. 

“I just can’t see it, Mr. Legend” is what they say when I craft new layouts, when I reconstruct the page right in front of their hollow skulls.  

But Helmut Krone saw it. Paul Arden saw it. I saw the sheer delight in Paul’s eyes as I literally tore his work in half, crying aloud for some originality, some clarity, some craft, for once! 

Alas, they are gone. And I am left to raise up this new generation of scoundrels. SCAndrels, I call them. 

Often, I feel like a mother hen, with little chicklets (art directors) huddling in their nests and chirping at me for more scamps. My work is their life source, and they wet their beaks on the art that I regurgitate. 

I am an amazing drawer (I’m also intelligent and kind, but that’s another tale), and this often leaves me having to collect jaws off of the floor after my masterclasses. Not the copywriters’ though! I could show them the future and they wouldn’t know what they were looking at. 

Let me tell you about the gold they missed today. 

It was a brief for Mini. The new Mini Electric, to be precise. This car is smaller and lighter than any Mini that has come before. What a rubbish proposition. So, how do you sell this?

I drew a Countryman in all its bright red British glory. The exhaust pipe is leaking fluid uncontrollably, the wheels are about to buckle under, and the signature double doors at the back have been blown wide open. Behind it, a little turd shaped Mini. 2 doors, 2 windows and 3 tiers, like a Mr Whippy, but without the cone. Electric, it says down the side. 

“Oh look” The copy reads in the bottom right. “Our last addition just took a shit!” 

Now tell me that’s not genius. 

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