How in the heck do you art direct? – By @MadStandish

By Maddy Standish


How in the heck do you art direct?



It’s cuffing season at SCA. The majority of us have nabbed ourselves a partner and locked it down. Full commitment to dreamy creative types who we hope to build a life, career and book with.


There is apparently no right way to find your partner. It’s all different, depending on who you talk to. Whether you’ve been lusting after each other skills and wooing them with poetry and art, or just feeling the vibe. Chemistry and all that.


My partner Joe and I got along really early in the year but didn’t necessarily predict a relationship. The work’s fun and I enjoy every route we go down, even when it doesn’t end up being just right. We argue well. Which is important. If you can’t call them out or disagree with them it’s not a good sign. You have to have no hard feelings because it’s going to get stressful and there’s a lot on the line.


There’s only one problem though: neither of us is really an art director.


At the moment, there isn’t a clear divide in roles and although it appears that the industry is less binary in them, you have to be able to separate the work when it gets down to it. I really like writing copy and so does he. But he’s also a total nerd and enjoys the software and I feel like I know how I want things to look. It’s tough and time-consuming not having one of us be an Adobe whizz but it’s not all bad.


The good thing, I believe, is that we’ll be under the pressure to learn fast. There’s no copping out allowed. If we want to make something and we don’t know how, we’re just going to have to figure it out. No one to blame and no one to delegate it to. We’re just going to have to make it happen.


I’m hopeful. I always said I wanted to learn how to design but I’ve been lazy. I’ve let other people do it and then done a speedy hatchet job when it’s been necessary. Well, not anymore. I’ve spent more hours on Illustrator, scrolling through It’s Nice That and flicking through books than ever before. There’s no losing interest either because our portfolio’s life depends on it.


As if coming up with mind-blowing ideas isn’t time-consuming enough, now we’ve got to work out how to make them beautiful, too.


Time to figure out how in the heck you art direct.


At least until we’re working with designers, that is.


The copy scores 79.3 in the Flesch Reading Ease test

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