The switch to becoming an art director – By @JacobDeFig
By Jacob de Figueiredo
The switch to becoming an art director
Recently I’ve decided to make the switch to becoming an art director. It sounds so sexy when you say it. A director of art. An ARTIST of direction. Mmm… Delicious. I mean, nah it’s not very exciting but relative to the SCA world it’s an incredible feat for a small minded boy such as myself. I always knew in my heart of hearts I wasn’t born to be a writer. I can only write one way, and it’s how I talk, which isn’t the most versatile skill set when it comes to copywriting. A few of my classmates have said to me that they can spot a Jacob de Fig script from a bloody mile off as they pretty much all sound the same and seem to follow a similar narrative about memories and nostalgia. I used to love writing stories as a kid and I still do love writing but I’ve fallen out of love with in it in respects to advertising.
To be honest I really don’t think the art director copywriter partnership exists in the same way as it used to. It’s always nice for both sides to share the skill set semi equally and feel a real sense of pure collaboration on the project. I sometimes think as a copywriter you end up passing the script on after rewriting it a couple of times and then just sit back and pretend you’re busy until the project has finished.
I wanted to become an art director and really push myself to see if I can learn a completely new skill set. I feel as if I’ve always been able to think visually but struggled to get across my visions coherently and didn’t feel confident enough to fully try and submerge myself in the world. I’ve absolutely loved the challenge. Especially the craft side.
I know people say you don’t have to be good at drawing or any software to be an art director. Which is 100% true. But I find it really frustrating not being able to fully portray my vision due to a lack of skills which are pretty easy to learn. The way the course is set up is such an amazing way of quickly learning how to use software. Instead of being taught what to do, you find a way of making it happen yourself. You use your own creativity to solve the problem of actually bringing this idea to life and it’s an incredible feeling when it finally happens.
Drawing is the big one for me. I’ve always been fascinated by people who can draw. It’s the one skill I’ve always wish I had and I still believe being a good drawer is a great skill to have as an art director even though pretty much everyone disagrees with me.
It’s been teaching myself to draw everyday using little books and doodling in my notes each day and I feel like I’m slowly improving. I’m obviously not good but I can see improvement which is the most motivating sign their is. Comparing myself now to how I was at the beginning of the year makes me so satisfied.
Drawing has this incredible meditative quality. I’ve had an intense week and it’s really helped me cope with it and transport me into a different world where I don’t have to think about anything I can just pour whatever comes into my head onto a blank sheet of white paper which nobody has to see if I don’t want them to.
So for now I’m gunna keep going and see where it takes me.
Love you all,
The copy scores 75 in the Flesch Reading Ease test