#AlumniSpotlight The Creative Circus graduates the most sought after creatives in the industry. Take a moment to read about the lives, careers & personal stories of some of our fantastic alumni.
Creative Circus Alumnus – Art Direction (2007)
Senior Art Director at Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Advice to the graduating class: Get a job as soon as you can because student loan payments are no joke.
Other than that, I’d say don’t get too complacent. Continue learning and honing your craft. Your book is a living, breathing thing and never finished or set in stone. Keep making it better. Pay attention to the opinions and reactions you get from recruiters and CD’s looking at your work. If a particular piece doesn’t seem to be resonating as much maybe rethink it. Never be afraid to redesign, rewrite or rethink something in your book if it’s going to make it better. This will also help pass the time while you wait for the Wieden recruiter to call.
Advice to the Incoming Class: Don’t be afraid. Embrace every bit of the weird and magical journey you’re about to take. It’ll be tough at times but it’s going to be amazing. You’re about to have the best time with some of the funniest, craziest, most talented weirdo’s you’ll ever meet. Take every advantage of it.
You get out what you put in. That’s very cliché but also very true. There’s so much to soak up. Learn something from every discipline. If you’re a writer, take a design class. If you’re an art director, take a writing class. Be creatively curious about everything.
Don’t burn any bridges. Be respectful of your classmates. Word travels fast in this industry and you never know whom you’ll be hitting up for a job one day.
Go to Friday Forum on Friday’s even if you’re hungover. It’s amazingly inspiring and this is your chance to rub elbows with the people you want a job from.
What do I wish I knew while at Circus: Those student loans you get? Yeah. It’s not free money.
What does Circus mean to me: It means a great deal. I owe my whole career to this place. Before I came to the Circus I was working at a newspaper company in Indiana, designing local bank and used car ads. Total snoresville. I found some old CommArts annuals and would drool at the work in them. It was enough for me to take the leap and move to Atlanta. I had no idea what I was in store for, but I was blown away by the work on the walls and knew it was exactly what I wanted to do. I met some of the greatest people in my life – two of which were in my wedding. I landed my first job at Pereira O’Dell thanks to Heddy Lunenfeld, a former department head, who referred my partner and I. Everything I’ve done from there I can easily point back to my time at The Circus.
Lightbulb moment for me while in school: I feel like my 4th quarter was when I truly got it. Where I could recognize a big idea. It wasn’t just about cool looking design or a really funny headline but how they worked together to really say something. That felt like a big step. From there I was able to have a lot of fun with it.
Favorite project: I’d probably go back to one of my first agency assignments ever. My partner and I were working on ads for this little clothing boutique in San Francisco called Carrots. It was owned by the daughters of Grimmway Farms – the largest grower and producer of carrots in the world. They wanted to drive more men into the store and had this little bar in the corner. So instead of making ads, we decided to make a carrot-flavored beer using Grimmway carrots.
My partner and I were 2 months into our first job and got to work in a brewery for a month making everything from the recipe to the bottle design. It was so scrappy but we had an absolute blast.
Daily life as an Art Director: Honestly, it’s not that different than what you do in school. Most days I’m at my desk or with my partner writing ideas. We’ll write them up in little paragraphs, add a quick visual if it helps and present them to our CDs. They’ll pick a few (hopefully), set them aside and we’ll do it all over again. Then a few days later, hopefully we have a few strong ideas and we’ll start making stuff. My partner will write scripts or headlines while I comp keyframes or design banners or billboards or whatever. When the CDs are happy with everything we’ll put it all in a presentation deck to be presented to the client. If they happen to buy one of our ideas we get to go make it. Hooray!