A guest post by Elysabeth Teeko
Elysabeth (with a nickname of Teacup) is slowly diving headfirst into the world of blogging to show her love of technology. Her friends consider her the Betty Crocker of the internet. She doesn’t argue with it. Her Twitter is @Elysateek
As an art director, you’ll be responsible for the visual representation of your company’s major products including advertisements, websites, packaging and other promotional materials. Of course, you won’t normally accomplish this feat single-handedly; you’ll have a team of creative geniuses at your beck and call.
To turn your vision into a career, follow these tips to land a lucrative position as an art director:
1. Develop Your Skills
Unless you already have a strong foundation in both art and management, it’s time to invest in yourself before reaching for the stars. Many online schools have courses, such as art direction, that provide just the right type of preparation for the aspiring art director.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to include a few more courses if you’re lacking any skills necessary to become a well-rounded candidate.
This could include art history, business management, marketing, or even a creative writing class. If you have the time, volunteering with non-profits to direct their art programs would be a valuable resume builder and talking point during your interview.
2. Brand Yourself
Because most art director positions are in advertising agencies or marketing departments, you might as well learn everything you can about effective branding. To start, brand yourself by creating a strong resume and a portfolio to highlight your accomplishments.
In this electronic age, a catchy website with a good ranking won’t hurt your chances either – just make sure to keep it professional and consistent. If you have anything embarrassing on Facebook or any other social network, now is the time to make it private or hide it behind positive postings.
Also, I’m assuming if you’re going for an Art Director position, you probably have a portfolio. Look into sites like Dribbble and Behance – social communities where you can share your portfolio and get feedback to improve.
3. Find the Right Company
Instead of simply applying everywhere, research the companies that hire art directors to find one where you really want to become a part of the creative process. If you know someone who’s already employed there, this can work to your advantage.
Otherwise, simply apply for the job if its open, or submit your resume anyway if it’s not. If you really want to get this job with this company, don’t hesitate to take a lower position to get your foot in the door. Once you’re there, you can prove yourself and work your way up.
You never know where hard work and ambition can take you.
4. Rock that Interview
Once you get an invitation for an interview, do your best to demonstrate that you’re a good fit for the company. Show that you know about the firm, but make this discussion more about what you can do for the business rather than what you want from the job; talk in terms of solving problems instead of accomplishing tasks, and give concrete examples when possible.
As with any interview, dress the part. While you want to look nice, make sure you also look like you’ll fit in with your co-workers. Also, if you’re using the sites mentioned above (Dribbble, Behance) then make sure to bring your laptop with you to show your portfolios within these communities.
If you’re going for a Director position, you need to be on top of every available opportunity, and this will demonstrate that.If you play your cards right, you’ll be an art director in no time. However, this job isn’t all fun and games; it’s hard work.