How to Get a Job as an Art Director
"When I talk to people looking to get into the field, I stress three things. One: Grow your online presence. Two: Networking is essential. And three: Learning doesn't end with school," says Gogel, who started at GQ at age 23 as an associate art director, moved up to art director and was recently promoted to design director of GQ Advertising.
"Once you establish a brand or identity for yourself and you start to develop your own voice/style, you start to feel more confident about selling your skill to a potential employer. Show that off online with a strong portfolio, résumé and a developed LinkedIn profile clearly highlighting your experiences and strengths." Gogel also recommends researching potential companies and knowing the competition by following those brands on Twitter and Instagram, helping others build their networks, taking on projects through connections and meeting like-minded professionals through events or by joining an organization. "Staying fresh and inspired is key," Gogel says. "There are continuing education classes, seminars and online tutorials that can keep you up to date on new programs and media." Finally, she stresses that summer internships in college can help you figure out what path you want to take – it's all about trial and error, she says.
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What is the Job Like?
At most monthly magazines, the staff works on issues two months in advance of publication. "That means that you’re always going to press, proofing pages, looking at color proofs, fact-checking and working with a copywriter on getting the right brand message across," Gogel says.
"I'm constantly emailing, going into meetings and brainstorming sessions, answering phone calls, directing entry- to senior-level designers and an art director, maintaining the morale of the department, creating a fun environment for the team, encouraging teamwork and creativity, interacting with management and meeting deadlines." Gogel says on top of all of this, she's continually thinking of new ways to push the envelope.
Gogel, whose hours are typically 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. – with the occasional all-nighter – also emphasizes the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. "I teach a class at the School of Visual Arts once a week, and started my own creative jobs e-newsletter," she says. "...The things you do outside work will help you stand out and differentiate you from others, such as language skills, traveling [and] pro bono projects. All of these things will hopefully help me open up my own 360-degree design agency one day."
Last updated by Kimberly Castro.