Go Art Director Go & Other Thoughts about ADs

Meet the makers of Go Art Director Go! a tongue-in-cheek celebration of art directors or "words of encouragement from copywriters" as they put it.

Chris Baker, a 6th quarter Copywriter, and WillBenham, a 7th quarter CW, both at the Creative Circus, launched this site a few months ago. It initially started out as just a joke but within 24 hours, it took off across the Internet. (Oh Internet, how I love thee)

The site was solidified during a late night Chik-fil-A run and has turned into a viral sensation they can both put in their books. Plus – it doesn’t hurt to have your name out there. They were able to earn internships at Crispin Porter + Bugusky this summer!

Here’s an interview with the pair on why they went to Portfolio School and how they feel about working with art directors.

Why did you decide to go to portfolio school:

Chris: Mad Men. Cheesy, I know. It had never clicked in my mind that somebody made ads for a living. So I audited an intro to creative advertising class and fell in love with it.

Will: I did an internship with a small agency in Decatur, GA and my boss told me if I was serious about being a copywriter that Creative Circus was where I needed to be. For some reason thought making a book was for suckers. I tried to land a job without a portfolio and surprisingly no agencies wanted me based on good looks alone.

What are some your favourite things about working with an art director?

1.     How different the brain of an AD is when compared to that of a copywriter. They see things I’d never think of. Ever.
2. When it starts clicking and ideas are flowing – it’s as close to a jazz jam session as I’ll ever come.
3. They dress better than I do.
4. They laugh at my jokes sometimes.
5. I see the world differently now because of them. I’ve started looking at logos and kerning and everything. It’s crazy.

1. They use fancy words like “grid” and “color theory”.
2. They force me to edit myself to a reasonable length.
3. Whenever I feel like I’m overwhelmed I can just look at their to-do list and know that I can handle mine just fine.

What are your 5 least favourite things about working with an AD?

1. Sometimes there is a disagreement as to copy size.
2. They make me watch movies where the visuals are great but there’s no story. And they’ll want to know if I liked it. No, I didn’t fucking like it. I just stared at a moving painting for two hours.

1. When our different brains don’t find that happy place and we’re just throwing ideas at each other and nothing works.
2. Their disdain for the written word.

Will: When I get frustrated with a partner I just try to remind myself that what makes us different makes us stronger. And I remember that without them I would just have words on paper written in what appears to be a third grader’s handwriting.

Chris: What Will said. It’s absolutely true. From what my fledgling and naive mind can tell it’s an exciting, passionate, and often times infuriating business. And I’m ready to dive in headfirst with whatever wonderful AD I get paired up with.
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