So here we go, round two of Creative Jobs, my new & exciting weekly column. Last week I featured Nicola Hohls, a good friend and great layout & magazine designer. This week we’re moving swiftly along into the big bad world of advertising, and next week we’re chatting to Robyn Britz from Zana, about her journey to becoming a creative entrepreneur.
Harriet Emily Alice Stockwell is a super star designer. The kind of woman that turns everything she touches to creative gold. Her hard working, I-can-do-anything attitude put her through 3 years of Graphic Design (where I met her) and resulted in her graduating top of our year in 2012. While many of us lazy students kicked back after class watching series and Facebooking our friends, Harriet was working as a waitress, doing her homework until early hours of the morning, and never stopping to take a moment’s rest. She’s notoriously sharp, a scamp master of note, and never settles for anything less than perfect – and why should she, when she works so hard at everything herself?
• What job do you have and who do you work for?
Art Director for Saatchi & Saatchi South Africa.
• What does your job entail?
As an art director I am required to conceptualise creative ideas to communicate a certain message or thought. The idea needs to answer a brief, given for a brand/product. Once approved by client, I then direct the vision of the idea for execution.
Due to my design background I often do the execution myself, however, if a job requires illustration, typography or photography that is when we out source the best of the best and I direct them to deliver my vision.
• Where and when did you study, and how long did it take?
I studied at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. I did a three year National Diploma in Graphic Design. I started studing in 2009 and finished 2011.
• What’s your favourite thing about what you do?
Seeing the final execution of the idea I came up with and sending it into the world for other people to see. It’s so awesome to finally finish a project, step back and see the great work you’ve made.
• Describe your ‘average day’ in the office…
I start my day by checking emails, then move onto the project I am working on at the time.
Sometimes I will have a new brief come in and that will be briefed in a meeting. Or I will have reviews, of the current project I’m on, with my Creative Director. Once a project is signed off and given to client, I then get a debrief on any changes they have.
I’m mainly behind a computer, working on Adobe illustrator, Indesign and Photoshop simultaneously. If I’m working on a big project, I sometimes get to do the fun things, like going to a photography shoot or being on set for a commercial.
• What do you wish you had known before you picked your career?
The long hours and little pay to start with. But the long hours pay off in the end and eventually the pay gets better.
• What kind of person would make the ideal art director?
Someone with a great imagination. Great imagination makes for innovative/fun/creative ideas.
• Did you always know what you wanted to do, or how old we’re you when you knew what you wanted to be?
I always chopped and changed what I wanted to be, but I alwasy knew I wanted to do something creative. Whether it was art, dance or drama, I wanted to do something that I could express myself creatively in.
Graphic design became an option when I was 17 and about to finish school. I knew out of dance and drama, graphic design would guarantee a steady income, and if I hadnt studied that I would never have known about art direction and gotten the oppotunity to work for one of the top advertising agencies in the world.
• If you could go back and change anything on your journey to the job you have and love now, what would it be?
I don’t think there is anything. Because even though I didn’t study art direction, my design ability is what won me the job and the rest I’m learning along the way. And if I’m not learning, I’m not growing and then I’m useless, so I think everything has been just right to get me here.