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Bri_L's avatar

What is a good path to the creative side of an agency?

Asked by Bri_L (12191points) August 20th, 2008

All my experience is in all the media (graphic, illustration, video, animation, multimedia) side.

But for the past 5 years have found greater success in the creative side than all of them combined. That is to say, coming up with the concepts, the tag lines, the rough writing, the scripting, logos etc. My knowledge across the media helps me to see the broad picture as well.

So how do I move into just the creative side?

Thank you in advance.

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12 Answers

ketoneus's avatar

Have you thought about becoming an account manager?

mee_ouch's avatar

One should be so fortunate!!!!
Your wealth of experience at both ends of the advertising spectrum may pave the way to a lucrative future…if handled correctly. It’s obvious that you did not simply fast-track your way to the creative side. You must now ask yourself several questions that will facilitate your transition and cement the reputation you are building for yourself.
You made the transition somehow, did you not? How did you come to that decision? Why did you make the decision you did? Is it a ‘want’ or a ‘need’?
Now take these questions and apply them to your current position and utilize the client base you’ve already (presumably) established. Word of mouth advertising is an integral part of establishing a successful career in any field. Get the word out through a print ad in your local paper, establish a web site, host a ‘coming-out’ soiree. The possibilities are endless.
Very best of luck to you and your chosen field. It appears that you are more than half-way there!

funkdaddy's avatar

I would guess proving yourself to a potential employer would be very similar for the two fields. The most important thing being your portfolio of work. Other factors that could help you would be education, references, and experience.

Students in advertising generally do a book of ad concepts for either existing companies or for a theoretical company in a particular industry. You could do the same fairly easily if you don’t have something similar already, or to add to it. With your media experience, you have a real advantage. Take a company you like and take their advertising in a new direction just like you would if they came to you at the agency. Record a couple 15 second radio spot ideas or put together a website and suddenly you’re getting all multi-channel (or whatever the buzzword is). A friend of mine who’s on the creative side of advertising mocked up some print ad concepts for a local company and took them by their offices, he was able to get in to see their creative director and get some feedback on the work he’d done. Once you get a couple pieces of work together, I think it’s fairly common practice to get some decent prints made up and put them together in some sort of snazzy and professional physical portfolio.

As far as getting the interview and breaking into the field, you may already know a lot of folks who could help, but I’ve had a lot of luck with local groups who get together to learn and network for a particular profession. is a good source for groups, Upcoming ( is another and writing an email or going by a local university can usually net you a list of good resources. (Sometimes the people in the department are a little more friendly/knowledgeable and a little less overwhelmed than central admissions or a help desk). Also, depending on what specific area you’re looking at there’s usually some sort of accreditation body that may have meetings as well, of course I’m drawing a blank right now, but they love advertising in trade magazine, so Borders may not be a bad place to start either.

Getting long winded, so I’ll quit now. I wish you luck with the switch.


Bri_L's avatar

To all, thanks so much. This is really helping.

I have been gathering the ad and writing samples that I have.

The idea for groups and a site are great. Thanks thanks thanks!

jballou's avatar

@funkdaddy has some great advice for you, but I just want to warn you of something. I work on the creative side of an advertising agency and very rarely does someone come in with your level of experience. All that means is that you might be looking at a pretty significant pay cut. That experience you have basically serves as your education, so you might be playing the position of a college grad, and your creative position might be as such, and salary as well.

But there are always exceptions, good luck to you!

marinelife's avatar

Bri, Recast you resume to emphasize the creative work that you have done. If it contains an objective, make your objective to find a position that lets you use your strong creative skills as well as (or rather than if you prefer) your graphic and design skills. Highlight any awards your creative has won, any client testimonials (Best campaign ever).

Feature the creative in you portfolio.

Then hunt for a new job. It will be easier to go into a new position as a creative than transition at your current position.

Best of luck.

Bri_L's avatar

@jballou-thanks. Actually, I have been grossly underpaid (were talking 35 TO 45%). Its a long story. At this point, it would be really, really hard for me not to go up in pay. Over the last four years I have been spending about 35 to 40 % of my time as indicated in the question. If I understand you, that experience doesn’t count for to much?

@ marina – that is a good point. i will have to retool my Resume.

jballou's avatar

@Bri_L: your experience counts. It always counts! But what I mean is that even though you’ve spent a good deal of your time accumulating that experience, it’s not the same as any formal training and it’s not wholly applicable to a creative job. Yes, it’s important you have that experience and can think like a creative; on the other hand, I don’t know what kinds of classes you took in school or how technically saavy you are, but the vast majority of designers and creatives I’ve met (myself included) have some sort of technical background, whether it’s Fine Arts, English Lit, Computer Science, etc. Without that formal background along with your great experience, it’ll be hard to jump the ladder and land a gig as say a designer or copywriter.

You might (emphasis on might) find yourself having to get in on the ground floor through a more entry level position, just to give yourself the skill set (color theory, typography, etc in the case of a designer) you would have received in college.

That’s all I was saying- just as a quick warning.

Bri_L's avatar

Thanks so Much jballou I can’t thank you enough for your input!!! You have been a big help.

It would help all of you to help me if I provided that. My bad.

I have a BS in fin arts. with a minor in comp sci. I was pre engineering for that degree so I am as technically savy.

I am completely proficient in the adobe suite, final cut suite as well as after effects, MicrosoftOffice and comfortable in pc and mac. I am comfortable that I can learn any program within a useable and comfortable manner given a brief period of time and have a history of doing so. I cite MAYA as a program where I did so to create two animations for the opening of the new millar park stadium for the milwuakee brewers.

There are 7 clients including my last employer who spent 4 years promoting their products and or themselves with my ideas. I have written brief articles, blurbs and co-written short scripts for commercials.

I just find it hard to believe that I have to start over.

jballou's avatar

Oh well DUDE- you don’t have to start over at all with a background like that. I was under the impression that you were trying to transition into the creative side without a foundation- just from skills you picked up in media. You’ve got the perfect degree and great experience. And most agencies love people who are multi-disciplinary and have experience in related fields, just as long as you also have a solid foundation in your own field. It sounds like you should probably be at an Senior Designer level or maybe an Art Director, depending on the semantics of the company. Good luck!

Bri_L's avatar

Thanks bud! Maybe I just haven’t been looking long enough or presenting myself in the right context.

I really appreciate your help!!

WilliamHigh's avatar

Creativity and services which makes your marketing agency be on the top always. If you stop creativity on your work you will slip down soon.

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