I caught up with DDB New York AD and School of Visual Arts graduate Jordan T. Farkas for a brief interview about his experiences in portfolio school, and his experience making the adjustment to the "real world."
PP: Generally speaking, what was the best part of your experience as a student at SVA?
JF: Tough question. besides graduating and being ranked as one of the top students in the country, the best part was being in new york.
PP:Looking back, what was the most important thing you learned in ad school?
JF: Don't piss off the chair of your department. it'll do more damage than good.
and "Art directors sign with a period. Designers sign with a dasiy." - something one of my teachers told me.
PP: Talk about your job hunting experience. Easy, hard? Unexpected twists and turns?
JF: At first their was no job hunt. before i graduated SVA an agency (Wunderman) hired 6 of us. so really i was hunting for a job while at my first job. Here's some advice when you're freelancing. Keep your mouth shut. little after a month Wunderman dropped me because word spread very quickly that i was leaving for DDB. unfortunately DDB didn't hire me until almost a month after Wunderman. now i'm still searching for a job. Until you're hired full-time never stop searching.
PP: What was it like going to school in New York City? How did that effect your work?
JF: It was great going to school in the city. new york city the advertising capitol of the world, the home of madison avenue. a lot of ideas came to me while walking down the street. i came up with a lot of my guerilla ads by taking random photos around the city. And the best part was all the Ad parties i would go to. I met a bunch of the top creatives, and you don't really get to know these guys until you get drunk with them. And after meeting some of these people i would get my book critiqued. that really helped my book.
PP: SVA is not strictly an ad school--were you able to forge relationships with students in other disciplines? Did you work with them, did their work inspire you particularly?
JF: Many relationships actually. A number of photographers, illustrators, film, and computer art students as well as one or two majors that have their uses. i had a few friends with projects that would inspire my ads, but usually they would help with my work. i.e. getting shoots together for my ads. right now actually i'm working with a Computer art student to make a tv spot for my book.
PP: What's more important: Great networking or having a great book?
JF: Both are important but in the end it's the book that matters. networking will get you into agency but if your book sucks don't expect to stay for very long. but hey, if you can both... then more power to you. And don't every get too cocky about your book, no matter how good it is.
PP: Most important thing you've learned from working at one of the most famous agencies in the world.
JF: What have i learned at DDB New York? All i can really say is that the agency needs new blood, and until they get it they'll never be as good as they use to be.
PP: One piece of advice for aspiring creatives.
JF: Get a life. just do something outside of advertising. could be anything. just fucking do it. Because no matter what it is you do, eventually you'll be able to use it in advertising.