Where portfolio students talk.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Interview with an Art-Director

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.


R. Falch said...

"Tough question. besides graduating and being ranked as one of the top students in the country..."

Anyone else stop reading after this?

I do think it's a great idea for a feature. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

"And don't every get too cocky about your book, no matter how good it is."

Anonymous said...


R. Falch said...

Who is ranking?

And where are the rankings?

Ariel Helfenstien said...

Interesting interview. I'd like to hear from a writer, and maybe a CD.

Anonymous said...

I think the rakings work like ad school, the more money you pay the higher your ranking is.

Anonymous said...

I don't blame the guy for letting his ego be a bit light footed. What's the big deal? He's doing good work. The thing that raised a flag for me though was his mention of specific agencies and their lack of young talent. While true, I just think it's bad etiquette to mention the adverse situations of others. Other than that, I'm one who believes feeding your ego isn't all that bad.


Anonymous said...

For me it wasn't so much the ego, but the ego with the mention of the importance of not having an ego. It seemed a little hypocritical.

But even so I don't think it is ever good to be cocky or have a big head because A. No one likes someone who is cocky. B. In advertising your talent is week to week, feeling so content with yourself that you brag about it translates to "I was awesome that one time."

But this is coming from me and personally I think everything I do sucks, even if people like it. My mentality is if you're always telling yourself you suck then you are always trying to improve.

Anonymous said...

"Tough question. besides graduating and being ranked as one of the top students in the country"

doesn't anyone recognize sarcasm.

The ADC picks 100 of the top advertising and design students in the country every year.

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