Product Design
  • Next Up: KC Tsang

    KC Tsang is a Senior Teaching Fellow at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and a commercial director.

    Sony – “In The Dark I See”

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    Interview Excerpt: Mark Harricks, Executive Creative Director, VCCP, Sydney & Chairman, AWARD

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    What do you look for in a student portfolio? And what impresses you?

    For a student portfolio I’m not overly fussed about the craft side of things. I’m more interested in whether there are interesting ideas that are coming through. Actually, what’s more important for me is what the person is like. I get a much better sense when I meet someone whether it’s someone I would want to work with. And what I look for is feisty, interesting characters. Not people who are submissive or too amenable—you want creatives who have their own mind. Not someone who is going to sit in the corner and do what they’re told. I want people who can think on their feet and show initiative.

    In terms of the book, as long as I can see they have the capacity to think of ideas and translate that into an ad of some kind, that’s the most important thing. If someone shows a few neat ideas and interesting insights, then I’ll say, “Let’s get them in and have a chat.” And then I find the meeting more important. I’d rather get someone in and work with them to help them grow and become a creative.

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    Read the full interview in BREAKING IN: Learn more about the book or Buy it on Amazon

    Next Up: Mark Harricks

    Mark Harricks is Executive Creative Director at VCCP in Sydney & Chairman of AWARD (Australasian Writers and Art Directors Association).

    Cancer Council – “I Touch Myself”

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    Interview Excerpt: Polly Chu, Chief Creative Officer, JWT, Beijing

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    [ … ]

    The third mistake is they will present the most finished work. No matter how finished it is, you are not a professional. When we look at a student portfolio, we are not looking for professional technique. So they have a misperception about that. We’re not looking for someone to do beautiful Photoshop work. We’re looking for someone with the potential to be a very good creative thinker.

    So how can we see if a person has potential? It means looking at sketches or thumbnails. It means looking at some interesting video or a non-advertising piece. If they have something very interesting, they should not be shy about showing it. Even if it is very naive and nonprofessional, they should not hide it. Just show it to us. Or if they have an interesting hobby they can put it in their portfolio.

    Technique can be learned in training. Within six months or a year, a guy can start from zero and become a very professional computer operator. However, if someone is not creative, it doesn’t matter how many years you train him, he cannot get those abilities. So we’re looking for someone who is very curious about everything. He is very interesting, is interested in many things, and has a lot of lovely ideas. Show us.

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    Read the full interview in BREAKING IN: Learn more about the book or Buy it on Amazon

    Next Up: Polly Chu, CCO, JWT Beijing

    Polly Chu is Chief Creative Officer at JWT Beijing.

    The Love Delivery Box

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    Interview Excerpt: Leslie Ali, Writer/Director/Creative Director, New York

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    What do you look for in a student book? And what impresses you?

    I look at what their interests are outside of advertising. I think it informs you more than the actual work itself, because students don’t yet have a body of work that defines them. And the briefs that come out of most ad schools are similar. So it is quite nice to see what they do and what their true passions and interests are outside of advertising.

    How would someone show you that?

    I’m seeing more and more of it. Maybe people just know that that’s my thing. But the books I’m seeing generally have a space for work and a space for play. You can usually find something that runs through both, and you get a sense of the person, their tonality, their sense of humor—something that allows you to believe that this person could be a great lateral thinker.

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    Read the full interview in BREAKING IN: Learn more about the book or Buy it on Amazon

    Next Up: Leslie Ali

    Leslie Ali is a writer, director, and creative director in New York.

    VW – “Heaven”

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    Interview Excerpt: James Mok, Executive Creative Director for Asia Pacific, FCB International, Auckland

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    What do you look for in a student portfolio? And what impresses you?

    I certainly like individual flair. I’ve always thought that the best creativity comes out of a person’s ability to express themselves as an individual. I think it’s really hard when you’re young and you haven’t spent a lot of time in advertising. You’re still figuring out things, and you invariably copy a lot. You’re mimicking techniques you’re drawn to, so naturally your work is incredibly derivative, which is unfortunate because everyone is looking for something original.

    I look for someone who can take a brand’s point of view and overlay their own personal point of view about the world, about society, about people. Human insights, I guess. Then work has a bit more meaning. When ads are just a superficial gag or just a play on words, it doesn’t really get through on an emotional level.

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    Read the full interview in BREAKING IN: Learn more about the book or Buy it on Amazon

    Next Up: James Mok

    James Mok is Executive Creative Director, Asia Pacific at FCB International in Auckland.

    MINI/SPCA – “Driving Dogs”

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    Interview Excerpt: David Nobay, Creative Chairman, Droga5, Sydney

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    What do you look for in a student portfolio? And what impresses you?

    I think what impresses me more than anything else is just a point of view. It’s interesting, a lot of young people come here who have been filtered through older people. So they come in and take me through work and I say, “Do you love this? Because I don’t actually love this.” And as soon as I push them in it they say, “No, I hate this, but I was told it would be really good.” Or, “I was told you’d like it.” And I get it because I remember being young and also being told to listen to everyone. But what you’re really looking for is someone who can filter the information around them, even at a young age. So they can say, “Everyone told me this and everyone gave me this advice but ultimately I’m presenting you something having filtered it through my brain that I’m proud of.” And I very rarely see that.

    [ … ]

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    Read the full interview in BREAKING IN: Learn more about the book or Buy it on Amazon