Product Design
  • Next Up: Justin Drape

    Justin Drape is Chief Creative Officer & Co-Founder at The Monkeys in Sydney.

    Sydney Opera House – The Ship Song Project

    The Ship Song Project is a music project that invites the world inside the The Sydney Opera House and positions ‘The House’ as a contemporary cultural hub.

    Set to a re-working of Nick Cave’s immortal ballad, the film features performances by 100 of some of Australia’s and the world’s preeminent artists including Neil Finn, Kev Carmody, Sarah Blasko, Angus and Julia Stone, Paul Kelly, Temper Trap, Martha Wainwright, Katie Noonan and Daniel Johns and featured Sydney Opera House resident companies Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Teddy Tahu-Rhodes with Opera Australia, The Australia Ballet, Bangarra Dance Company, John Bell, Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

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    Interview Excerpt: Paul Catmur, Managing Partner & ECD, Barnes, Catmur & Friends, Auckland

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

    I look for work I wish I had done. I look for work that shows a creative maturity. It’s not just copying the latest scamps from Cannes. It’s work that’s actually designed to look at problems in a different way and probably sell a product or to change people—whatever the brief calls for.

    Can you think of any portfolios that have done those things?

    I did see a portfolio a couple years ago that stood out from all the others and that I thought was exceptional. But, in talking to the team, I didn’t think that they were exceptional. I thought that they had the wrong attitude. I would rather have people with the right attitude who aren’t brilliant than brilliant people with the wrong attitude. It’s not just about the book; it’s about the people.

    [ … ]

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    Next Up: Paul Catmur

    Paul Catmur is Managing Partner & ECD at Barnes, Catmur & Friends in Auckland.

    Hell Pizza

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    Interview Excerpt: KC Tsang, Senior Teaching Fellow, Hong Kong Polytechnic University & Commercial Director

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

    I would look for something special. Gwen Yip sent me not a portfolio but a booklet full of comics and some writing. It was different. Not normal. Not just something that was done as a school assignment. The other thing I would look for is insights in the work.

    Is that quality something that could come through in advertising, or are you looking for work that isn’t advertising at all?

    Not even advertising at all. It’s better not to be advertising.

    Why?

    If you want a job at an advertising agency and you don’t send me advertising, that is special, and different from all the other candidates. It shows bravery and an attitude that is unique, and if the content of the work is good then this candidate is in good shape.

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    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