Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Joel Arbez

Name: Joel Arbez
Graduating Year: 2004
Occupation: Art Director

What are you up to now? I’m an art director at WAX

How did you end up there? I like their work and I really enjoy being part of something new and exciting. WAX is a young and hungry agency and we seem to be a good fit.

What skills are important in your occupation? Conceptual skills is the trump card, but drawing skills are also a great asset in a small agency when budgets don’t allow for comp artists or illustrators. Also knowledge of what’s been done and what’s no longer relevant is key to creating fresh work.

What should a student have in an advertising portfolio? Great ideas first and the ability to craft them second.

What is your average day like? Coffee, conceptualize, coffee, pretend to conceptualize, coffee, youtube, then coffee.

What are the challenges and/or rewards in your occupation? Every day is different. Each client brings new challenges. Some allow for very creative solutions others play puppet master, but in the end you’re being paid to pull something out of your head and materialize it.

What were your goals or dreams when you left college? Were they realized, changed, how?
Some have been others have yet to be. I’ve always wanted to work in a large agency with international clients. The closest I came to that was at DDB Toronto for a one year stint. It was great, but big clients come with big headaches; to be honest I think big cities aren’t for me.

Has art school contributed to where you have found yourself today? Absolutely. I’d still be wrapping lettuce in at your local grocer had I not gone.

Any advice or words of wisdom to students? Try to find inspiration from your work elsewhere than other people’s work. “Better to fail in originality then succeed in imitation”. I forget who said that but it has always helped me push limits.

How did your perception of the real world change after art college? It’s a lot less forgiving and much more restraining.

What were some of the difficulties you faced when you got out of art college? Finding a job that paid my rent. In advertising if your not winning awards, you’re not making good money. It took a while to get my name recognized.

Any Final Thoughts? Send me your stuff, guys. I’m always looking for new talent and we use illustrators often.

here are a couple illustration/photography specific questions:

What is illustration or photography good for? In advertising, photography imitates reality or creates a false illusion of that reality. Illustration on the other hand gives a more personal voice to a visual piece and can be an effective tool in helping brand a product or service. Plus it’s freaking wonderfully entertaining when done properly.

When you hire a photographer or illustrator how do you find them? I usually go through annuals, Communication Arts, Applied Arts, Luerzers archive, etc. I also like to go to the ACAD portfolio show for new blood.

From an advertising point of view, what is important in an illustration/photograph? Attention to detail. And consistency of quality.