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- Career: Radio Show Host
- Career Watch: Being a Life Coach
- Career Watch: Wedding Planner
- Deciding Your Career
- Career Watch - Life of an Art Director
- Career Watch - The Life of a Copy Writer
- Career Watch - Personal Trainer
- Career Watch - Construction Manager
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- Fall Fashion Faux Pas
- FASHIONABLE OR MATERIALISTIC, when is enough, enough?
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- Career Watch - Life of an Art Director
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- Competitive Swimming
- Does my head look big in this? by Randa Abdel Fattah
- Belief in a Dream, Dr. Jane Goodall
Career Watch - Life of an Art Director
CAREER WATCH, October 2007, by Jennifer Brown
Tasting ice cream, reading comic books, watching movies…
They’re all part of the day’s work for Onanong Yooksuk. The part she calls “market research”. On, as her friends call her, is a Senior Art Director for a large, multi-national advertising agency in Thailand. She creates, designs and produces TV commercials, billboards and magazine ads. When she’s not doing “market research” you’ll find her in her office sketching ideas and working with software like PhotoShop, Illustrator and InDesign.
From Thailand to Toronto
On graduated from the University of Payap with a degree in Communication Arts. Through this, she discovered she was actually “in love with advertising”. So On headed for Toronto and a two-year course in Advertising Design. She had a difficult time at first, especially with the writing courses. Although she spoke some English when she arrived, she wasn’t fluent. But she learned fast.
One degree and one diploma later…
On hit the work force in a very competitive industry. Guess what her first job was (despite her English as a second language)? Copywriter! She soon learned that she prefered to express her talents visually. It took time, but after realizing that she was more likely to get a good job back home in Thailand, On started sending out resumés to agencies with branch offices in Thailand. Before long, she was offered a position as Senior Art Director. Soon she was working on large accounts like Wall’s Ice Cream (Good Humour & Breyers in Canada), StayFree, Intell and Boots (PharmaPlus).
Although On officially works weekdays from 9 to 5, there are times when her day can exceed twenty hours. That’s when she’s “on location” shooting a TV commercial or magazine ad. Being “on location” could be anywhere from around the corner to Singapore or even the United States!
The money’s good!
On earns about $50,000 a year, which goes a lot further in Thailand than it does in Canada. And all that “research” she does really is work. Testing products is a way of getting ideas, and ideas are what good Art Directors, like On, are paid for. She dresses to suit herself, mostly casually. For ‘client’ days she dresses up like the successful business woman she’s become. But more than the money, On enjoys the buzz she gets from doing her work well. “Every time I come up with good ideas, I’m excited to produce them, and I can’t wait to see them published”. Mind you, the “fully paid travel and cell phone expenses, parking and transportation fees” also help!
Is Art Direction for you?
“My work isn’t just about business or selling goods to people. It’s more powerful than you think. It’s about people, life, culture, etc. You just need to think outside the box, be different and know what you are doing. When you know and understand it, you will love it.”
If you love to use your great imagination, have good art and design skills, and know how to work with the same software On uses, Art Direction could be right for you. “Even though drawing is not necessary, you should at least be able to do a rough sketch that’s good enough to let people know it’s a dinosaur, not a dog!” It also helps to have a keen eye for detail and to be ready, willing and able to work to strict deadlines, under pressure. Combine all this with a good post-secondary degree or diploma and your future, too, could be filled with ice cream, comic books and unlimited movies!