7 questions in 7 minutes: Introducing our Art Director

Let’s face it, creative is a term that the majority of agencies use to describe their services. But what do we really mean by creativity, and how do we ensure it flows through everything we do? Our Art Director Gavin leads on our creative output. From conceptualisation, through to storyboards and scamps and then full campaign development, Gavin oversees the entire end-to-end process in both our UK and Middle East offices. We sat down with him to understand where his love for all things art came from.

Why did you decide to get into a career in graphic design?

I think the main reason is because I’ve always been artistic. I’ve always enjoyed drawing in my own time, but I wanted to push it further and turn my passion into a career to really make an impact with my work. That’s what led me to study graphic design through college and university.

Following university, what was your first year in this industry like?

I started as a junior graphic designer at Birmingham University. Looking back, it was probably the best start for my career. Whilst I didn’t have anyone above me to learn from, it meant that I had to stand on my own two feet and thrive in the deep end. Every idea was my own and I realised quite quickly that I needed to meet high expectations and produce good work, fast. Often good and fast don’t always go hand-in-hand, especially when it comes to conceptual work. I often refer to the Spiderman drawing challenge to help people understand why time is such a key ingredient to creating really great work from scratch.

What about your first year in agency?

Working in an agency is a completely different mentality. I got to work with many different people and I quickly realised from coming in-house that I no longer got to own the project from start to finish. Everything involves and is influenced by more people. However, being at Rave has given me the control to oversee all creative work and influence its direction.

Who inspires you the most?

My old man has always inspired me. That’s where the work ethic comes from – we both believe in working hard and playing hard. You have to be in a place where you’re thoroughly enjoying what you’re doing, in order to generate the best ideas. He has always inspired me to do the best work I can.

What’s the best thing about working in this industry?

People being amazed by what you produce. When people ask “how did you create that?”, it’s such a buzz. Because, ultimately, I know that if my work is impressing the marketing manager or marketing director, when it’s their job to over-analyse, I know the end customer is going to love it.

If you could give any advice to future creatives, what would it be?

There is no harm in following trends. But it’s important not to copy trends – instead put your own stamp on them. Get in a room with other creatives and strategists and plaster the walls with ideas. The sooner you get into the habit, the quicker you will learn from others and the quicker fresh ideas will come.

How important is a good brief?

It makes the job so much easier, but it shouldn’t limit creativity. A brief should be driven by insight and emotions that we should uncover in our work. It should also be backed by in-depth research into the company, the ideal customer base and their key competitors. It is ultimately there to provide me with all of the information I need to influence my creative direction. I could do the same ad in hundreds of different ways, but if it doesn’t tick the boxes of our clients and customers, I haven’t done my job. Everything must be relevant, impactful and have a strong message.

To find out more about what we do and how our experience in creative and design across the UK and Middle East can create standout for your business, please get in touch. Email hello@rave-communications.ae or call +44 (0)1675 467 462.