From ad agencies to digital magazines, creative people are certainly in demand right now. In this line of work, a lot of people are now interested to learn how they can turn their creative vision to fruition. But there's still a lot of things to keep in mind when it comes to a job in the creative field, particularly if you want to work as an Art Director.
Without a doubt, it's an impressive job title to have, so if you are already heading down the path to becoming one, we took the time to talk to Chalk's very own AD to know what it's like to execute your artistic ideas! As someone who graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts and Design Major in Advertising, 24-year-old Mikka Caronan started her career as an Art Director when she became an intern for Chalk in 2015.
In her internship, she experienced editing videos and doing layouts for the brand's content. "It was a very productive internship because I experienced and learned a lot of things at the same time. That's why when I graduated, I immediately applied to ABS-CBN Publishing, Inc. I got hired, but Chalk doesn't have any vacant positions at that time. That's why I had my first job under the department's digital reading platform NoInk, where I became a Digital Operations Specialist."
After a year of working at NoInk, she was offered an Art Director position by Chalk's Brand Manager. As much as she wanted to say yes, she had to decline. "I had to politely turn it down because NoInk was going through a lot of changes, and the team needed my help." Unfortunately, due to the amount of load that she was handling, her health suffered along the way. "I had to take a break to recover. When I was finally ready to go back to work, Chalk's Brand Manager messaged me again. This time, I chose Chalk."
Mikka shared that everything happened at the right timing because after working for a few months as Chalk's Art Director, she realized that this is her dream job. "I'm in charge of the overall look of the brand, and I enjoy it! From conceptualization to the actual execution, everything I do speaks for the brand."
She usually starts her workday around seven in the morning by doing her daily tasks. "I make all the banners and Instagram story version of Chalk's articles, so I focus on that first before I move forward to my other responsibilities. For example, if we have a digital feature cover shoot, I would look for poses for the celebrity to do and fix the details of the hair and clothes if it doesn't look good in the photo. If it's time to release the digital feature, I edit the photos to fix the small details, then lay them out to match our Instagram feed. It usually takes me 10-12 hours to finish all my tasks on a busy workday."
It can be a struggle, especially because her job is mostly about conceptualizing. "It’s not every day that I'm able to think of a new style to follow. There are days that no matter how hard I try, I can't even get my creative juices flowing. Although I know every artist experiences this, it also feels nice when I overcome this kind of challenge and make something beautiful out of it."
At the end of the day, Mikka is thankful because there's never a dull moment working as an Art Director. "I don't get bored from it because there's always a new thing to explore and opportunities to learn, but what I love most about my job is the fulfillment I feel when I see my works online or materials spread out at our event. I couldn't do this without my Chalk team, who are also passionate about what they do, and I'm truly blessed to be a part of this team."
It's safe to say that when you're passionate about something, it will be easy. But if you want to be an Art Director in the future, Mikka wants to let you know that it isn't a walk in the park. You need to be an expert in design and branding, and there will be moments your fire will burn out. But the reason why Mikka is still here is because she doesn't see herself enjoying any other job than this.
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