How would you describe your job?
As an art buyer at Wieden+Kennedy, my role is to source, curate and commission photographers for print advertising campaigns. Ultimately, my greatest responsibility is to the ensure the best possible creative output, predominantly in the form of print (such as magazines) and OOH advertising (Out Of Home, such as billboards or bus shelters). I also work as a photographer so this needs to begin in my spare time, in the evenings and weekends. I get just about enough time to shoot in my free time.
What does a typical working day look like?
Sometimes I’ll walk my dog Tetsuo on the way to work. It takes about 45 to 60 minutes, and is a nice way to start the day. Other times I’ll get the bus which is a lot less soothing. Official working hours are 9am to 6pm, but Wieden+Kennedy is fairly flexible. Often you need to stay as long as it takes, particularly in pre-production and during final supply, but this is counteracted with time in lieu for those days when things are a little quieter. Usually you’ll have several projects on at once, so the division of my time changes depending on the brief on the table – creative development is around 10-20% of my time, pre-production 60%, production 100%, and post 20%.
I like to physically list out the day’s tasks, writing on paper as opposed to typing on my mac. I feel like it sticks once it’s written down. There are particular tracks and albums that help me to really focus at the start of the day (Aphex Twin, Xtal and Burial, Untrue album) I focus on producing original, relevant, thought provoking, and always visually arresting content. This means a blend of inspiration, organisation, creativity and final on-the-ground production. This could be in the form of scoping timing and budgets, to compiling a list of enigmatic creative talent. Ideally, I would love to look at and sell in beautiful talent all day long, then shoot it, but I would never get to actually make anything if that were the case. You need to put in the hard labour up front to get beautiful work out the door, especially when working somewhere like Wieden+Kennedy, who are so focused on craft.