Chicago Bound

Hey all, I'm excited to share some great news. I've accepted a job as a Junior Art Director at Leo Burnett. I'll be leaving Austin to explore another great city, Chicago. I'm thrilled about this opportunity, as it will push me to create bigger and better work. Thank you all for your support and encouragement, it has meant the world to me and has pushed me to work harder than I thought I was capable of. I can't thank The Austin Creative Department enough for making me into the creative person that I am today. I wouldn't be here without you all. Another thanks goes out to the people of Reddit for helping me onto the radars of numerous great agencies all over the US.

And thank you to all those who have sent me messages and emails- I haven't been able to respond to all of them, but I read and keep all of them. Here's to new and big opportunities!

Interview with CompKarma

CompKarmaI should've shared this sooner, I was recently interviewed on CompKarma, an awesome blog all about helping newbies break into advertising. I hope you all find the interview informative yet funny. Brian Cheung, founder of CompKarma, was absolutely great chatting with. I drew him a portrait as thanks, which you can find on the interview's page. I recommend checking out the rest of their site, there's a ton of useful information on there written by those working in the ad industry. Their posts are all simple, easy to read, and filled with humor. There's even an article that compares portfolio sites to ninja turtles.

Welcome to the Boy’s Club

This April, GSD&M hosted the 3% Conference in Austin, which acted as a snippet of what you’d expect to see at the main conference in San Francisco. For those who may not know, the 3% Conference focuses on the extreme gender gap among creatives, specifically creative directors in advertising. You’ll find that only 3% of our creative leadership is female.

Why does this happen? Why is it that both guys and gals go to portfolio schools in equal numbers, but only 3% of those women make it to the top? Why is advertising such a boy's club?

  • Women don’t tend to ask for more. For example, men are more likely to ask for a raise, because men are more confident in demanding what they want. Hate to say it, but women are afraid to be demanding because it comes off as being “bitchy”.
  • It typically takes about 8-10 years to climb the ranks to become a creative director. Assuming you finished up school in your early twenties, by the time you come to the point of advancing to leadership in your career, you’re already thinking about marriage and kids. It’s expected at that point in our lives for women to focus on child-rearing. Therefore not being able to take the next step in their careers.

Kat Gordon, founder of the 3% Conference, stands for changing these expectations of women by encouraging women to push harder and lean in further, especially at the beginning of their careers.

Overall, the event was great. A quick shout out to the great guest speakers: Kat Gordon, Stefani Zellmer, Scott McAfee, Shanteka Sigers, and Carlotta Stankiewicz. All of them were amazingly nice and personable. The number of guys there in support of female creatives was great too. In a way, it’s almost upsetting to say that after over a year studying and networking with creatives, I hadn’t met a single female creative director before this event.

Conference booklet photo courtesy of 620Studio.

AIGA Austin: Finding Work

AIGA AustinI recently went to a great Q&A panel for tips on finding work, hosted by AIGA Austin. It was a nice environment to meet others who were either getting ready to start their careers, or wanting to switch jobs.

Some nuggets worth sharing:

  • Less is more. The same rule of simple design also applies to simplifying job-hunting. Fewer, greater pieces in your portfolio is better than 20 not-so-good pieces. Same goes for your resume and cover letter- the less superfluous information a recruiter has to read, the better.
  • A good cultural fit with an agency/shop is vital. Plan to visit all of the agencies you're interested in.
  • You'll advance in your career faster if you don't restrict yourself to staying at one agency for a long period of time. Hop around, learn from different agencies, and grow from the experience. Find out which place fits best with you for the long-term.
  • If you're dying to work at a specific agency, don't bombard them with applications/emails. Wait to reapply after 90 days.
  • College experience is not necessary. Initiative and motivation is what matters.
  • You can teach skills. You can't teach personality.
  • Speculative work never grows old in your book, but after 3 years into your career, you should have more client work than spec.
  • People value personal development.
  • There's nothing wrong with cold-calling. It should be done more often, actually.

The panelist lineup included Greg Carley (Creative Director at Chaotic Moon Studios), Matt Mowat (Creative Director at Hammer & Tongs), Stefani Zellmer (Creative Director at Zeehive Creative), Scott McAfee (Managing Partner at SandersWingo), and Jennette Lemley (Talent Agent at Vitamin T). There was time after the panel to meet them; they were all very nice and honest with their answers.

I hope you found these notes helpful. I'll be writing a post in the near future with my own tips on finding work.

As seen in: London

Got this in the mail yesterday: Shortlist, a London magazine, featured my work! They were really friendly when they contacted me about it, and were willing to send me a copy in the mail! It's one thing to see online news articles and blog posts about that book design, but to have something printed about it feels genuine and inspiring.

Quest Night: Glory & Gold

Recently I did some pro bono logo work on behalf of Scare for a Cure, an Austin-based nonprofit organization that raises money for local cancer charities. This past weekend they held Quest Night: Glory & Gold, a Dungeons & Dragons style interactive adventure.

It was a ton of fun, I can't wait for next year's Quest Night. I went this past Saturday to the event, and had a blast with my friends battling hordes of monsters, exploring dungeons, solving riddles, and getting lost in a maze.

I got my hands on some printed material featuring the logo, including a sweet coin and a metallic ink printed shirt.

You can view pictures from the event here.

As seen in: Italy

Just got this in the mail last week: I was lucky enough to get a copy of Sole24Ore, an Italian newspaper that wrote about a design I did. It was very surreal seeing it in-person. The newspaper is printed on a tan/pinkish paper, something I've never seen before. A big thanks to Francesco for sending it to me! You can read his translation here.

Trespassers Beware

Just wanted to a share a preview of one of the new projects I'll be adding to my site in the coming month.

Portfolio Updates

I'm happy to share that's I've finally finished the Nimbus Unicycles case study video. A big, big thanks to my Austin Creative Department instructor Will Chau, the talented writer Jeanette Horn, Brian Han for his great camera work, and Matt Pichette for editing it all together. It took forever to finish this, but we did it, so thanks for all your patience.

Grab some popcorn, and go watch the case study here.

I'll be doing some minor updates to my older work, and hopefully add new work in the coming weeks!

Graphis Poster Annual 2014

spidey_graphisMy Spider-man poster is set to be published in the Graphis Poster Annual 2014. You can check it out the Graphis live viewing (and kindly vote for it) here!

Site news: I'll be making some updates to my portfolio before the end of this week, so keep an eye out for that!


Don't be a stranger!

Let's Keep in touch

Have an opportunity, got a question, or just want to say howdy? Drop me a line any time. I'm always available to chat. If you’d like to follow along with my adventures, check out at any of the links below. If my contact form is clogged up, please try emailing me at hello (@) eliperez.com.