Chapter 5. Is it authentic?

Advertising wasn't always the clear-cut path I saw for my career. I graduated with a degree in communication design; at my heart I am a designer. My first job out of college was at a prepress house (raise your hand if you know what film and proofs are. Okay, you two can lower your hands.). The production studio also doubled as a design studio, which was a great first gig for a designer. I learned immediately that concept wasn't everything, we have to be able to execute our ideas. It wasn't long after college that I started my own design firm. We were a full-service shop, which meant we'd design pretty much anything for a buck (not a buck literally, that would be amusingly inexpensive. Two at the very minimum.). I had always found my most joy, though, when I was given the opportunity to solve advertising-related problems. From print ads to TV spots, I loved the creative process in developing both the strategy and the concept, then seeing how that concept could be executed. At one point, I remember thinking, "We should become an ad shop." My partner disagreed. So I killed him (not really. I'm not writing this from prison.). We parted ways when an opportunity to become the creative director at a small ad shop in Costa Mesa, California was presented to me. I'm a big believer in small shops and this particular shop was newly formed from the ownership of the prepress house from which I started my career. Very "full-circle" of me, I know.

Admittedly, I knew little ...

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