How to Become a Creative Director
In te third of our series of interviews with London’s Creative Agencies on what it takes to be successful, we speak to Andy Sandoz, Creative Partner (Creative Director) of Working Club. Andy shares with us his top tips for getting noticed in London’s Creative Industry, and what it takes to be successful as a Creative Director. This follows on from the very popular videos on We Are Source’s YouTube channel. Previously we interviewed Flo Heiss, Executive Creative Director of Dare, London, and Laura Jordan Bambatch, also of Dare, London.
You can watch the video of the interview with Andy or read it here on the blog:
What do you do and where do you work?
My name is Andrew John Sandoz, and I am Creative Partner (Creative Director) of Work Club.
And how big is your agency?
Erm, as big as the moon, yeah… Work Club is as big as the moon, maybe Pluto…Pluto is not a planet…is it? Though neither is the moon.
It’s about 50 people.
And how long did it take you to get to that position as a Creative Director?
Yeah… from birth… yeah
What was your first creative job role?
I was originally an illustrator … Badly. Pre-internet. Internet is really hard when there is no internet. Illustrations are really hard when there is no internet. Erm, my first proper job was a 3D animator and illustrator for a gaming company.
What does it take to get noticed as a Creative Director in London’s Creative Industry?
I think that to get noticed you need two things; endeavour and swagger. So, I think it takes endeavour; hard work! These are luxuriant jobs that we have, but it doesn’t come easy. We get to do interesting things, and get license to behave in all kinds of crazy ways, but you need to earn that I think. You need to work hard for it, and there’s a lot of craft, a lot of skill, associated with it, and so you’ve got to do your 10 000 hours; I really believe that.
And, secondly; swagger. I think you’ve got to have a little bit of style – it doesn’t have to be like everybody’s else’s, but you’ve got to bring something different to the table – otherwise, well, you’re just not interesting! And unfortunately, you need to find a way of breaking through and being interesting. That is difficult, though, because interesting comes with confidence, and I think when you’re young and you are applying for jobs you’re searching for your confidence as well. So try and find the confidence to do something fresh; do it different; take a different approach.
Great, my next question links perfectly to that; how do you stay fresh and current as a Creative Director?
It’s really easy to stay fresh and current; just stay interested. Keep learning; there should be no limit to your knowledge, you should always be going uphill. You should always be learning something, even if at a very shallow level. The premise of a creative is a very shallow person who understands little bits of lots of things and connects them up in lucky ways, I guess! Yeah, so just keep learning.
Tell me something about your agency that no one else knows.
Well, we almost called ourselves Mork and Mindy, which was good – or Lions, Tigers and Bears; that was another one. And then, originally everyone thought we were going to work 10-4 and it got printed, so loads of people came to us thinking you’re going to work 10-4, I want to work with you. Obviously, it’s 4am, rather than 4pm. But, that’s all the gossip I’ve got about work club at the moment!
Tonight’s topic for the talk is pretty much ‘No’, so what do you say when the suits say no to you?
Well, really, they don’t say no. In our collaborative culture, it’s a collective yes, or a collective no. So very rarely have I found myself in a position where someone from my business team says no, because they’re always looking for a way to say yes. There are not times when you are given a hard ‘no’ like that in Working Club, because, as you’ll see in my talk, if you say no you’ve got to bring a yes. And so understanding that, and collaboration, very rarely do you punch up against a suit that says no. I think if you are punching up against a suit that says no, leave and find a better business director, because clearly that’s not the right creative environment to be in.
Thank you very much for talking to us, Andy!
You’re very welcome!
This interview is part of a series which aims to find out what it takes to be successful in London’s Creative, Digital and Marketing Agencies. Whatever level you are at your experience could be invaluable to others looking to make their next step up. Please leave a comment below or email me if you would like to be interviewed as Creative Director Andy was here.