Creatives

As an art director who doesn’t like executing but loves coming up with ideas, would copy writing be a better position for me?

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works at

Speaking for copywriters, we have to execute, too. We don’t just come up with ideas and call it a day. We write. Then we rewrite. Then someone else rewrites. Then we rewrite. Then the client and account rewrite. Eventually we cry in a closet and wait for the pain to pass. Work is work. You don’t get to pick only the fun parts

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No, just continue to work on your skills. ADs need to concept too

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You’d have to learn how to write. Copywriters don’t just come up with concepts and goof off the rest of the time. Become a better designer, but also find a job somewhere that respects art directors as more than a copywriter’s comping and deck making partner

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Maybe look for positions at PR firms? ADs there are purely concept based and don’t design (from what I’ve heard)

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Hahaha no. I work at a PR place now and I execute everything as it’s a small team and most non-creatives here can’t even begin to understand how creative works or what we need. In many cases the account teams come up with ideas and we have to build for them, though we’re changing that. It’s rare that people can just be "idea guys" these days - there aren’t illustrators and typesetters to direct any more, ADs gotta execute.

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What exactly do you not like executing? It seems that you lack confidence more than anything. If you’re a junior of course there’s going to be ADs who are faster and better. That comes with practice and experience. Work on your craft, that’s the most important thing to have as a junior. Copy writing involves a lot more than coming up with ideas as well. If you’re not a true writer I wouldn’t put yourself in that position.

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I just feel like there’s so many other better design oriented ADs out there who are better than me...

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I prefer when my AD can concept well. Also, copywriters spend time on execution, too. So...

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If you’re junior, you’ll get better at execution. Keep working at it, keep comping. Improvement comes with experience and it’s a valuable skill.

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Quick, trade lives with me!

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You’d probably be worse off as a Copywriter.

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Have your managers suggested a switch? Is there a clear path in your agency to do so? I have seen ADs switch to copywriting and was offered the same a few years back at another agency, but unless you know for sure you have the writing chops, it’s going to be tough to get your foot in the door and is still a lot of executing. That’s how ideas get built and stress tested. I will say I have seen more ADs go on shoots and productions than copywriters, so keep that in mind if that’s something you’re interested in doing. If you do continue as an AD, understand where your weaknesses lie as a designer and don’t be afraid to ask for help or additional support.

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Look into agencies that have Concepter as a job position. The Marketing Arm, for example

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Get used to it. The industry can’t agree on what an AD even does anymore. Unless you’re at an ultra-creative shop, 80% or more of your time will be spent pushing pixels.

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I started as an AD and felt the same way you do. I did switch to copywriter. And I think it’s a much better fit for me. I think I could push it farther than I could push art direction. And the only things I really miss from art direction are making mood boards and casting. But on the daily, it’s a much better fit.

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Before making a switch, ask for copy assignments like script writing (for both radio and film). You might not like “executing” as a copywriter either .

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I felt that way for the first half of my career. If you can make it to a higher level it won’t matter that much. It’s a rough road though.

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