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I don’t think I’m Creative Director material. How to grow if not to become one? Possible? Is head of art still a thing this days?

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Well first, it's a good thing that you recognize your current limitations. I think our industry is plagued with CDs who are talented creatives, but have no idea how to be actual leaders. The main skill to learn/improve is communication. If an idea is bad, kill it. If an idea has potential, talk through it to see if you can find a better hook. If an idea is already great, praise it and talk through why it's working so well. I think if you use your talent to just talk through ideas, the creatives under you will pick up on your knowledge and make the work better. As long as you keep that line of communication open, you'll grow as a CD, and they'll grow as a creative.

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unfortunately, if management, presentation, and directing the work overall isn’t your strength, then it’s difficult. our industry structure isn’t built for people who want to advance in pay and experience without moving to a new skill set. what you could do is be clear about your strengths with anywhere you’d go, and maybe they can compensate for your lack of some skills with another person who is good at those things. but honestly, that’s a difficult ask.

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Unfortunately art direction as a skill is hardest for people to see the value in, when so often art director =/= designer. Which is why management and communication are more important as you look to move up.

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All this advice is good. Out of curiosity, just asking (if you want to talk about it), what is it about being a CD you feel like isnt for you? Like others have said here, LOTS of people just take the job for advancement without questioning whether theyd be good at it, and do it without worrying if theyre doing a great job. Im wondering if it might be one of those things where you being so thoughtful means youd actually be good at it. So what parts do you feel are beyond you—or you just dont like?

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Ah gotcha—well yes thats a big part of it, because the younger creatives are counting on you to sell their work—hopefully riskier work. So being polished with clients (in the traditional sense of being comfortable and persuasive while talking) is pretty important I guess.

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