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The Art Director and the Arts

10 November 2009 No Comment

When I begun in advertising, I had the luck to team with a veteran Art Director.

Walter was in his 60’s back then, I was in my early 20’s.

The man had a vision like I never saw again, probably because it is becoming more and more difficult to find art directors older than 50’s in the agencies nowadays – which is terrible, I think.

Walter knew so much that sometimes, he went mad with the guys who only learned from the digital school.

“These photographers think that they don’t need to set a good light or do a good make up because they can spend more time fixing the photo than preparing it!” – he used to say.

Once, we did a campaign and he asked the photo studio to not use 3D. Not that he was against it, but the layout requested simplicity.

As the photo came, he simply took a look at it and said:

“That’s not what I asked for. Ask them to do it again.”

monalisasimpson“But, you didn’t even look at it…it’s not digital…” argued the Art Buyer.

He picked up a magnifier, ruler, pencil, a drawing compass and started to draw upon the picture.

“The perspective and the shadow are wrong, the light and the texture are fake…” And he was right.

The man was an Art Director and really liked the arts.

Also, he was an artist himself, a painter so respected that once he was invited to be the curator of a Leonardo da Vinci’s exhibition.

It took a lot of hard work to do it and he was really proud of it.

So, he invited almost every important client from the agency.

The invitation was simple and said something like:


We are proud to present the work of the renowned painter, sculptor, architect and inventor Leonardo da Vinci.

We would like to invite you for the opening at the Museum (…)

Walter Pereira, Curator”

The guests started to reply and to confirm. And Walter received a message that made him laugh out loud.

It was from a client and it said:

“ Dear Leonardo da Vinci,

I am pleased to know that you are having your own exhibition.

Unfortunately, I will be in traveling at the day of the opening.

But I couldn’t miss the opportunity to say

Congratulations, Mister da Vinci!…”

“Pearls to pigs!” – Walter kept saying. “Pearls to pigs, kid!”

- Fabio Seidl

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