The art of becoming an Art Director

When Rowan Slade started his studies, he was a self-confessed “guy from a beachie town who made cappuccinos”. This might sound familiar. Finishing school and moving into a career can often be daunting, but after a couple of years of study Rowan discovered the art of becoming an Art Director. Proof of his artistic talent was on display recently with his graduating project from Macleay’s Bachelor of Advertising and Media, where Rowan created an art installation that explored the tension between the fantasy and brutality of Reality TV. 

Rowan describes the humble beginning of his creative career behind the cappuccino machine on his blog: “It was here, meeting and talking to a variety of different people, that I learned the value of customer experience for a business. I thrived working with others but decided that I didn’t want to be stuck in the hospitality bubble.”

“My life has been consistently drawn towards the creative arts and I’ve been a performer since my childhood; refer to mum for videos. I moved out on my own to Sydney where I’ve continued to study and further my career. I’ve studied acting, film & media production and travelled aplenty – and it’s all these influences of working within and being around creativity that have driven me to work in the advertising and media industry; in particular, the ability to use my creativity to drive business.”

Rowan has a keen eye and a great sense of style, so even his early college projects stood out. One of my favourites was a brand he developed from scratch (excuse the pun), for a real-world client in his Advanced Digital Design class. ‘RuvBox’ is a pet care pack that Rowan developed a logo, packaging, magazine advertising and merchandising for.

Rowan’s branding project for ‘RuvBox’

Once Rowan got a video camera in his hand, he started producing some fun and quirky video content, like this engaging digital content piece with Sophie Robertson visualising the word ‘Joy’ in their Art Direction and Design class.

But Rowan hasn’t limited his creative talents to visual mediums, he also produced a great podcast on ‘TV Streaming’ in his Radio Advertising & Podcasting class with our award-winning radio lecturer Cameron Horn. Have a listen here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1djurNOZl_p-Iw6hBbL5S2iEXRzRbL2_E/view

It was of course a highlight of Rowan’s time at the college to see him create a visual installation exploring his ideas around Reality TV. It was an ambitious project to take over a whole room; design and build a floral installation; contrast this with a broken television and image of a bleeding heart; and invite people to sit in the installation and share their selfies on Instagram.

Both Adam Ross, executive creative director at the projects* and the marketing consultant Louise Chamberlain, who sat on the industry marking panel commended Rowan’s courage and ambition in creating an immersive and interactive installation. The next challenge for Rowan is to make his creative mark on the advertising industry. Stay tuned.

Rowan presenting his major art directing project to Adam Ross and Louise Chamberlain.

Reaction

Instagram reactions to Rowan’s installation.

If you would like to see more of Rowan’s work, you can check out the creative portfolio on his blog here:

https://rowanjslade.wordpress.com/creative-portfolio/

Featured image of Rowan Slade and fellow Advertising & Media student Grace Cooper by Alana Taylor-Benn.

Macleay College offers diploma and bachelor courses in Advertising & Media in the campus in both Sydney and Melbourne.  For more information click this link.

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