Surviving the “Creative Director” job (Part 1)

Originally, I wanted to put up this post a little earlier, incase an aspiring kid who might have just received their SPM/Diploma results may be in need of some enlightenment into which path of life they should undertake. I used to have this questions, like “How do I become a Creative Director?” or “What does a Creative Director do?”. Now that I am sitting in the position of my life long ambition, I looked back at the long winding road it took me to get to do what I do now, every day.

“So, You Buat Apa Sekarang?”

If someone else answers’s this question for me, the answer is almost always, “Dia jual beg”. Honestly, I dislike that answer, it makes my job sounds pitiful and unimportant. Well, not trying sound like I am whining (or complaining), but there is little awareness regarding jobs outside the usual Professional “White Collars” that are equally challenging albeit having less burdening responsibilities like that of an Architect or a Doctor. Regardless, your career should be your lifetime passion whether it is a simple or complex profession!

What is a Creative Director?

Every person in this profession has a different answer for this question, as there is no professional definition for the job as compared to that of an Architect, or even a Graphic Designer. In short, a Creative Director is a person with mature experience in the arts and designs industry, and usually has academics qualifications in any Arts & Design course with several special skills like Photography, Filmography, Videography, Graphics, and sorts. They are also usually well-experienced Executives in Advertising, Branding and Marketing agencies. Creative Directors are usually hired by big companies who can afford their fee, usually, to qualify for such positions, you need to have at least 6-8 years of experience and a set of successful portfolios, including previous Artistic Directions and possibly, successful Marketing Campaigns for previous employing company/clients. The fee depends on the offer made by the hiring company, some may start as little as MYR4k, and could go up to tens of thousands. This is for those who take the formal route to have come to hold such positions. Most of the time, almost anyone could claim themselves as a “Creative Director” (Like me, LOL), by forming a Company (usually in fashion or design) of their own, and just put themselves in such positions, for as long as they think they have the creative drive and some talent for artistic works.

What does a Creative Director do?

Being in the “Creative Director” (CD) position, you don’t exactly have to do the detail artistic works. The main job is to mainly manage and direct the creative team that includes younger apprentices such as Graphic Designers, Photographers, Designers and possibly Marketing Execs to create an outcome that is usually commercially viable (makes a profit) and is aesthetically acceptable by the targeted group. The job scope also includes concluding sales strategies, supervising design developments and planning the brand’s marketing campaigns. However, this is just one opiniative definition of the job, but you probably get the framework we are working around as a CD (and for this blog post). It’s a tasking job with long hours and a tireless creative process. You can say that a Creative Director is like that of an Architect, with the exception of it not being a Professional profession By-Law.

How much does a Creative Director make (income)?

Depends on the company they are working for, but personally, I think you need to make a lot, to actually call yourself a “Director”. However, some people don’t do it for the money (hippie-soul, this one), but half of the world’s Creative Directors are usually Capitalists that successfully makes you buy branded products because they will get paid more, in a way. 😛

So, What’s My Story?

Fast forward to 2016, I formed TasBijoux Sdn Bhd, a handbag design retail company that focuses on Artisanal bags. Together with my team of 5 people, we aim to become the next generation of “BONIA” (a huge player in leather handbag goods based in Malaysia) of the ASEAN region.

More in the #2 part of this post.




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