October 28, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Creative Director: Interview with Kenneth Waldron

Kenneth Waldron has been in the advertising industry for 20 years. He works with the company Paul Werth Associates. You can find his website at

Please Explain Your Job

I manage the advertising practice area of a Strategic Communications firm. I provide creative direction for all clients’ marketing needs.

How do you explain your job to your mother?

It’s difficult to explain it to her. I tell her that I come up with the ideas and then create television spots.

How did you get started?

I got started drawing smiley faces at age 4.

What's your educational background?

I attended Bowling Green State University.

How did you get experience?

I’ve held a lot of different jobs in the industry. I started as a paste up artist spacing type before computers in 1989. I then taught myself to use computers by working the third shift at a Kinkos; I Xeroxed computer manuals at night and studied them during the day. I worked at a T-shirt shop in college, designing and printing Fraternity and Sorority t-shirts

What was your first job in the industry?

I got my first real break at an in-house agency with a homebuilder. Through AdFed I got my first job at an advertising agency and learned all I could about video production. I was then rehired by my former homebuilder as a Creative Director in charge of a $12M budget. (Never burn a bridge - it'll always come back around). I got out of the real estate business before the market tanked and I now head up the advertising practice of a strategic communications firm.

What was the last project you worked on?

It was a television public service announcement for National Adoption Day.

Describe a typical day (or week) in your life when you're working?

Think, work, interruptions, phone calls, e-mails, think, work, interruptions, time sheets. Repeat.

How do you sharpen your skills and/or stay motivated?

I attend industry events like AdFed meetings and American Marketing Association meetings.

What advice do you give to those who want to join your profession?

Learn the computer programs and have passion about your ideas.

If you could go back in time and meet your pre-professional self, what would you tell him?

Move to California and become an editor in Hollywood.

A Series of Questions:

What’s the best thing about your job?

The People

What major job annoyance would you eliminate forever?


Where do you find inspiration?


Where do you hope to be (career-wise) in another year?

Same company, VP

What’s your personal motto/slogan?

He who stops advertising to save money may as well stop their watch to save time.

October 17, 2008

Cool Tools: Inkscape

Open-Source software has reached a new level of excellence in the past few years. No longer do consumers have to pay for over-priced software, instead they’ve got a number of free alternative which carry nearly all the same features. Inscape is some incredibly useful open-source software for creatives.

Inscape is a vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, or CorelDraw. Instead of bitmap images, Inkscape stores its graphics in a vector format. Don’t let that scare you though, Inkscape can also import and display bitmap images. The software supports many advanced and the interface is nicely streamlined. It’s a nice little vector graphics package for the non-professional user.

A great benefit of the software being open-sourced is that there's a thriving user and developer community. If you’re having trouble with something, chances are someone has already had that same problem and developed a solution.

There are some areas in which Inkscape fails: there are a limited number of tools, there are limited exporting options, and text options are limited, even for an amateur. If you’re not an expert of graphic programs and you’re looking for a simple solution that won’t cost you a lot of dough, Inkscape is the solution you’ve been looking for.

October 2, 2008

Cool Tools: Digital Photography School

So you just got the latest, greatest digital camera and you’re ready to become the next Anzel Adams? Fantastic. There’s only one problem: you’re no Anzel Adams. You don’t know the difference between a lens and a flash and you’re completely incapable of framing picture without the top of someone’s head being cut off. Don’t worry; Digital Photography School is here to school you on everything from shutter speeds to aperture.

Digital Photography School is a blog that lets you learn the ins and the out of photography. Darren Rowse is the guy behind Digital Photography Blog. Advances photographers might find this site a little basic but it is a great resource for the beginning or intermediate photographer to hone their skills and learn what digital photography is all about.
Check it, soak up the tips, and keep on snapping!