Ready To Shine: Jeffrey Willim

03: ready to shine, ready to shine | PN9 Admin |

Jeffrey WillimJEFFERY WILLIM

ART DIRECTOR
www.willim.ca
PORTFOLIO NIGHT 9 TORONTO
PARTICIPANT

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When did you realize you wanted to get into advertising?

“For a very large portion of my teenage life, I wrote graffiti. I painted everything from freight trains to box trucks, and absolutely loved having my messages travel from city to city, province to province, and state to state. I realized the elements of graffiti (typography, style, colour, strategy, technique, etc..) were the same elements contained in advertising. I grew up, decided to stop running from police, and went to school for Advertising & Graphic Design.”

Tell us about the most unusual job you’ve ever had.

“I was a chocolate tester for major chocolate brand while in high school. For twelve hours a day, I ate chocolate bars and made notes on the taste, texture, and appearance of each bar. I got sick of it by the first week. It wasn’t as ‘sweet’ as it seemed.”

What is your cure for writer’s block?

“Usually, I’ll go for really long bike rides along a straight vacant road. The repetition of street lights and lines on the road put me in a trance and totally clear my mind – leaving it ready to be filled with good ideas. If that doesn’t work, I’ll blast my ears out with Hardcore Dutch Speedcore, two-step around my office, sit back down, and then miraculously start sketching up thumbnails like crazy.”

What song pretty much captures how you are feeling about your advertising career right now?

“Devin The Dude ft. Snoop Dogg & Andre 3000 – “What A Job”

Do you have a mentor? If so, how has he or she guided you?

“For every year of my High School career, I was taught ‘Media Arts’ by a teacher named Christine Carruthers. She saw great potential in me at a time when I saw very little, and encouraged me to pursue advertising in post-secondary school. I built my first portfolio with her, and found myself at Humber College shortly after. I’m not sure if I’d call her my mentor, but it’s scary to think where I could have ended up without that woman.”

“She held an art show during my graduating year, which featured live canvas painting in support of AIDS relief in Africa. My canvas featured complex graffiti on a galaxy-like background. Attendees purchased raffle tickets, and at the end of the night, the canvas’ were raffled off. The first ticket was drawn and a young, nerdy-looking kid quickly snatched up my canvas among all the others. I talked to him afterwards, and was truly moved by how much he loved the piece. He was amazed by my work, and told me that he would love to try doing something like that himself one day.”

“I look back on that night, and I feel as if the winner of my canvas was a reflection of myself years before. Just like him, I was inspired by creative people doing great things, and turned my inspiration into ambition. I thank Mrs. Carruthers for teaching me the power of creativity, and for providing me with experiences like that art show. It’s nights such as those that remind me why I even picked up those cans of spray-paint to begin with.”

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