Fami works for a large and successful advertising agency in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He has always taken a keen interested in the business of advertising and knew from a fairly young age that it was a field he was interested in working in. To pursue his ambitions, he enrolled on an art foundation course and then a Visual Communication course at the Academy of Art University. The course covered semiotics, colour, the use of photography and specific information technology skills – all areas that are very useful to him as an advertising art director. Talking about approaching agencies, Fami says: “Some people advised me to approach only the big agencies, or ones that I desperately wanted to work for. “I’m not sure if I’d go along with that. We must have seen dozens of agencies and I think it was all helpful. I think perhaps it’s good to get a few credits on your portfolio before you approach your first choice agency, otherwise you might feel like you’ve blown your big chance early on.” Fami has been working in advertising for nearly 10 years and, like many, found his way in on a work placement. He says it can be a difficult industry to get into and it can take a while to establish yourself. However, in his opinion it is worth the effort – he enjoys his job and thinks his role has fewer constraints than many other more ‘conventional’ jobs. One downside is the long hours that the job requires, but he generally doesn’t mind putting in extra hours, as he likes what he is doing. For Fami, the job is stimulating because he has found that there are always opportunities to learn new things. He said: “Working as an art director certainly keeps you on your toes – but I like that, it keeps me fresh.” The role of his job will vary according to the agency he is working with and the client brief. Generating creative ideas and concepts to fulfill the advertising needs of the client Working closely with the copywriter to form a productive creative partnership. Conducting creative research on projects. Producing sketches or ‘storyboards’ (television) or ‘roughs’ or ‘scamps’ (print) to communicate ideas to the client Briefing other members of the creative team. Commissioning photographers, artists or film-makers to work on projects. Ensuring deadlines are met and working effectively under pressure. Gaining an understanding of the target audience and business that the advert is aimed at. Adopting a flexible approach to working hours - long hours are often required to meet the needs of the clients. Working on location and attending shoots. Visiting and assessing different locations for potential shoots. Attending meetings at production houses and with other directors. Working in editing suites to oversee the finished product.