Read our new manifesto
22 - 26 March

Festival for a rapidly changing world

Topics include: Direct to consumer / E-commerce / Data & privacy / Martech

To art buy, or not to art buy.

…is about ideas. Ideas that make people think, make people smile, make people laugh, make people change the way they behave. It’s about creativity. Creativity in advertising and design. Creativity in the field of poetry, literature and screenplays. It’s about art. Sharing it, discovering it. Trying to understand it. It’s about getting things done. Not waiting for someone else to do it, or relying on someone else to get it done for you. As Mahatma Gandhi said: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I have over 25 years experience in the ad industry working for agency brands such as: DDB; TBWA; BBDO; O&M and McCann’s as a CD / AD / CW. I have won over 100 awards, including Cannes; D&AD; One Show; Campaign and Epica. For brands such as: VW; Audi; Carlsberg; Black & White Whisky, Smirnoff, Coors, Cadbury’s; Coca-Cola; Heinz; Peugeot; Nissan and Meteor to name a few.

I’m also a published writer, I was short listed for the Independent on Sunday Short Story Competition in 1997. My short story, “Woman’s Best Friend”, also appears in the IOS New Stories published by Bloomsbury.

My poetry has been widely published in Ireland, Britain and the US in anthologies and periodicals such as: The U.S. Literary Review, Envoi, Cyphers, Electric Acorn, W.P. Monthly, Lifelines 3, The Haiku Quarterly and The Amnesty International Anthology: Human Rights Have No Borders.

I am the author of six feature length screenplays, six short films, a collection of short stories, a poetry collection and my first novel which contains 85,000 words, some of which are in the correct order.

When you work for/in big ad agencies you have Art Buyers. You come up with your idea and you tell your Art Buyer what kind of look/feel you’re after. The Art Buyer goes away and comes back a few days later with some photographers portfolios for you to have a look at. And you make your recommendation based on their expertise of shortlisting the best photographers for your job within your budget.

Unfortunately, most provincial ad agencies don’t have Art Buyers. Usually because the Creative Dept isn’t big enough to warrant one. So the onus to know who’s out there falls on the Art Director. This isn’t an ominous task. I, and most ADs I know, have had to do this throughout their careers. So, it’s always handy to get recommendations from your colleagues or mates in other agencies.

I had the privilege of working with David Stewart while I was with Pravda advertising in Manchester. Brilliant photographer and very nice bloke to work with. He doesn’t take pictures – he tells stories with wit and simple sophistication.

This is for those ADs who don’t work in agencies with Art Buyers. You may know his work already and have his site bookmarked. If not, here are a few samples of his work. Though, a trip to his website will leave you much more satiated.

David Stewart

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis