Check out some great work from Alvaro Sotomayor.
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WS: Do you like to see finished work that’s been laid out on a computer or are sketches okay for you?
AS: I like to really look for personal stuff—personal diaries, drawings, or photography—it just shows more character. You need to remember that the basis on which you are going to get hired is 50 percent skills and 50 percent how you fit with the culture of the company.
WS: Is it different for writers and art directors? For art directors, do you want to see some design ability on a computer?
AS: I look for bravery overall in ideas as well as in design. But for art directors, I look closer for a sense in space, color, and type. Photography is so overused that I really react to other expressive crafts like illustration.
WS: Do you think it’s important to have long copy in a student book?
AS: Long copy is great. I think it also shows depth in the thinking, which is very important. Communication at the moment is more about conversation in various points, so flexibility in tone and having a personal tone is a must.
WS: Do you think it’s also important for art directors to show that they can lay out long copy?
AS: The question makes it sound like long copy is evil…at this time, in the age of the iPad, I think knowing where to place relevant information is a must.
WS: You’ve sort of already answered this, but do you like to see things that aren’t ads?
AS: Yeah, definitely. For most of the people I hire, I do it because of their ideas outside of advertising.
WS: What kinds of things?
AS: Some people have an innate passion for ideas, ideas that want to change the world. A one-shot camera, a water barrel that helps cool itself, iPhone apps, miniseries, book ideas, funny ideas, quirky ideas all have a greater chance of landing you a job than any print ad you might have done.
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