Guess what? You're an art director now



you're an art director now
you're an art director now
you're an art director now
you're an art director now

On Wednesday, I co-hosted a live YouTube thumbnail workshop with 43 people. And while I taught some design fundamentals, what I was really teaching those who joined was how to Art Direct.​

Art direction is the ability to add humanity to your design. And it’s going to be more important as we move into the world of AI tools.

But first, I built something for you if you couldn’t join live. Join the waitlist here if you want to score a deep discount on it later this week.​(And next week I’ll talk more about building a waitlist landing page like this one)

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Give me three minutes to show you:

🎨 How to discover your visual style

📣 What to do as a creator to survive

🏀 A custom-painted basketball court in the middle of Paris

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In a fascinating conversation about music production and his role, Rick Rubin admitted he doesn’t know how to use a soundboard or how to make beats.

His skills using instruments are minimal.​

(Inside I’m screaming, “I’m just like him!”)

In the music industry, he’s known as a prolific producer working with musicians like Adele, the Beastie Boys, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, Slayer, and so many more.​

In the design world, he’s like an art director who may not know how to use the technical tools of a designer, but he can direct those who can with confidence in his own taste.​

And now with the advent of visual AI tools like Midjourney, we can create simply by typing.

But if creating is that simple, how do we know what to use?

Having confidence in knowing your taste starts with the vibe you want to communicate to the world.

This week, I responded to this tweet by Charlie Becker about defining his own aesthetic.

Simply, confidence comes from acknowledging that the life you have lived is worth something. If that’s true, we can go back and find photos and stories to cling on to, and visually define what that means for us.

And when we’re sitting in front of a 1280x720 rectangle for our YouTube channel, we’ll pull from those experiences and apply them to design.

In essence, it’s what Rick Rubin is doing with his artists: He’s helping artists create music that differentiates by leaning into their own stories and experiences.

And you need to become an art director for your own business to differentiate yourself.

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🎨 Better Design Decisions

Watch the design process from sketch to final product: It's rare to watch a designer break down ideas and visuals in one session.

How to discover your visual style: A quick thread on the process of breaking down your own visual style.

If you're a creator, don't quit too soon: Some great insights into what it takes to survive as a creator

Photo by Sebastien Michelini

The Paris' Pigalle basketball court canvassed in a gradient of smooth, iridescent hues.

Thanks for being here. Next week we'll dive into landing pages that need a waitlist.

Your friend in design,


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