MANILA – At the adobo Design Series 2014, members of the adobo Design Awards’ powerhouse jury shared their expertise on topics that ranged from cosplay to illustration styles. Among the speakers was John Ed De Vera, art director for TBWA/SMP, who shared his experiences as a young creative.
De Vera chronicled his unlikely entry into the advertising world, beginning with his impulsive decision to study Advertising Arts at the University of Santo Tomas – which, in his own words, “sounded better than studying Nutrition and Dietitics.” De Vera reminisced about old school projects, CorelDraw 4 literacy, and his love for papercraft and watercolors.
De Vera spoke about his impressions of advertising agencies during his early years in the industry. “What I knew at the time was that it was really hard to get into an advertising agency,” he said. “I would be doing overtime 7 days a week, and I won’t sleep. I was kind of scared.”
Recalling his first client, Swatch, which he did outdoor advertising for, De Vera said that there are outlets for young creative to do what they are passionate about and infuse it into their day jobs. He said, “Though you will get rejected most of the time, always find a way to create with passion. It pays off.”
“We are tasked to make things work and meet clients’ objectives,” he said. “There’s a delimitation that what we do as creatives is not self-expression but extensions of ourselves. It’s how we see and approach a problem, and that’s what’s inculcated in my mind.”
De Vera continued by talking about other projects, such as album covers for bands like Tanya Markova, a poster for Mga Mumunting Lihim, the Lakihan Mo Logo Nights posters, the EDSA Lung Trees project by Boysen KnoxOut paint, and for the Champion detergent brand, which he says used to be one of his “dream projects.”
He went on to stress the finer points of collaboration between creatives. “Hindi mo magagawa ng mag-isa yung trabaho (You cannot do your work on your own). You need to learn how to collaborate and delegate to achieve the best results.”
De Vera ended his lecture with advice from his college professor: “The idea is to keep creating… When I think of an idea, before I execute it, I let the idea go through my heart first. I have to let my heart, head and hand work for it. Just remember, work for money – but design for love.”
The adobo Design Series 2014 was held on March 28 at the Mind Museum’s Special Exhibition Hall.