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What exactly is a creative director?

My idea of a creative director is someone who has the ability to produce many things from shows to concerts, and designs/creates all of the spectacle that's included within it. For example, maybe the stage set up for a concert and how the colors work into the ambience of the show, or even putting together different pieces of something that characterizes the idea of what the piece of art would be . Is this something a creative director does? If not, what do they do? #creative-arts #musicals #broadway-musicals

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Bao’s Answer

Hey Veronica,
You're pretty much right, but here are a few nuances:
- Depending on what industry the CD (Creative Director) works in, they can be working on any sort of creative project from live events to photo shoots to social media campaigns.
- A CD is more of a manager and strategist. Art Directors, Designers, Production Designers, etc do most of the actual design work. With that being said, a CD must have had experience as a designer, art director, etc...
- Usually as a CD, I led the development of creative strategies/campaigns. I solicited ideas from my team, but essentially was the one to make a final decision on what direction to follow. Sometimes this final decision includes various ideas from different people.
- CDs get in front of clients to present these ideas and most of the time they lead the creation of the presentations.
- Many CDs are hands-on, meaning they do actual design work in additional to the leadership role. But not all CDs are.
- CDs also have the responsibility to manage the creative budget for their department and projects. This means they have to figure out how much money and man hours are needed to get the job done, then try not to go over that budget.
- Lastly, one of the most difficult things about the CD job is to manage lots of people doing lots of different projects. Sometimes it's hard to keep everyone happy and motivated when things don't go perfectly.
I hope this info is helpful to you. Good luck with your schooling and entrance into the workplace.