Art Producer Insider: Wade Atkinson from Publicis

One of the most favorite series we publish is the Art Buyer Insider  series.  I have always been so interested in the person behind the producer.  And, I love that so many are so open to answering our questions.  Wade Atkinson is a print producer in Seattle at Publicis and works on accounts such as T-Mobile, Seabourn Cruises, American Girl Dolls, and Eddie Bauer..  I have known Wade for quite sometime and he is one of the nicest art producers out there.

Thanks Wade for being such a great sport!

What was that first moment of inspiration when you knew you would work in a creative position?
When I was in grade school I saw a commercial for Snickers.  My first thought was: I’m hungry, I want a Snickers.  My second thought was: I want to work in advertising, it’s amazingly effective.

Growing up, what were you creative interests?
I was a big theater nerd.  Acting, directing, tech, and photography were big creative interests.  When I was very young it was paleontology.

Did you ever consider becoming a photographer yourself?
For a brief period.  Now I’d rather be a part of the process of photography.

Being an art producer at an ad agency is such a unique position.  You do not really learn about it in college and many tend to discover by means of another job.  How did you discover what the role entails and how did you know you wanted to hold this position.
I came to Production in a roundabout way.  I was a bicycle mechanic and decided I wanted a career change.  I was lucky enough to land a Production internship (at age 30) and from there moved on to being a Print Producer/Art Buyer.  One big appeal of the job was making things that are ultimately tactile.  I like working in Print because it allows me to travel for shoots and press checks, but doesn’t necessitate being away for weeks at a time (like Broadcast production)

What previous jobs have you held that you think helped prepare you for this career?
My first job was as a photography assistant, and I had worked at Kinko’s which gave me an interest in print.  My background in Theatre has helped me as well.

How do you describe your job to a family member or someone else not in our industry?
I make magazine ads, newspapers, billboards and run photo shoots.  Our Creatives come up with the concepts and as the producer I make sure they are well executed.

What one thing has changed in the industry since you have started that you think makes for a better production experience?
Easier access to high res comps from stock sites.

What do you love about your job?  What is the most challenging?
I love working in a creative environment with interesting and unique people.  The biggest challenge I have is tight timelines with delayed approvals.

What one thing would you want someone looking to hire an art producer) should know about the skills needed to get the job done?
An expertise with vendor relations.

What are you known for at your agency?
Always asking a question at our agency  meetings.

Favorite way to spend a Sunday?
Relaxing with my Primary Partner somewhere overseas.

Latest Discovery?
Some headphones have microphones.  The microphones are not in the ear pieces, they are on a part on the cord that people talk into.  I received an amazing amount of grief for not knowing this.  “I’m using the headphones, why can’t you hear me?”

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