So often people want to know the story behind the photographer or the creative on a project, but what about the art producer? Art production is such an interesting job to say the least. The people I know in this position come from such rich and diverse backgrounds and rarely do they follow the same path to become one. Understanding this, I thought it would be fun to host a series of interviews with art producers that doesn’t just address how to get their attention, but instead celebrate the art producer for who they are, where they came from and what is important in their life.
Thank you Kellie Bingman for agreeing to be part of this series. Kellie is the VP Art Production Supervisor at the wildly creative agency McKinney. I have known Kellie for years but have never met her. She has always been so supportive of our group and a true champion of photography. And, now that I have read her post, it is no wonder! Hopefully someday soon our paths will cross.
Here is what she had to say:
Did you always know you wanted to work in advertising?
When I was a kid, my favorite TV show was Bewitched. I thought Darren’s job in advertising was so interesting, and his and Samantha’s life seemed so sophisticated (all those martinis!). I was always interested in art, but my father wanted me to study business. Advertising seemed like the perfect solution – a creative business. So I majored in advertising and minored in marketing and photography.
What was your path to becoming an Art Buyer?
I started my professional life as a paste up artist at a local newspaper and I supplemented my income as a freelance photographer. During those early years, I learned a lot of printing and design skills that are still valuable to me. After that, I worked as a marketing director in the non-profit arts for many years, but burn-out struck and I really wanted to give the for-profit world another try. I started marketing and producing for a national photographer, an invaluable experience for an art producer, and that gave me my first exposure to big advertising agencies where I learned about the role of art buying. At the time I’d never heard of art production before. As soon as I learned that was an actual job I knew it was perfect for me. I was just sorry I didn’t discover it sooner.
Have you always loved photography and how do you keep the same level of inspiration you had when you started your job?
I have always loved photography. When I was 8 years old I got my first camera, a little Kodak Instamatic, and I was so happy I cried. I became the family archivist, gathering and caring for all of my grandparents’ photos. I also became the “official” photographer for my family and friends, documenting every life event. As for keeping the same level of inspiration in my job, that takes no effort at all. Photography is my passion, and I never grow tired of it. I am fortunate to be exposed to so many talented artists. There is always something amazing to see and be inspired by.
Where do you look for inspiration? Stay inspired?
Good ‘ol Mother Nature is my biggest muse and what I’m most drawn to photographing in my personal work. I’m constantly seeking visual stimulus and inspirations for ideas that feed my other interests like decorating, art, and gardening. I love print – I look at as many magazines as I can get my hands on – but I also love visual richness of sources like Instagram, Pinterest, This is Colossal. Travel is also a big source of inspiration. Everyone needs an occasional change of venue to keep things fresh.
What about the industry/your job is exciting right now?
Photography has always been an integral part of our society. With the evolution of digital technology and social media, it has become universal – everyone has a camera, takes pictures, and shares them. Our collective eye has become more sophisticated and the potential for creativity seems limitless. The key is how to sort through the noise and find a way to stand out in a meaningful way. I am interested to see where it takes us.
Do you have a personal aesthetic that comes through in the photographers whose work you are drawn to?
I’m drawn to a wide variety of styles, but when I look at the promos I’ve covered my office with I’d have to say that certain aesthetics do seem apparent. I love gorgeous, sumptuous images but I’m also a fan of quirky, left of center images. Bottom line is, I’m inspired by work with a point of view, a distinctive style and a craftsmanship to it.
Favorite way to spend a Sunday?
For me, the best Sundays, or weekends as a whole, are the ones where I spend some time with family and/or friends, accomplish some necessary tasks and still have time to replenish myself by doing something relaxing. If I can hit that trifecta, then I’ve had a perfect weekend. But I’d have to say my most favorite thing to do is take my niece Kaylee, who is interested in photography, out on what we’ve dubbed “photo safari’s”. We take our cameras and discover new places to shoot together.
Do you have any photos of your work that you are willing to share?
The only work I have online is my Instagram feed. https://www.instagram.com/skbngmn/