Maggie Summer Opens Up About How She Became An Art Producer


Art Producer Maggie Summer

If you ask an art producer how they got into their line of work every answer will be different. Some stumble upon the title later in life or find they have a passion for it from the very beginning. Art producer Maggie Summer tells us a little bit about how she got started, what challenges she faces and what she looks for in a photographer.

Not all art producers take the same path to their job.  Where did yours start and how did you end up as an art producer?
I was working at Chiat/Day (when it was still owned by Jay Chiat) and we worked as a team by account. We all did whatever needed to get done to get great work out the door.  I met a woman who was an art buyer and thought she had a cool job. So, when she was going away for 2 weeks, I asked the CCO if I could do her job while she was away and never stopped.

How does being an art producer differ from your other jobs?

For me it’s a great mix of art and commerce. Although I have a degree in Economics, I never wanted to work in a corporate environment. It’s always been important for me to be around art and creative people.

What are the most important skills from your previous jobs that transferred over to an art producer?

Probably my facility with numbers.

Did you always know you wanted to work in advertising?

No. It completely happened by accident. I graduated from college, seeking employment when the father of some kids I had babysat told me to get into advertising. He said it was a lot of fun.  Lots has changed since then… just kidding.

Did you ever consider becoming a photographer yourself?
In fourth grade I belonged to a photography club. Occasionally I think about it, but it’s a tough field to break into and I’d have a LOT of learning to do. I think I prefer to take photos just for fun. 
We all grow up with influences that make us who we are today.  Can you share one or two experiences that have influenced your art producer style?
I was working at C/D when I started to produce. One of the tenets of that agency was “it’s all about the work.” I truly believe this. Successful agencies are usually built on great creative work.
Do you have a personal aesthetic that comes through in the photographers whose work you are drawn to?
When I think back to the variety of accounts/products/services that I have worked on, it’s hard to see a stylistic thread. However, I do think I have pretty good taste, so maybe that’s what comes through.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Having enough patience.

What are you known for on your team?

Known for my knowledge, experience and connections in the business. 

What do you love about your job?

I love working with the creative team to find the right talent to make their idea/campaign come to life. I also love finding new talent and coming up with interesting ways to produce the work. Right now, I also happen to work with a great bunch of people.

What one word describes your style as an art buyer?

That’s a tough one. Can I have two words? Honest and direct.

What is your favorite thing to do on a Sunday?
My favorite Sunday definitely includes a yoga class or two, maybe a movie and an early dinner out.
Thanks again Maggie for giving us a behind-the-scenes look at your career as an art producer! Loved what you had to say. And, thank you Hunter Freeman for the use of your W O R K image.

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