Wade Atkinson: Freelance Art Producer with a touch of humor

We should celebrate Art Producers for who they are, where they come from and what is essential in their life. In my continuing series of interviews with art producers, I talked to Wade Atkinson. He is a freelancer whom I met during his Publicis days, almost four years ago. You can find out more about him on his profile page onĀ freelanceartproducer.com


We often ask freelancers what they bring to an agency that a person on staff may not otherwise be able to provide. They tell us the number one thing freelancers bring is a different perspective. Wade Atkinson, was no exception. But, he went further in his explanation:

“The different perspective is a mixture of seeing existing problems freshly and having excitement for client work that may be waning in someone entrenched in it.” He adds, “I try to bring wordplay and, baked goods my Mom has mailed from Montana.”

Where do you look for inspiration? How do you stay inspired?

“I find inspiration in innovation and artistic expression. I love experiencing art or media that have a clear and concise presentation of ideas.”

Are your talents needed in ways that you didn’t expect?

“My interpersonal skills and ability to empathize with others have come into play in more significant ways than I imagined they would. My background in theatre has also been handy when presenting to clients or coworkers.”

Do you have a personal aesthetic that comes through in the photographer’s work you admire?

“I’m drawn to dark humor. I love photographer’s whose work includes elements of darkness, humor, or both. That said, I’m also an enthusiastic optimist, so those themes appeal to me as well.”

How have your life experiences influenced your job choice?

“One thing I love about producers is that it seems like they tend to come from a variety of backgrounds. You may recall my story from previous discussions. When I was working as a bike messenger, I had an injury which necessitated a career change. I had some funds that allowed me to take an unpaid internship at an ad agency at the age of 30. I found art buying and producing in a weird and roundabout way that I find amusing.”

If you could change one thing in the creative industry right now, what would that be?

“The creative industry can, and should amplify the voices of people of color, women, people with disabilities, elderly folks, immigrants, LGBTQ+ people, and all other marginalized groups.”

What is one thing people reading this would find surprising about you?

“‘Last Christmas’ by WHAM is not only my least favorite Christmas song, but it’s also my least favorite song of all time.”

Thanks for your candor. We’ve scratched WHAM CDs off the list of possible gifts for you.

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