As art directors take up a long list of job responsibilities, they have to become proficient in areas of communication, imaginative thinking, marketing, management, supervision, and more. One set of skills that many people overlook, however, are their financial expertise. A lot of folks who are curious about this career may wonder if budgeting is something that they will need to know? The answer is yes. Art directors are going to need in-depth knowledge of budgeting and a fair amount of professional experience to be able to successfully handle their job.
Who Are Art Directors?
A person working as an art director is going to lead art development projects, manage large teams, allocate resources, and ensure that predetermined goals are met. They normally have to possess experience from lower-level roles as well as technical knowledge obtained at institutions of higher education. Some of the key job duties will involve on-going interaction with clients and artists, mentorship, department management, marketing campaigns, and so on. To perform well, art directors need skills such as creativity, solid coordination of visual patterns, time management, organization, and understanding of graphic design. Not to forget the financial talents that will allow them to run successful campaigns in various areas, build short and long-term budgets, and allocate resources.
A lot of art projects related to marketing campaigns where advertisements are customized to fit a particular audience. This could also include venues such as television, newspapers, and even live events such as theater. Well, besides the obvious skills that tie into art, individuals directing media campaigns will need to know exactly how to budget. The reason why is that the marketing sphere of business takes a lot more than innovative designs and wordplay-ridden slogans to be successful. The creators also need to figure out how to promote things to somebody the right way, how much money to invest in a campaign, and how to scale it properly without exceeding spending limits. All of those inquires are resolved through short and long-term budgets where every line of expenditures is planned for, approved, and allocated.
Determining Project Prices
Since art directors work in a market that is essentially a combination of goods and services, they have to possess a versatile set of pricing skills. For example, your role as an art director may begin with a client-driven negotiation about a forthcoming project. During this time, communication skills and knowledge of pricing models will have to come forward. You will rely on them to create a budget for the project in your mind and then offer the client a marked-up price that facilitates decent profit. Once the client accepts, assuming that they do, you will have to ensure that you budget all of the expenses for that project accurately. That way, those profit margins that you had in mind when you were first negotiating with the client will remain untouched. Hence why effective budgeting skills that can be utilized in any set of circumstances are crucial.
Art projects are going to demand a plethora of resources that need to be used or spent to construct a final deliverable. Sometimes, those resources include things like raw materials and other tangible items that the art director has to order. Those resources could also include things like salaries for the actual artists who are providing labor to create the art project. Since there are so many directions in which expenses have to go, it is quite obvious that an art director will need to learn how to create budgets with reasonably prioritized items. Doing so increases the chances that you will meet your financial goals and earn a hefty return on the investment.
Growing the Venture
One of the key roles of budgeting is to create long-term projections that can facilitate long-term growth. For example, companies that have five or 10-year budgets often base their advertising and expansion pursuits on expected cash flows reflected in those budgets. As an art director, you will participate in the process of establishing the long-term budget that can be instrumental to the entity’s overall growth. Hence why becoming familiar with budgets and learning all the ins and outs early on is so significant.
Easy Budget Tips for Art Directors
Since it seems fairly clear that budget-making will indeed be one of the skills relevant to an art director, what are some tips that could come in handy? The first one is to constantly revise a budget. According to Forbes, being flexible is one of the top ten pieces of advice for fruitful financial planning. Art directors from across the nation will have to account for things like the economy, rising costs of supplies, and so on. All of those events, however, tend to be unpredictable and they can put an enormous strain on the company’s bottom line. If an art director makes timely adjustments to the budget, the impact of those types of circumstances will be reduced.
The next tip is to always overestimate the expenses of the upcoming art projects. While accuracy is one of the main characteristics of a budget, overstating expenses is a widely accepted technique. The reason why many industries utilize it is that it gives them a spending cushion in case that more money needs to be used. Not to mention that they also get to enjoy higher-than-expected profits if those planned expenses turn out to be overstated. Finally, art directors who create budgets should always try to get their subordinates involved. That means that the process for making a budget should be open to other employees as well. The objective would be to get them more involved and boost their morale as they participate in a project of such high importance.
Ultimately, an art director should understand that their job is going to come with a lot of diverse responsibilities. Learning how to juggle them all and leverage the most important duties, which would include budgeting, is how you can become successful in this field.