ADC Members’ Musings: Tools of the Trade

Members' Musing

“What physical tool, instrument or accessory do you use to craft your projects that you absolutely couldn’t live without, and why do you love it so much?”

Felipe Godinez “Definitely a pocket size Moleskine Sketchbook to bring everywhere my ideas take me. Faber Castell Artist Pens of different weights and Kaweco Fountain Pens with black or red ink are my favorite pens to sketch my ideas, dreams and whatever comes to my mind and vision.”“In digital, I can’t live without Adobe Creative Suite and my Wacom tablet.”

“And finally, the Google Lounge at the ADC Gallery, where I can stop by and work on ideas in a creative environment.”

Felipe Godinez
Art Director
New York, NY

John Figlesthaler “The culture and chaos of New York City is laced with inspiration, and the only way to absorb it is to become one with it. I can scrawl an idea on any piece of paper or bar napkin, but without a solid pair of rain, tar and beer-proof leather boots, who knows if I’d ever stumble across that idea. Cursed with this writer wanderlust, tough Frye zipper boots are my vehicle for walking through the filth to find those stimulating sparks.”John Figlesthaler
New York, NY
ariam Guessous “I can’t live without my Palomino Blackwing Pencil. A friend of mine gave it to me as a gift and I fell in love with it, I take it with me everywhere! It’s smooth and soft and it’s perfect for doodling. To me, it’s not just a pencil, it represents craftsmanship and back-to-basics, it’s an artist’s tool. After all, every idea starts with a pencil.”Mariam Guessous
Art Director
Brooklyn, NY
Mads Jakob Poulsen “My favorite tool is any kind of writing instrument, and of course a blank piece of paper. Right now my favorite pen is the Kaweco Special FP Fountain Pen from Germany. It looks really contemporary in all black, and the feel is more like a tool than it is a precious thing. The cap screws on and off smoothly and is great for keeping my hands busy at meetings (it’s nice to fondle). And of course you can draw and write with it too.”Mads Jakob Poulsen
Associate Creative Director
New York, USA
Maxime Büchi “Overall, I draw very little. But being a tattoo artist as well as an art director, I realize that tattooing helps me put any graphic idea I have into perspective, and test it in a much more constraining context than the usual print or screen application of art-direction: skin. Anything that is good for tattooing can be good for a usual art-direction project, not the other way around.”“For lining, I use Bert Krak, NORM and Baibar; for shading I use Rotary Works and for dotting I use Luca Mamone/Jondix.”Maxime Büchi
Art Director
London, UK
Alex Holt-Cohan “One of my favorite tools is a little air app called Live Brush. It’s a lot of fun because it cuts production time in half and lets me just be creative.”Alex Holt-Cohan
Graphic Designer
Chatham, NJ
Leon Williams “It’s hard to pick a favourite tool, because after all, they are just tools; they help the job at hand and I’m mostly not fussed about a brand of pencil, pen or crayon.”“Films however, I couldn’t live without. They are a moving visual moodboard for all of my work and ideas. They help for research, visual styles, title design, emotions and sound.
I screen a film a night, whether it be a new one, old one, or one I’ve already seen over twenty times.”

“If I was forced to pick a brand and an object that helps me day in and day out; it would be my Pentax K5. I run over twelve pieces of glass with it, it can handle full scale production shoots, and also works as a resource and inspiration collector.”

Leon Williams
Creative Digital Art Director
Auckland, New Zealand

Daeja FallasPhoto by Dallas Nagata “My favorite ‘tool’ is my Polaroid 195 camera. It goes on every shoot with me. Each time I take it out, I feel like I am creating something special. It makes a little rectangle print, an instant memory. In a digital age its nice to have something to hold in your hands or put on the fridge.”Daeja Fallas
Brooklyn, NY
Katie Sherman “My WATERMAN PARIS fountain pen with green ink. My second CD gave it to me to bring my words to life and remind me to see the page differently. I like using it for brainstorming headlines —something so permanent for ideas that aren’t always.”Katie Sherman
Senior Copy Director
New York, NY
Mengwen Xiang “I like to keep my ideas all together as a record for the thinking process. When I crafting ideas, I always need a thick thread-bound sketchbook with blank pages and a soft cover. It’s easy to flip from page by page, the surface of each page is equally smooth and flat and thread binding keeps the book strong, unlike some hard cover glue-bound books.”
“I’ve been using Moleskines for quite some time, and recently I’ve found the Semikolon Il Creativo series to be very good.”Mengwen Xiang
Art Director
New York, NY


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