Five Questions for Cara Reynoso, Associate Art Director


Ever looked at a magazine's masthead and wondered just what do all those job titles actually mean? What does a photo producer actually do? Does a deputy art director get a shiny badge? And why are some people creative directors and others design directors? 
  
Our blog series "Five Questions for..."  is here to help answer those questions and give you insight into working in the world of publication design. Is there a particular job that you want to know more about? Email  us at spdstudentoutreach@gmail.com and we'll find an expert who does it. They'll give you their take, and then it's up to you to put their advice to work. Read on to find out what being an Associate Art Director is like for Cara Reynoso.

The Pro's Work

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About the Pro
 
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Cara Reynoso
Associate Art Director
  
Works for: People StyleWatch 
Degree Earned: BA, Visual Art
Twitter: @fromheretoNJ 
instagram: @cocoandfreckles

1. Imagine you're talking to someone who has never heard of your job. How would you describe it to them?
I translate print layouts for the digital editions published on the iPad, Android tablets, and iPhone, adding interactive functionality to the pages and conceptualizing new content for the digital magazine.

2. What about your job makes you love it?
I take content that our readers already love and make them love it even more, in an interactive version of the magazine, which you can literally fit multiple issues of into your pocket: Try schlepping 3 or 4 print issues around in your already too-heavy purse! Readers can tap products to enlarge them and see a detail of a shoe or dress that they may have missed in print. Soon, they'll be able to shop directly from their mobile devices, so basically, I'll have a hand in enabling the shopping addicts, and that's pretty satisfying!

3. What do you think of as the big break in your career?
I first started in the industry in 1997. I had recently graduated, wasn't working, and didn't really even know what career I wanted to get into. Then, I saw a posting for an Art Assistant at Parenting Magazine. I think the posting was a week old and figured that the position had to have been filled, but I still faxed over my resume (that's how you did it back then!) and got a call back. I interviewed with the Art Director, Susan Dazzo, who ended up going to the same high school AND the same college as I did. I think that was my "in." She later admitted to me that she's always believed people from Jersey have a great work ethic! She hired me that Friday and I started the following Monday. I worked my way up the masthead and stayed at Parenting for 11 years.
4. What is your biggest professional mistake or regret?
I don't have many but my biggest professional regret is not getting into web design. I feel like I've lost out on a lot of opportunities for jobs that require knowledge of web design in addition to print and tablet design.

5. What advice or parting words do you have for anyone who wants to do what you do?
I have two quotes that I live by: "Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life," and "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." I LOVE my job and have looked forward to coming to work every day of my 17-year career. Of course, getting to look at shoes and bags and lots of pretty, shiny things makes it so much easier! I've also never been afraid of working hard, which doesn't always mean staying late or doing ten versions of a layout. It also means keeping your finger on the pulse of the magazine world and all things media, which makes you much more well-rounded, professionally. I read media blogs and sites voraciously, follow magazines and Creative Directors on Twitter and Instagram, and am a "masthead reader," so I always know who's coming and going, and what's happening at each company. Do this, and when you meet someone who talks about our industry, you'll know exactly what and who they're talking about, and can add to the conversation. Finally, one more quote that I've always shared with my college-aged son: "You always miss 100% of the shots that you don't take," so go for it. Always go for it.

Is there a particular job that you want to know more about? Email us at spdstudentoutreach@gmail.com and we'll find an expert who does it. They'll give you their take, and then it's up to you to put their advice to work. 

"Five Questions for..." is edited by Joseph Caserto


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