Five Questions for Pete Sucheski, Deputy Art Director and Freelance Illustrator

Five Questions for Pete Sucheski, Deputy Art Director and Freelance Illustrator


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 a Deputy Art Director and Freelance Illustrator is like for Pete Sucheski.

The Pro's Work

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About the Pro
 
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Pete Sucheski
Deputy Art Director; Freelance Illustrator
Works for: Field & Stream and Outdoor Life 
Went to: Penn State
Degree Earned: BS, Graphic Design


1. Imagine you're talking to someone who has never heard of your job. How would you describe it to them?

My job is all about problem solving. On a monthly basis, our art department is tasked with creating a visual package that will instantly engage the reader. This means coming up with concepts and designing layouts that are both functional and visually interesting. I also spend a lot of time managing and art-directing illustrators and photographers to achieve a specific look and feel for the print editions of our two brands. And, then we do it all over again for the iPad layouts.


2. What about your job makes you love it?

I really enjoy brainstorming concepts, and then seeing them through to completion. It is a lot of fun to take a few minutes and hash out a crazy idea on a notepad, and in a few weeks, see that idea come alive on the page or tablet screen. Here at Field and Stream and Outdoor Life, that idea might include renting an owl, or modeling as an ax-swinging lumberjack for a photo shoot. Whatever it is, this job is always interesting and there's never a dull moment around our office.


3. What do you think of as the big break in your career?

My big break was definitely landing a summer internship at Rolling Stone when I was a junior at Penn State. As you could imagine, getting to spend a summer in New York working for such an historic title completely sold me on magazines. That internship opened up a lot of doors for me, and really let me get a taste of how the magazine world functioned.

4. What is your biggest professional mistake or regret?

I wouldn't call it a mistake, but one regret is that I never really took a break from magazines to freelance full time. I was very lucky to get a full-time job right out of college, so I can't complain. But, looking back, being able to work for a bunch of magazines would have exposed me to a lot of other talented people, and allowed me to see different ways of working.


5. What advice or parting words do you have for anyone who wants to do what you do?

Diversify your skill set. Don't get caught up trying to perfect one aspect of magazines; instead get your hands on a lot of different things. In my career, having the ability to do illustrations on the side freed me up from feeling like I am 100% tied to the health of the magazine industry. I will always have that skill in my back pocket, and it's nice to know that I have options.



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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