Interview with Adrian Rubin: Creative Director, Designer and New Yorker

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Adrian Rubin

Interview with Adrian Rubin: Creative Director, Designer and New Yorker

Hello Adrian Rubin, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Of course! My name is Adrian Rubin and I’m a freelance Creative Director in beautiful Brooklyn, New York. I love any and all things creative, so I spend most of my time with my sleeves rolled up on a client project or out and about experiencing everything the city has to offer. If I believed in having a muse, mine would be the creative energy that’s present everywhere here in Brooklyn.

What are your focus areas and why?

I’ve found over the years that the business world tends to be very analytical and focused purely on numbers and efficiency. To their credit, that makes perfect sense. What I will say though is that it seems many brands today are missing a creative flair that really personifies them to their consumers and lends them credibility.

To that end I try to focus exclusively on the creative side of business. I spend some time with client companies and try to really suss out the company’s identity. From there I’m able to bring their brand to life through all sorts of digital formats. A healthy brand relies on everything from a recognizable logo to engaging print ads to entertaining commercials; and they all need to have the same feel. Providing that feel is my specialty.

adrian rubin

Where do you think you are making an impact?

I think I make a real impact for those businesses who are seeing success but want to take things to the next level. Obviously when it comes to small mom and pop shops there’s only so much you can do. In most cases they’re a commodity. Then on the other end of that spectrum, we see the huge international corporations like Apple or Nike. Those giants may not be flawless, but they’re set on their path.

Where I really shine is right in the middle of the two poles. I love working with startups, innovators, and businesses run by visionaries. The kind of business you might see on Shark Tank who threw together some cardboard packaging at the last minute to fill a sudden order to a big box store. These are the companies that are going somewhere and just need my help to hone their voice.  Sometimes a small spark is all it takes to make these companies something great.

What is the hardest part of your job?

This is a tough question for me because I truly love every aspect of what I do. If push came to shove, I would say the hardest aspect of my role as a creative director actually has nothing to do with my work, but rather handling the clients who come to me expecting a cookie cutter solution. I don’t believe in solving things by slapping a band aid on them. If I’m going to work with someone, I’m going to spend the time and effort to do things right. After all, I have to put my name on my work!

Has there been a project you’ve enjoyed more than others recently?

Well out of courtesy to my clients I can’t get into too much detail here, but in general I enjoy the particularly challenging clients. Clients in an industry where it’s nearly impossible to stand out, or who have a product that’s almost identical to the competition and need to rely on their marketing and advertising to stay competitive. As the saying goes, “more risk, more reward.”

What are some of the things you love?

It might sound cheesy, but I love creating. I was given my first sketchbook when I was only 6 and I’ve been creating ever since. I’ll walk down the street and stop to draw whatever catches my eye, or spend hours lost in thought on the internet looking into new design tools or techniques. Even the graffiti on the walls of New York hold special meaning to me. I was lucky enough to find my passion early and I’ve never looked back.

Is there anything you wish you had done differently in your career?

No, I don’t think so. I mean I worked a few odd jobs fresh out of college that weren’t the best, but that’s something that helped make me who I am today. I think everyone should work a job they don’t like at some point in their lives to give meaning to the jobs they actually do like. It’s easy to take things for granted when you design all day, but just 10 years ago I was in customer service learning the hard way that the customer is always right. Like Bob Ross used to say, you need a little dark to balance the light.

What do you do in your free time?

I like to just get out of the office and walk. I’ve touched on this a few times already, but there really is a palpable creative energy that can be seen in the streets of Brooklyn. Sometimes just sitting down in Prospect Park and people watching can be the spark I needed to put pen to paper for some of my trickier work. Other times I like to walk through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and see a glimpse into the natural world right in the heart of metropolis. The fusion of nature and humanity is great fuel for design.

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs, travelers and adventurers who want to live off the beaten path?

It’s very simple: forge your own path. Live like Robert Frost and take the road less traveled. Find the beauty in the world around you. Once you decide to really take in everything life has to offer, you’ll find that opportunities have a way of presenting themselves.

Any tips for visitors to New York?

There probably aren’t any specific locations I’d mention. Everyone is going to know the big spots ahead of time, like the Statue of Liberty or Broadway. The best advice I can give is to go where the locals go. Skip the postcards and go to that mom and pop deli two blocks away you saw advertising in the paper. Find your authentic New York experience.

Anything else you would like to share with our readers?

I would just encourage people to pursue what makes them happiest in life. Some people aren’t meant to do remarkable things and solve the world’s problems. If you take joy in what you do, you’re doing the right thing.