Leaders employ various management styles as they attempt to draw out the best from their teams. As leaders of art teams, Art Directors are no different. I have seen a variety of styles at play in the workplace, and have drawn my own conclusions on what works well based on both observation and what has been successful for me.
As the leader of an art team, it helps to remember that it is indeed a team. Meaning, while you are a leader, you’re also working with a group of creative folks who have valuable input, thoughts and ideas too. You never know where that next great piece of input is going to come from. Be inclusive, be collaborative and keep an open mind!
You are the shepherd of the vision, and while you strive to keep everyone on track, you also need buy-in and investment from your team to be successful.
Engage your artists in discussion. Don’t just tell them what is wrong with their piece, but start with what is right. Have a dialogue; ask them what they think is working and what is not. Gracefully guide them towards the end goal, and more likely than not you’ll have a team that is both invested and working diligently to bring your vision to life.