The Twenty third of January, another fine Monday, fit to introduce a perfectly fine creative and great friend of mine, Michael Donaghey. I’ve known Mike for a good 7 years so far, we first met as aspiring Art Directors at the Ontario College of Art & Design. I remember way from the get go, he was always so motivated, even when the lot of us at such an early stage in our visual communication careers were not. Before he even graduated, he was plucked by Draft FCB, where he put in some good time, then moved on to BBDO where he really proved his worth. A couple international awards later (Clios, OneShow, Cannes Gold Lion) to name a few, Mike is simply the most passionate Art Director about Advertising that I personally know. I’m sure we’re all just beginning to see a fraction of his true worth shine.

I: What’s the earliest memory of a creative activity you did?

M: My memory is probably my worst quality (which means it’s really, really bad) but I actually have evidence of some early Donaghey in the form of a Ninja Turtles illustrated book – credit Cheryl Donaghey (a.k.a. “Mom”) for spelling. The erratic lines and uncertain colour palette point to a distinct lack of artistic ability, possibly surpassed only by the artist’s apparent hate for Krang.

I: If you weren’t doing what you do right now, what would you be doing?

M: Honestly, I’d be trying to start my own cemetery. I love the personality and design of them. I’ve been to some of the best in the world, and each one shows an evolving sense of material, aesthetic, typography, and respect for the dead as it pertains to its city and culture. I’d want to treat it like a gallery, and funerals would be like exhibit openings. Good thing I’m in advertising, I guess.

I: Inspiration, who? what? where?

M: That’s tough, and I think the answer is always changing. But I guess the constant would be the people I interact with. Of course two heads are better than one, but if those heads are working well together, and people are making each other better, than two heads should actually be better than two.

I: Share any of piece your work, recent or old and talk about it.

M: This is a piece we recently did with our FedEx clients and director Jeff Low. It’s an example of the shift away from interruptive advertising and towards something that people actually want. If you don’t like it, stop watching. But if you do like it, you’ll enjoy the experience and be more receptive to the brand’s message. Or, you’ll say “what kind of puppy is that???” like about 50 people on YouTube.

I: Name 5 websites that you check often.

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Hi, I'm Ibraheem Youssef
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