Inside CIS / The Insider Scoop

Inside CIS: Meet Reanna Evoy, Senior Art Director

Published 04/01/2013 by

We chatted with Senior Art Director, Reanna Evoy about photo shoots, schooling and her favourite Robyn video.

What do you do?

The main thing I do is develop and conceptualize the campaign, developing the brand through the visual language of photography. Right now, we’re in an interesting phase, we’re really trying to push boundaries, finding our voice and keeping consistent throughout all of our marketing initiatives. How will it look in Saudi Arabia? How does it look online?

How did you get into art direction? Did you study?

Oh boy, did I ever study! Actually, it’s kind of cool that this is where I am right now. It’s quite remarkable. I’m always like, “how did this happen?” but it’s no accident. I’ve always been very artistic so I went to art school and I studied fine arts and art history. I was studying fine arts and it turned out I’m really anal. I like things to be lined-up and grid-like. And when I was studying art history it turned out that I really loved modern art and artists who are innovative and new and fresh.
So I was like, “Maybe I like graphics.” And my art teacher was like, “I think you’re going to like graphics.” Not only did I like graphics but I was specifically obsessed with magazines.
So after I graduated university I went back to school and studied graphic design, specifically in publishing. I worked in editorial at magazines, I worked in advertising, I worked in straight up design agencies and branding agencies, but magazines were my thing.
I was in a unique position in editorial because art directors at magazines don’t usually get the luxury of working on fashion shoots it’s usually the fashion director. But for some reason—I guess because I loved fashion, photography and layout and I was able to do all of it—I was super lucky and got in it. It was the most amazing thing for me, as an artist, because I loved collaborating. I love storytelling and creating stories through photography, without any copy or writing. And when I came here, it just so happened that’s what they needed me to do. Awesome!

How long have you been working on the Call It Spring campaigns?

It’s almost been three years and I’ve done seven campaigns.

What’s the best thing about being on a campaign shoot?

Oh my god, it’s my favourite part of my job! It’s so rewarding to work with a group of people. It’s a whole family of contributors from the most amazing, talented producer to the prop stylist, the fashion stylist, the models—they’re real people, generally, they’re not always professional models and they’re so great and energetic. Then we have our internal team coming up with these crazy ideas. Once you come up with the crazy idea it’s a question of how does this live? Can we even make this happen? It’s all problem solving. It takes months to produce. It’s a two-month process for a three-day shoot.

That’s a lot of planning.

It’s planning central! It sounds like it’s crazy awesome, but it’s so much work it’s insane. You wake up at 3:30 in the morning and you get to bed at 3:30 in the morning so you kind of don’t sleep for three days. Maybe there’s a deliriousness of working so hard on something that makes it so much fun.

How do you pick the location?

It all starts with the shoes. You look at the shoes and you ask yourself “what are these saying?” You build your concept around the shoes, the trends and the season, and that concept informs the location. It can’t just be anywhere; it has to fit within a budget and the realities of production. We’ll have a couple ideas and then we’ll scout locations.
If I’ve never been to the location, like Marfa, Texas, where we shot the campaign for summer 2012, we send a scout to the location and we’ll know right away whether it’s right for the shoot.
Marfa was the most beautiful, inspiring backdrop I’ve ever worked in. The light was dusty rose and there were these giant, clear full moons in the middle of the day and cowboys, real cowboys walking around. [See Reanna on location & talking about the shoot here.]

Video is also a bit part of Call It Spring, how did that come about?

Douglas [Bensadoun], our creative director, has a film background so he loves moving image, and he’s really great at it. Motion picture is just another extension of expressing the brand, and it’s much more dynamic. You can capture the real spirit and essence of what we’re doing.
We work with a filmmaker on campaign and film little vignettes while we’re shooting. Sometimes the shoot informs the video, and sometimes the video informs the photo shoot but it’s always this really collaborative thing. We work with some creative people who bring the campaign to life just by being there.

What blogs do follow?

Field Guided, Hear BlackFine Little Day, thank you, okayLa Mingonette and Swiss Miss for design-y things. I like fashion blogs too, but more than anything I prefer art and culture blogs. More visual, less fashion.

What trends are you most excited about?

I’m really psyched about flatforms coming back. I’m a huge fan of Robyn and in the video for “Call Your Girlfriend” where she’s dancing like a crazy woman, she’s wearing flatforms. That, to me, is like heaven. And I love the mint pastel pump, so classic and anything mint is dreamy.

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