10 for 10 Years!


Eric 10 years

Art Director Eric Gwatney has been a part of #TeamCEA for 10 years! We had a chance to sit down with him and talk about all the fun he’s had during his time with us.

So, Eric, what is your favorite part about working at CEA?

I love working with the team. We have the best crew we’ve ever had, and it’s wonderful to work for Kelly.

Do you have a favorite project that you’ve worked on during your time here?

Pulte’s promotion with Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa, FL (including an ad in the program), everything for the TaxSlayer Bowl  is always a blast. Did I mention I love College Football? #LSUWIN

Looking back, what accomplishment are you most proud of?

Making it through the recession. Taking on every role I could to keep the overhead low yet making sure projects were still getting done in a timely fashion.

If you could work on any project you wanted, what would it be?

This is hard, I don’t think I really have a niche and I like being diverse. I do like illustrations and wish I had more time to do cool things with Adobe Ilustrator.

What is your favorite thing about being an Art Director?

My favorite part as an Art Director is doing my best to make those around me better.

Have you seen a lot of change in the marketing industry in the last 10 years?

Everything has changed, but the biggest difference is the speed of the industry as a whole. With Internet and computers, we don’t spend as much time waiting around for the transfer of information, files, and printing. What used to take months can now be accomplished in weeks or even less time in some cases. We used to mail, yes snail mail, proofs to clients. That alone took days back and forth.

What was CEA like during your first days on the job?

Organized chaos. We out grew the small rental building and we were VERY busy. Direct mail was still big, and we were mass-producing mailers. 3-5 designs a day, at least! I’ve always enjoyed the rush/madness of advertising and marketing though.

What is the most fun you’ve had with #TeamCEA over the years?

This will probably sound cheesy, but some of my favorite times have been when a few of us have stayed late working on projects then just chatting and having a drink with Kelly in the old Art Department or on the back deck by the pond. These days though, it’s important to get home to see my wife and two boys, so these moments have become few and far between.

What is one thing you have learned in your time with CEA that you want to pass on to the team?

Put all you have into your work, but at the same time know when to disconnect yourself from your projects. Be proud in all you do, but when someone doesn’t like an idea or creative you have, you have to be able to disconnect yourself from it so you don’t think they are saying something bad about you. I’ll always refer to what we do as Commercial Art. Any form of artwork is objective to each person and every person will see it differently. You have to shrug it off when someone doesn’t meet eye to eye with you. At the same time, you have to know when to stand up for what you created. It’s a delicate balance that can only be learned with time or as a God given gift.

What are you looking forward to in your next 10 years with CEA?

I can’t wait to continue to grow in my artwork, as a mentor, and as an employee. To see CEA continue to get stronger and stronger each year and to always be a vital part of that growth.

Check out CEA Marketing Group on Facebook and congratulate Eric on his 10 years as a vital member of #TeamCEA!

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