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Behind-The-Scenesters: Hosanna Marshall

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Designers design. Photographers photograph. Models model. That much—in broad strokes, at least—is clear. But what about the artists, technicians, and industry insiders, often unpublicized and underappreciated, who help to get clothes and accessories made and shown? Call them Behind-the-Scenesters: people who shape our experience of fashion but never take a bow on the catwalk or strike a pose for the camera. Without them—from patternmakers to production designers—the show wouldn’t go on. And in our recurring series, sits down with a few of these pros to find out, basically, what they do.

We’re willing to bet you’ve never heard of Hosanna Marshall (left), art buyer at Saatchi & Saatchi. In fact, chances are you’ve never heard of Marshall’s job title. (Art buyer? What?) But if you’re any kind of media creative—photographer, illustrator, set designer, stylist—and you like the idea of paying your rent with your talent, then Marshall is definitely someone who ought to be on your radar. As Saatchi’s art buyer, Marshall assembles and hires the creative teams who execute the firm’s campaigns, for clients as diverse as Tide and JCPenney. Here, Marshall talks to about the business behind the art, the art behind the business, and finding herself lost down the rabbit hole—in a good way.

So, Hosanna: In one sentence, what do you do?
I work with art directors here at the agency to connect creatives with our clients. Essentially, I bring in the talent.

How did you get into doing what you do?
I started out as an account manager at a large advertising agency, which was a good introduction to the industry because that job kind of touches everything. But my interests were always a little more directed toward the creative end of things, and after a little while, I sidetracked into interior design. When I came back to advertising, I knew I wanted a position where I could apply my creativity, and Art Buyer had the right mix of the creative and curatorial, and the business-y and logistical. I like being a conduit between the art world and the client world.

How does that work, exactly?
Well, obviously we have these big clients, and they have marketing objectives. Our creatives come up with strategies to address those objectives, and then I sit down with the art directors to figure out, you know, how do we actually bring this to life? Part of my job is just knowing who’s out there in the arts community, working in various mediums. I’ve got to put together that list of candidates for each job—all the photographers we’re going to consider, for instance. But there’s a certain amount of interpretation that goes into that, which I appreciate. The process isn’t as simple as someone telling me, “We need X,” and then I go find X. It’s much more of a collaboration. Read the rest of this entry >

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