Confessions of an Art Dork Intern

2 Nov

A guest post by our latest and greatest intern, Mia Watkins

Before I start gushing about the amazing-ness that is Copeland Communications and my intern experience I feel a little back-story is required.

I would like to start off with a run down of the thought process of your quintessential visual arts student who is halfway through their degree: “Alright! Let’s get this painting done…and this drawing…and that sculpture… hang on a sec, hold up, what the heck am I doing? Am I really a Visual Arts major? Maybe I should be rethinking this and asking myself what I actually expect to do with my life and how can I ensure that I get there!”

Now, as a result from this what-the-flip-am-I-going-to-do-with-this-degree personal crisis I decided that I seriously needed to falcon punch my career direction in the gut and thusly gave myself a kick in the pants towards the career counseling office at UVIC. Several career placement tests and academic advising appointments later I deduced that I was rather interested in business as well as art. Problem, they wanted me to take math, and various other smart people courses, this was an impossible for my art dork brain to comprehend and as such a compromise of a business minor was reached, because, that’s almost as good… right?

Whatever I was going to do with my life, it had to incorporate creativity and a balance of the business world and the art world. Art direction soon became a viable candidate and I realized that I had always been fascinated by the world of advertising. I was advised by the career discovery type people at UVIC to get out there and get in contact with actual, real life, Art Directors, and my “Victoria advertising agency” google search began.

My perusal was rather short lived as a result of Copeland’s kick ass website promptly halting my search in its tracks. A phone call away and I had set up a meeting with Michael Tension, Art Director at Copeland.  After meeting him I pretty well skipped down Government Street thinking, “holy cow that was great, I think I might like to do that when I grow up, but what can I do to get there?” Turns out there are these little things called internships, and it turns out Copeland likes them!

After I spent all summer literally dreaming about interning at Copeland I decided it was time to take action and contacted Doug Brown. To my surprise I was granted a meeting with him and I. Got. The. Job. What? Definitely left the office and did a little happy dance half a block away accompanied by the typical “I am a very excited girl” squeal.

So far everything about this internship has been awesome. After the interview I was set up with my own desk (awesome) as well as my own swivel chair (double awesome) in the creative department (the most awesome).

As I’m sure you are aware the Creative Department, or as I like to call it the Man Folk Department of Hilarious-ness, is a conglomeration of excellently talented and creative minds. Comprised of Senior Art Director Brad Felt, Art Director Michael Tension, and in digital,  Tom Hammarberg. These guys have been a great in helping a complete Adobe CS newb like myself develop a grasp of the programs that are the most essential for an aspiring art director to possess.

During my time working with these fantastic individuals I have acted as a sort of junior illustrator, using my arty student business to sketch concepts for logos, beer labels, and other projects, many of them curiously involving skeletons. In addition to this I have been pulled into creative briefs, brainstorms and client meetings. There has really been a “part of the group” feel to this internship which is greatly appreciated as it allows me to get a feel of what it might be like to work in this field for realsies. My opinions have been taken into account and everyone has been very encouraging of any input I may have to offer.

I still have two weeks or so left to my internship and I am very thankful for this opportunity knowing that I will walk away from this incredibly enlightening and valuable experience with a very positive outlook on the advertising industry. A thank you in is order to Doug Brown and everyone at the office, all of whom have made this experience supremely lovely.

Thanks guys!

If you like, you can follow me on Twitter at @MiaWat and check out my art stuff at

(Doug’s note: Mia was just awarded our Rock Star of the Week award for her amazing creative abilities and for being the best kind of art dork intern you could ever find.)


4 Responses to “Confessions of an Art Dork Intern”

  1. Doug Brown November 2, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    I can’t believe you only have 2 weeks left! You’ve sure made your mark on us Mia.

  2. Grace Campbell November 2, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    This is great Mia, and your portfolio rocks too!
    And, whatever you do Mia, do not give into Doug’s constant pressure and award him with the Rock Star of the Week Ukulele.

  3. Doug Brown November 4, 2011 at 6:19 am #


  4. Mia Watkins November 4, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Thanks guys! It’s been a really great experience.

    Grace, noted, and it was lovely to see you at the Dio de los Muertos party, hope you had fun!

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