Laila Milborrow, Advertising

I'm Laila, and I'm a senior art director

Describe your job

I work in creative departments across London as a freelance art director, often alongside a copywriter as a creative team. I am given a brief which includes either a client problem they want addressing or USP they want to talk about in the form of a proposition - this is one short line that the whole brief boils down to and is what I need to communicate. I then try to answer the brief and bring to life the proposition with creative ideas.

Every day really is different, which is the thing I love about my job. One day I could be working on a new car that’s launching, the next a supermarket, then an app or a bank. You never really know what you’re going to be asked to do, but the exciting thing is rising to the challenge.

What are the most important skills you need to do your job?

Communication is key. You need the ability to paint a picture of what something could look, sound or feel like. You often read scripts, show simple visuals or references of the type of work you want to make to clients and colleagues. It’s then your job to make everyone else in the room see what you see. Passion absolutely goes a long way when you’re presenting creative work.

Working well as a team is also really important. Being able to listen to others and taking on board people’s opinions and criticism is key. Although it’s hard having your work thrown out and having to start again, ultimately it produces better work.

I left school and...

I left school then I did a Foundation Art Degree for a year where I specialised in Visual Communications. This led me to apply for an advertising degree at BUCKS where I studied for three years, met my creative partner of ten years and we managed to get a job before we completed our degree.

I’m most proud of...

What Normal Feels Like

*credits at bottom of page

Before I started my career, I wish I knew…

How many different opinions you'll have to face when coming up with ideas and presenting them. It's all part of the process to produce something better but sometimes it can feel like a constant (but rewarding) battle. People really care about the details and you need to make sure you know them all. 

A mistake I made which you can avoid repeating is...

Never press ‘Reply All’.

So, what’s next?

I feel very lucky to love my job and the challenges and surprises it brings. I am not totally sure where it will take me to be honest. In the blink of an eye 12 years has passed since my first day in adland.

Here's my:

Instagram | Twitter | Portfolio


Client: CoppaFeel!

Lettering: Alison Carmichael

Production: Jelly London

Photography: Rankin

Copywriter: Paul Pearson