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Women of Wongdoody Chapter 4: “Go crazy. Go straight.”

Meet Elizabeth Lay, our WDLA Art Director!

What brought you to WONGDOODY?

I graduated college with an architecture degree, moved to New York, and worked for an architecture think tank at Columbia university, which was actually a lot of graphic design. Then I moved to LA and got a job at an urban design firm. I hated what I was doing, so I went to Art Center at night. I did a packaging design course, graphic design course, and an ad course because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I took an internship at WONGDOODY, which for me was a hard pill to swallow because I had seven years of design experience behind me. I was 30. I was an old intern, but you still have to prove yourself. I got hired after my internship and now I’m the Art Director!

How did you decide on advertising?

I liked it because there are ideas behind what you’re doing; it’s not just design. There’s something about having a concept behind an idea that I really love.

Do you have any mentors?

Pam. It’s not as common to have art directors as Executive Creative Directors, it’s usually writers. So, it’s been helpful to have an art director.

As a mother, are you able to find balance?

I do. This is where WONGDOODY is not normal. I came back from maternity leave and said that I want to leave at 5 o’clock every day and I get to do that. If you have a good work ethic and you build up the reputation that you can get your work done, then it’s not a bad thing. I think you have to earn it.

What do you wish someone had told you about how to get where you want to be?

Do what you want, which is not always easy to say. I’m lucky because I had a husband who supported me when I said I’m going to take an internship at 30! If you work really hard and have a really good work ethic, you can get where you want to be. Definitely, work ethic.

Biggest piece of advice:

Work really hard. Never be afraid to ask questions. It might be scary, but always ask for help.

And options, options, options. Many options of everything. Explore places where maybe you don’t think you should go. Go crazy, go straight. Always explore a lot of options.

Favorite WD memory:

Driving around L.A. when my first campaign for Coffee Bean went up!