This week's guest blogger, Tanya Watt, describes her role as FLARE's Art Director

I’m often asked about my job – what I do as FLARE‘s art director. In a nutshell, I direct the look of the magazine, from start to finish.

Lisa Tant, FLARE‘s Editor-in-Chief, has the overall vision for the magazine and I bring her vision to life. Every photo, font treatment, colour choice and layout starts and stops with me and my team. I have a Deputy Art Director, Assistant Art Director, Photo Editor, and a Production Coordinator working with me. I am involved at the earliest stages of producing an issue, from attending our initial planning meetings to directing a cover shoot with an A-List celebrity in New York.

CREATIVITY. The best part of being an art director is how innovative I get to be 24/7. Every visual decision I make gets translated to the pages of FLARE. Here’s a rundown of the aesthetic choices I make every month.

1.    Brainstorming and conceptualizing cover, fashion, beauty, health and entertainment pages  with the handling editor of that section.
2.    Commissioning photographers and illustrators their monthly assignments.
3.    Directing monthly cover photo shoots in Toronto, Los Angeles or New York, and attending various other shoots from fashion wells to celebrity portraits.
4.    Making the final call on all images, including stock, product and fashion photography for more than 100 editorial pages per issue, on average.
5.    Designing the magazine’s pages including the cover and fashion stories and overseeing the layouts from my art team.

But it’s not all glamourous. This leads me to the next part of my job, PRODUCTION. Once we’ve determined what’s going in the issue, we then start producing the pages. My art department brings the copy and art together into fabulous layouts. We then supervise each of those pages through to the final printing stage. Here, my team and I direct all of the image’s digital work, aka, photo retouching. Is it too much or not enough, will it print okay on press? This can be a stressful part of my role. There’s a lot to consider and the result can be subjective.

The last key part of my role is maintaining FLEXIBILITY. There are a lot of daily changes that take place when producing a magazine and a lot of strong personalities to navigate. Keeping an open mind and remembering that it’s not solely about your work as an artist but the work of an entire, super talented team of the industry’s best, keeps you focused on the big picture.

Finally, I love that no two days are alike in my world. This is not a job for someone who thrives on routine. Every month my team and I  produce this gorgeous magazine in a new way but we’re only as good as our last issue. Yesterday is old news and there is always something hot and current coming up. We have to be quick to capture it.