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Alexander Norling, Art Director, Miami Ad School

3 min, 7 sec read
10:52 AM | 13 September 2013
by Adam Oldfield
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My name is Alexander Norling and I'm from Sweden. I'm now living in New York City and am about to graduate from Miami Ad School where I've spent the last 2 years attending their Art Direction program. I'm 21 years old and have no idea what bachelors and master degree means, but it does sound cool.

What was your first ever job?

I started getting paid as a photographer when I was 16 years old. Back then I used to take photos every night at a nightclub in my hometown. And during high school I was interning at Dearvalley, a small creative shop in Sweden, for thee weeks which, after graduation, lead to a job there as an art director assistant. I guess that was my first real job.

Why did you go into advertising?

I didn't really know what advertising was and what it could do until I had a friend telling me about his school, Miami Ad School. And after seeing what they did I decided to quit my job and go back to school again.

How did you clinch your first job?

The summer that followed after graduating high school I was DJ'ing every weekend and thought that I could live my life that way, until I suddenly noticed that I got broke pretty fast. I was applying for every job I could find, but the only one that got back to me wanted me to sell ice cream on a beach I've never heard of. Then at a party where I played I found my old boss from the internship I did in school. He asked me what I was doing now, and I pretty much told him this story. He said "Call me on Monday and I'll get you a job". I started working the following Monday.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?

To constantly be doing stuff. Any kind of stuff, work or no work. Get drunk on a Tuesday, design your own t-shirt, watch YouTube tutorials of how to play the piano even if you don't have a piano. Just do something.

What do you see as the next big thing?

I wish I could tell. I had no idea that twerking would be more talked about than a civil war. But as far as it comes to advertising I would say for brands to socialise more and let their consumers talk to them in better and clever ways to spark conversations.

What do you keep busy with in your spare time, any personal projects?

I drink beer with strangers. When I moved to New York I started beerswithalex.com. I didn't know any bars or people when I got here, so I decided to give away 50 beers to anyone who'd like to drink one with me.

What inspires you?

Work so great that it will make you work another 10 hours because of pure jealously. The latest thing that really put me in that zone was the Climate Name Change.

If you could share a desk with anyone, who would it be?

My best friend Lucas Werneman. He's not into advertising or anything, but I'm pretty sure that we would make some really cool shit together. And if not, it's always nice to have your best friend around.

What's your one piece of advice for young people looking to break into the industry?

Work your ass off, but don't forget to have fun, especially when you're in school. I was always in school from 10am to 10pm and after that I made sure to never go home before midnight. If you work hard you deserve to have some fun, go out and grab a drink, see a band or go to the cinema. Again, just do SOMETHING.

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