Uh-oh, creatives: This art director is 12 and coming for you

At an age when most kids are going away to camp and playing “Minecraft,” Glenn Green is busy kickstarting his agency career.

The 12-year-old middle schooler from Maureen Joy Charter School in Durham, North Carolina, is the latest (and youngest) intern at McKinney, where he will be spending a week designing and promoting a new award for a 2015 Triangle Corporate Battle of the Bands event. He was spotted by the agency on June 3, when the non-profit scholar program, Emily K. Center, posted his photo on Facebook with his “My Future” statement, where he said that he wanted to become an art director.

We decided to catch up with the aspiring AD to get an early glimpse at the future of the industry. Excerpts:

How was your first day at McKinney?
It was very exciting. Everybody here was so nice. I felt very welcome. I got a tour of the building, used the 3-D printer, figured out how my computer works and met a couple of art directors. At first, I was trying to keep it a secret but I couldn’t hide it for too long from my friends. I thought they were going to be jealous and I didn’t want that to affect our friendship, but they have been very supportive.

Glenn looks right at home walking into McKinney for his first day of work!

Posted by Emily Krzyzewski Center on Monday, July 13, 2015

What inspired you to want to become an art director?
My talent and passion lie in art and technology. I’ve always liked thinking about an idea and then putting it on paper and fiddled around with computers, tablets and phones. So when I had to write about what I wanted to be, I realized that being an art director was a mix of these and it caught my eye.

Did you always want to to an art director?
Before I wanted to be an art director, I wanted to be a scientist because I like science and math. Then I wanted to be a basketball player. It kind of changed when I grew up.

When did you get interested in art and how do you approach your art?
My very first drawing was kind of silly. It was a purple cow that I drew when I was in pre-school and  was four years old. Everybody said that it was very good for my age, and I’ve been drawing since then. I start off by writing down what people want me to draw. I might look at a picture of what they say, but I don’t trace it. I try to draw it from my own perspective instead. I can look at something and memorize every little detail of it and then draw it differently.

What skills do you hope to learn at the job?
I hope to play around with technology. I have three other siblings so I understand that it is hard for my mom to spend that kind of money just on me. I also want to learn how to manage myself in a real job experience because some people never learn that and I think it’s good to start early. If you aren’t hardworking and cannot manage time then there’s no way you can have a job.

Doesn’t it seem like interns are getting younger and younger? We hired Glenn, a 12-year-old from @emilykcenter, to be an art director Mtern this week. Read more about him on our website. Link in bio. #intern #mtern #durham #agencylife #adlife

A photo posted by McKinney (@mckinney) on

What technological devices do you use? Do you have any social media accounts?
When I was five or six years old, my mom got me an iPad. She had a lot of educational games on it and I also tried to use other apps on it. But then I ended up putting a virus on it and then she got upset. I now have a phone, which I got a year ago, which I basically use as a tablet. I have Snapchat on it and a game called “Injustice.” I’m not allowed to use too much social media because my mom doesn’t want me putting myself in harm’s way.

How do you think this experience will help you in the future?
I know that if I put this on my resume, it will make me look very good once I have to apply for college. That will be hard if I’m not up to standard and don’t have experience. I want to go to Duke but I want to do more research on art colleges. I’m pretty sure life as an AD is going to be very, very busy because right now I’m already trying to keep myself awake in all the different places I have to be and all the things I have to do.


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