What was your path to what you’re doing now?
Lee Rowland: After graduating from RIT in 2003, I worked at a few local agencies as a junior art director, then art director. I took a hiatus from agency life in 2008 after having my second daughter to focus on raising my kids and worked as a freelance art director/mechanical artist. During that time, I found a new passion working as a mechanical artist that satisfied the logical, detail-oriented side of me. Working on the Wegmans Packaging team has been the perfect blend of mechanical work with just the right amount of design decision-making.
Did you have any mentors along the way?
Lee: That would have to be the first creative director I worked for. He was my adjunct advertising professor in college and got my foot in the door as an intern at the first agency I worked at. He taught me a lot about concepting in advertising and was helpful in guiding me at the beginning of my career.
What single most important piece of advice would you give to students and young designers trying to establish themselves in the industry?
Lee: Network. Even as students, join your local Advertising Federations or organizations to meet as many people as you can. Every single job I’ve ever held in advertising was through word-of-mouth and knowing the right people. The key is keeping a good reputation throughout your career.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what would your dream job be?
Lee: Chef, for sure. If I wasn’t deathly allergic to fish, I would totally do it.
What kind of beer are you most into right now?
Lee: I’m slightly embarrassed to say Natural Light Naturdays. They are so refreshing on a hot summer day.
What do you drink in the morning?
Lee: Either Jamaican Me Crazy or hazelnut coffee. Decaf.
If you never had to sleep again, what would you do with all your newfound time?
Lee: I love crafting of any kind. Knitting, crocheting, painting, decorating, updating/refinishing furniture. I’d find tons of new projects!
Describe your ideal pizza.
Lee: Thin white crust garlic pizza with prosciutto, ricotta, and arugula.
Where are you from originally?
Lee: Small town, Caledonia, NY.
You’re standing outside a 7-Eleven when the aliens land. They can only survive on Earth for two minutes and you only have two dollars. What snack do you buy to teach them about humanity and provide sustenance for their long journey home?
Lee: Twizzlers. You never get sick of chewing on them.
OK, two truths and a lie.
Lee: When I was 6 or 7, an ox stepped on my foot. I once chased a loose ostrich in an open field. I went parasailing with my husband in the Dominican Republic.