Touring with an Atlantic Records Artist as a Creative Director

Johnny Fan headshotby Johnny Fan

During 2016, I worked as a creative director for Atlantic Records music artist Sir the Baptist. I served as his touring photographer and videographer and digital marketing and branding manager.  Sir the Baptist offered me this opportunity after I worked on a magazine press shoot with him.  After that connection, he was impressed by my work and found a way for us to continue collaborating.

The major function of my work with Sir the Baptist consisted of building the brand of the music artist by creating and developing his branding and marketing materials while also reinforcing his creative direction in terms of visuals for press, social media, and other channels. During this time, I created content and partnered with brands like Lyft, Atlantic Records, CNN, and BET to distribute that content. UIC Business prepared me to connect my relevant knowledge to real life professional settings and use trial and error to test new concepts. 

This position required significant business travel throughout the internship’s nearly six months duration. During the tour, we traveled to play many large national festivals like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Made in America, and Sasquatch.

 In this role, my work was featured in press outlets that I’ve always aimed to be a part of, including Apple Music, Spotify, XXL, Tidal, and more. It was a great feeling to see my work shared on platforms that are revered in the music industry, and I am particularly proud of these accomplishments.

I have brought this experience back to UIC and translated it into the school year because it has helped me to develop stronger time management skills as well as to reinforce my ability to work hard and work smart. Determination, perseverance, and work ethic played a huge role in me being able to successfully play my role on the team. I truly learned what sacrifice meant working on this tour as 15 of us shared a tour bus and we traveled together for hours, days, and weeks on end. Learning to sacrifice for professional goals translates to sacrificing for your classmates and working together on group projects. 

As UIC Business students search for internships, it is always good to network and put yourself out there. I believe that you will always reap what you sow. So, if you plant your seeds out there by networking, they are bound to grow and blossom, sooner or later, into an internship. 

My professional goal for my junior and senior years at UIC is to continually meet and work with like-minded and goal-oriented individuals. And after graduation, I hope to grow a team to be the next wave of superstars in digital and media culture. 

I think the creative director internship and UIC Business have helped me get closer to achieving those goals by introducing me to individuals who are truly passionate and driven, both within the college and in the professional world.

For more information on internship opportunities for UIC Business students, visit the UIC Business Career Center.

Johnny Fan is a Chicago-based creative director and photographer and a junior UIC Business scholar majoring in marketing. In 2016, Highsnobiety featured him on their 5 of Our Favorite Instagram Accounts to Follow from Chicago list.