Teela Shandness | Art Director

Teela Shandness: Imagine No Malaria Clock is TickingAlthough working on projects she enjoys is a greater measure of success than winning awards, art director Teela Shandess BFA Graphic Design ’09 has consistently been doing both. A 2009 graduate of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, she jump-started her career after landing an internship at the multi-platform country music network CMT (close to school in downtown Nashville), then worked her way up at the advertising powerhouse Buntin Agency in Nashville to Associate Art Director. While showcasing her talents and confirming her versatility through print, digital and TV media in campaigns for corporate and public service clients like the American Red Cross, Chinet, AdHope, Dribbles Raingear, Oreck, and Hands On Nashville, Teela also added to the collection of ADDY honors she began in college by earning professional recognition at district, regional and national levels. Among her most lauded design projects were the Tennessee Education Lottery (with six separate campaigns) and a variety of marketing pieces for Imagine No Malaria. Her work for the global charity has been recognized with nine ADDY citations, in brochure, newspaper, magazine, campaign, direct mail and interactive categories, including a Nashville Best in Show – Interactive selection for the first and only mosquito repellent app that repels mosquitoes and also donates proceeds from the purchase to the Imagine No Malaria Foundation.

As for choosing a career in the arts, ‘It was pretty natural,” says Teela. “I have always loved making things. It’s a puzzle, you know. It’s trying to do something a little bit different than what has been done and putting my perspective on it.” In terms of career preparation, she reflects that the studio-based curriculum at Watkins “provided me a foundation where I was able to do a large volume of work. I made a lot of stuff, and when I started it wasn’t very good. But what helped me grow was having my instructors and peers deconstruct my work, to see what was working and what wasn’t.”

Last year, Teela relocated to Minneapolis as Art Director at the prestigious advertising agency Carmichael Lynch, where she’s created digital work for the new Subaru campaign (“Dog Tested. Dog Approved.”) as well as concepting non-traditional advertising for Jack Links Beef Jerky. “It’s always awesome when you can push a client outside their comfort zone and make something cool for them that stands out in their category.”