Ask an Art Director w/ Fiorella Martinez  — Program Description

In an industry that's often about who you know and what you know...this is our effort to level the playing field. 

On Thursday, April 14 2022 at 6:00 p.m. EDT, Ecru will host a free online talk and Q&A with Fiorella Martinez, freelance art director and founder of Creato; a dedicated space and platform for Latinx creatives in Canada.

Fiorella will break down how agency art directors hire artists for commercial projects, and how creative for a campaign gets made from brief to execution.

This is an online talk that is FREE with RSVP. BIPOC registrants are prioritized.

Ask an Art Director is a series of free online talks with decision makers in creative industries, demystifying industry knowledge around hiring practices, pay, and freelancing.

*Tickets are limited. There is an option for Donation where funds will go towards future free/low-cost Ecru programming for marginalized creatives.

Zoom meeting link will be released to attendees on event date.

  • What is the agency relationship with clients in advertising and PR
  • What an agency art director looks for when commissioning artists
  • How to reach out to agencies to consider your work
  • How to approach conversations around budget
  • How to position yourself as an unsigned artist for more commercial gigs


  • Emerging visual artists. Samples discussed focus on photography, however the business practices covered are applicable to multiple disciplines including design, illustration, and film.
  • Full-time visual arts workers wanting to transition into freelancing
  • Current freelancers in visual arts interested in taking on more commercial work

Fiorella Martinez is an art director, designer, and community builder who was born and raised in El Salvador and is currently based in Toronto. Since graduating from OCADU, Fiorella has worked at several advertising and PR agencies like Sid Lee, Zulu Alpha Kilo, JWT (now Wunderman Thompson), Bensimon Byrne and Narrative. More recently, Fiorella has decided to go freelance.

Fiorella has worked on clients such as Starbucks, Scotiabank, Converse, Mazda, Cheerios, Rexall, Bell, Interac, Tim Hortons, and Corona. Her conceptual and strategic thinking is expressed through a combination of creative skills. These include branding and graphic design, illustration, video and photography art direction, event and experiential design.

In 2020, Fiorella started Creato; an initiative dedicated to connecting, supporting, and spotlighting artists and creatives who identify as Latinx in Canada. Fiorella is a multidisciplinary maker and is always up for learning a new skill. | @creato_community | @fi.ore.lla

Pam Lau is an independent photographer based in Toronto and Montréal. Pam is a recipient of the Applied Arts Young Blood Photography Award and has been named one of five photographers to watch in a 500px spotlight on Asian Heritage Month. Ambassador for Canon Canada and co-founder of Ecru. | @pamelaloud

Jimmy Vi is a Film and Creative Director based out of Toronto. Jimmy has worked with clients from Nike, Footlocker, and Sony, to independent artists and labels. He is the co-founder of Ecru; an organization supporting marginalized creatives. | @jimmyvi


  • We are a grassroots initiative supporting emerging creatives, founded by self-taught and self-employed photographers and directors.
  • We recognize the financial, institutional, and cultural barriers of breaking into creative industries because we’ve experienced it firsthand.
  • We know that formal training is not the only indicator of experience and talent.
  • We understand that representation in casting talent but not in decision-making roles and crew is merely tokenism.
  • We have had enough of “listening and learning” and want to see actionable change.
  • We believe in connection and community over competition. |

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