College for Creative Studies I Advertising Design


Andrew Stencil

Art director, photographer, designer

Edgy, rugged, adventurous. Andrew Stencil’s work reveals the skill of a well-trained art director ignited by the energy of an action sports junkie. In fact, he often finds parallels between what he learned as an advertising student at CCS and his many years of skateboarding.

“At its core, art direction is creative problem solving mixed with heart and a lot of patience; the same can be said for skateboarding,” Stencil explained. “Each problem you solve or trick you attempt is a completely unique experience and requires its own individual attention. But the focus you put forth means nothing without heart.

“Skateboarding, as well as my advertising education, has taught me that it’s okay to fail. I’ve made many mistakes, but I’ve learned something from each one and grown from them."

"I firmly believe that both experiences have given me the tools and perspective to complete any project I am given.”

Since graduation, Stencil has worked as a designer at Team Detroit and an art director at Leo Burnett. His list of clients includes Red Bull, GMC Trucks, The Lincoln Motor Company, Poler, Hunt & Noyer Woodworks and Detroit City Skateboards among others. One of his greatest accomplishments was being selected out of nearly 1,500 global candidates to be one of 23 to work on a creative challenge in New York rebranding the Ford Focus.

“I enjoy being able to work across multiple disciplines helping clients to overcome complex challenges they face, while creating beautiful and relevant work for the advertising and marketing community,” he said. “It’s difficult to be different and unexpected in a saturated market.”

Stencil’s decision to pursue photography grew out of a passion he had for graphic design and photography. He chose advertising because it encompassed both of his creative interests and offered the stability he desired after graduation. His favorite course was the passion project senior capstone.

“This 15-week course forced us to examine what makes us who we are as creatives and gave us a chance to express it,” said Stencil. “I used the semester to create 13 skateboards from scratch, then showcased my process at the final presentation.”

Currently, Stencil is working on a freelance basis and pursuing his lifelong aspiration of beginning a career in the action sports industry. He has always followed his passion and advises others to do the same. 
After all, he said, “without passion art means nothing and without craft your art cannot shine.”

To check our more of Stencil’s work, visit