Courtney Israel


— Pushing boundaries in order to discover new, exciting and unexpected truths.


I remember a 5th grade assignment. We were to pick a contact out of a giant book of jobs and mail them a letter asking for learning materials on our chosen career path.  

I searched several times for Disney Animator and kept coming up short. When I told my teacher it wasn't in the book, she suggested I pick something else. I didn't. Instead, my Mom helped me track down an address to the Disney Animation Department (pre-Google, folks). A few weeks later, I gleefully stacked the package of personalized materials that Disney sent to me on my teacher's desk. I've been in pursuit of a creative career ever since.

Life happened and things shifted a bit. After graduating from The University of Georgia with a degree in Advertising, I got a job serving tables and started work on my Art Director education and subsequent portfolio book (a remarkably heavy relic that I can't bring myself to toss) at The Creative Circus. 

Almost 10 years later, I've been fortunate enough to work for a successful startup, a mid-sized regional agency and a global powerhouse (think Mad Men)—gaining access to a collective of industry knowledge and know how. 

I'm an adventure seeker. And I believe this pursuit to be creative is my biggest adventure; pushing boundaries in order to discover new, exciting and unexpected truths. The urge to keep challenging the norm, always questioning and never settling—is what makes me good at what I do. 





Freelance art direction & Design

East Bay, CA | June 2016 - Present

+ Working freelance, while taking a beat to discover what really fuels my passion and creativity



Oakland, CA | Oct 2016 - Present

+ Creative Mornings Oakland volunteer staff - Art Direction & Design

Creative Director

Freelance for lovely clients everywhere



Senior Art Director

Nashville Ballet, Nashville MTA, Nashville Wire, Singer Sewing Machines, SVP Worldwide, Wirtgen America


Nashville, TN | Feb 2015 - June 2016

+ Conceptualized and executed photo/video shoots from beginning to end  
+ Brainstormed, designed and presented ideas to clients
+ Supervised junior creative staff
+ Led creative team through proposals and pitches for new business



Art Director

Alpha Sigma Alpha, Alpha Sigma Phi, City of Cedar Park | TX, City of Dublin | GA, City of Georgetown | TX, North Highland Worldwide Consulting, Omicron Delta Kappa, Relevance Advisors


Atlanta, GA | Jun 2012 - Feb 2015

+ Represented the company's business efforts, including solo conference travel & presentations
+ Fostered increased revenue & company growth by contributing to new business wins
+ Managed junior designers and interns on additional creative efforts



Art Director

Boy Scouts of America, Coca-Cola, Durex, Kodak, IHG Hotels Group, smartwater, vitaminwater, Zoosk


Atlanta, GA | Aug 2009 - Jan 2012

+ Developed & led a week-long Kodak brand research & immersion course at Ogilvy, Mexico City
+ Launched the SO Kodak campaign in New York City, alongside my ad in Times Square
+ Presented campaign concepts (that won!) to senior staff of global companies





Atlanta, GA | 2006 - 2008

+ Four Silver Student Awards
+ One Bronze Student Award

The Creative Circus




Athens, GA | 2001 - 2005

+ Hope Scholarship
+ Dean's List
+ Presidential Scholar

The University of Georgia