Jim Riswold

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Jim Riswold (born 1957 in Seattle, Washington) was the former creative director for Portland, Oregon based advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy and an instructor for the agency's experimental advertising school, WK12: subject for WKE (WKEntertainment)'s upcoming web episodic documentary, 12.

Career In Advertising[edit]

Riswold attended the University of Washington from 1976 to 1983, and received three bachelor's degrees in communications, philosophy and history.[1] He was brought into the agency as its first copywriter hire in 1984, supervising the Honda account.[2] In his 14 years at Wieden+Kennedy, he created advertising campaigns such as the Mars Blackmon (Spike Lee), Michael Jordan commercials for Nike as well as the famous Bugs Bunny–Jordan pairing. He also created the Bo Knows campaign for Nike featuring Bo Jackson, and the Tiger Woods commercial, entitled "I Am Tiger Woods."

In 2013, Riswold was inducted into The One Club's Creative Hall of Fame.

Career In Art[edit]

After being diagnosed with leukemia in 2000 and surviving for five years, Riswold quit advertising to become a full-time contemporary artist.[3] He went from "a career of selling people things they don't need to making things that people don't want".[4]

Riswold's photographs have been shown in galleries throughout the Northwest and hang in the permanent collections of several museums.[5] Most of his works poke fun at historically taboo figures Mao Zedong, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini by constructing monumental setting in which the figurines were photographer. Jim explained in his 2005 Esquire article, Hitler Saved My Life that "Instead of providing […] grand expositions mythologizing the dictator, toys, by definition, make their subjects seem small, childish, and trifling."[6]


  1. ^ Jim Riswold (Autumn 2001). "So What Good Is Studying Philosophy: You Want To Be A What?". University of Washington Philosophy Department. Archived from the original on 2010-05-28. Retrieved 2009-09-22. Jim Riswold. UW (University of Washington) 1976–1983. Majored in Communications, Philosophy, and History
  2. ^ Randall Rothenberg (January 30, 2006). "Riswold goes from 'idiot savant' to reinventor to retired artist". Advertising Age. Riswold, 48, has been creating art for years-at least since the day in late 1984 when he walked into a presentation for the Honda scooters advertising account Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  3. ^ Zach Dundas (September 21, 2005). Willamette Week "Jim Riswold: Nike ad designer finds success, gets leukemia, turns to Hitler dolls. Huh?" Check |url= value (help). Willamette Week. Retrieved 2008-02-10. When Riswold, a onetime philosophy major whose iconic Nike ads made him an industry legend, was diagnosed with leukemia, he found solace in art.
  4. ^ Gregory Solman (October 6, 2008). "Profile: Jim Riswold - Ex-Wieden CD celebrates the absurd". AdWeek. Retrieved 2009-09-22.
  5. ^ "Augen Gallery - Bio: Jim Riswold". Retrieved 2009-09-22. (see various entries under the headings "Solo Exhibitions", "Group Exhibitions" and "Selected Collections)
  6. ^ Jim Riswold (September 1, 2005). "Hitler Saved My Life". Esquire. Retrieved 2009-09-22.

External links[edit]