BIO of a (M)ad Man

JEFF BOWMAN (aka (M)ad Man Bowman)

Born on a small, tobacco farm near Madison, N.C. in the 60’s (the similarities to Dick Wittman, Don Drapers’s secret, real identity, and Jeff’s upbringing are sometimes, somewhat unsettling).

Jeff was gifted in art from a very young age and became determined to study art in college. Despite his father’s tragic death during his senior year at Madison-Mayodan High School and almost no money to speak of, he made it into college on scholarships and grants. In 1983, he graduated Cum Laude from ECU’s School of Art with a BFA degree in Communications Arts/Graphic Design..

Jeff interned his last semester with the Dep’t of Natural Resources in Raleigh, N.C. There he fell in love with the city, and a girl named Joy, plus not having the financial resources to go elsewhere, he decided to stay.

He soon found work as an art director at Howard, Merrell, and Partners Advertising (Raleigh’s original Mad Men according to New Raleigh. His career has taken him to many other ad agencies, firms, and other organizations in the Raleigh area, like Rockett, Burkhead and Lewis (Winslow), BSCNC, The Stone Agency, and eventually The Catevo Group, which closed due to the economic downturn in Nov. 2009. This was just weeks after he’d had the biographical photo taken which he used as his entry photo in the “Mad Men Casting Call” contest shown here.

He now freelances as Bowman Creative, while doing some contractual creative/art direction for Ogilvy & Mather in Durham, MSA Advertising in Cary, and various other firms in the Research Triangle Park/Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. Bowman Creative offers creative director, art direction, graphic design, conceptual writing, brand building, creative team building and brand strategy services.

Jeff Bowman (aka Mr. Dapper Don) Mad Men Casting Call entry

The economic downturn has caused his business, like so many others, to experience some slow downs and ups and downs in the last couple of years. However, there are promising signs of things picking up. Jeff feels this is due in part to the increased and renewed connections he has made, as well as the encouragement and motivation from his communities, friends, and family he gained after entering the “Mad Men” contest, continued networking and community involvement. Although Jeff came in just shy of the top ten needed to be considered for the show. His 12, 232 votes and 12th place standing was still a very successful campaign of using media, social networking and public relations to achieve a goal. This was especially well done considering that it was done on a next-to-nothing budget and relied on Jeff, his family and a few friends to help our voluntarily.

Most rewarding was how it gave new energy and emphasis on Jeff’s passion for mentoring. Thanks to everyone who voted for Jeff during the contest and supported Boys to Men mentoring networkbecause of it. Journeymen Raleigh (formally, Boys to Men Raleigh), a chapter of the Boys to Men International mentoring network is off to a great start!

(M)ad Men Making Change’s ultimate quest is to showcase people in the arts, design, advertising and related professions who are making positive changes in our mad world, using their (m)ad skills to make real change through various charitable work, not-for-profit causes and social change initiatives.

Please contact me at: if you have a story that would be a good fit for (M)ad Men Making Change. Thanks, Jeff Bowman

One Response to “BIO of a (M)ad Man”
  1. What a refreshing read. Reassuring to know there are like minds out there…to be creative; while maintaining a social conscience (that takes real creativity)… Maybe this came through in your try out for Mad Men (not exactly the profile of the characters on the show).
    Best of luck for all future endeavors, and thanks again for sharing your insight, and thoughts.
    Deborah McGowan

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  • This blog is the personal expression of MadMan Bowman and some of his friends. It is not owned, operated, supported or associated with AMC or the actual Mad Men TV show, or Banana Republic in any way, shape or form.
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