Saturday, April 26, 2008

Brandcenter is not a school for Art Direction.

I've debated posting this but I believe it and it's important to put out there.

This school does not train art directors. There are no art direction courses. No photoshop. No illustrator. No anything. You get one technology class the first semester with a few tips and tricks and then a pat on the back and good luck.

This school trains writers and writes who can art direct. Besides Rick Boyko and Wayne Gibson the rest of the teachers I've had have been writers. I don't get judged on my art direction much in the open. It's always and I mean always this phrase:

Where's your big idea?

This is a good idea. This trains creative directors. The sad thing is that not everyone is going to be a creative director. Some people just want to be art directors, and I think that by not teaching art direction it handicaps more than it helps.

Miami teaches art direction. Year after year they get good visual ads coming from South Beach. Portfolio school teaches art direction. Chicago portfolio school teaches it too. I love the program. I want to learn to be as dangerous as possible, but it would be nice to have a little direct teaching every once and a while

The Final countdown.

No not the awesome Europe song made re famous by the man to the left, but the last two weeks here at the Brandcenter. And shame on you if you don't know this man.

Its busting ass time for the art directors and cruise time for copywriters. Not really. Everyone is busting their asses to finish work in the las few classes still running. It makes it hard to focus as the weather gets nice and the cold beers call.

On top of this most of us have been preparing for internships in far away cities. It's been a bad year for internships as only a few from the west coast have come through with spots. I dont know whether its the economy, laziness, or anything else. It pisses me off about the professionalism of some of these shops, and their lack of contact with the school one way or another.

I'm defnitely stressed out and will promise to put as much work up here for all to see when its all said and done.

A few of the things I'm looking forward to:

May 17th (all done)
First years
Summer in NYC
Heading back to CA for a while
Catching up on sleep, maybe not.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dream Job Factory

As the year winds down here, and we start to soak in what happened in the last year, as a first year student you begin to think ahead, for the day you will leave here too, and look for that first job.

Brandcenter trains people. No doubt about it. Trains them hard fast and smart. We are definitely sought after and wanted, but as more and more students go through competing schools it is harder and harder to prove your wealth.

It definitely feels like the attitude here is to get out and land that dream job. Everyone here drinks the cool aid. Everyone. We dream of those jobs where we fly around the world for photo shoots, meeting celebs, and the other perks about this industry. There's a problem here though.

Not everyone is going to get those jobs, actually few to none will. The navy lures people in with promises of jets and far away locations but for every fighter pilot in the Navy there are 150 people there to ensure that the plane stays in the sky and cooks that clean up behind the scenes at the 5 star hotels.

We all have high goals and dreams here. I do as well, but I came here to get away from mind numbing labor, and along the way it changed from finding a job that made me happy into a job that would make people drool over. I don't know if that's a good thing, but it's where I'm at.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Shades of first semester minus the all nighters.

X Games has been my master for the last week.

We have a new business pitch for ESPN executives for X tomorrow for Earl Cox's. Earl is a partner and head planner at Martin agency. I've been hunched over a computer for the last week staring deep into photoshop's dreamy eyes all day. This has been a damn tough presentation.

It's supposed to be as similar to a new business pitch as possible. But for me it only reminds me of one thing: Don Just. That man beat us up so well that I'm pretty sure I can handle any pitch at this point. Of course this is different, we have a strategy, full creative models, market research, less faulty AV systems (keyword less), and larger teams but in the end the problems are all the same.

Team inconsistency, argument after argument after argument over silly things, creatives first time working with a brief, and horrible horrible VCU computers which fail every 5 minutes. It doesn't help we get locked out at 1 am when most people need the labs 24/7 during the last 2 weeks here.

But I'm bitching. In all honesty Im excited about this. I think everyone is. We all say we hate it and we're tired of it, but I feel everyone is excited to show off a little in front of the brass. A little look what you're getting next year show. It should be X trememly interesting. Sorry, I've been making that shitty joke all week.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Doritos Thrutiness Crunchtacular Idea

Kudos to you Doritos!

Your sponsorship of Stephen Colbert for the last few months has been fantastic. It has given you more positive media impression than any campaign could have done.

You even stand by him as he mocks your product and its ability to turn his waste bright orange. It takes alot of guts for the client to stand by and watch with a twisted grin.

But through it all I bet that Doritos sales have increased, which is the final goal and on top of you rolled out a new flavor, which I want to try, so again Kudos to you Doritos!

(And to you Goodby for probably dragging them into saying yes for this. Good job!)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My cure to stress...

There's something about walking in the middle of the street at night that just feels right.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The magic of google.

So i admit it. I check my site every day.

I have Google analytics for my site so it can tell me how many people are coming each day and where in the world they're coming from. Pretty cool stuff. Addicting as well.

I average about 25 people a day, mostly here in Richmond from fellow students. But all of a sudden my site exploded. Site visits doubled day after day after day. At its peak I received 374 visits in one day. See below:

I was shocked! How could my little blog blow up. I was getting views from Iran, China, Egypt, and Russia. Were people that interested in my life as a student in Richmond Virginia?

Sadly no. About a month ago I posted a entry on Spring Break and my lack of time to enjoy it. I chose this photo to demonstrate what I thought spring break was:

This photo is the second highest reference to the google phrase "spring break." And my site was the refering site for it.

So cheers world! Enjoy these painted ladies and hey, while you're here enjoy a little advertising talk.

That crazy internet!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The east coast adventure continues: Summer

BBH New York has offered me a summer internship. I couldn't be more excited about this choice. I had applied to mostly SF offices because I wanted to go home but really wanted BBH because of the great stories I heard from last years interns. Also because honestly New York scares the shit out of me. It's the center of the world. Hell my dad even got freaked out and left and he grew up in New Jersey.

But I'm really excited about BBH. They do great work there. Including the current NYC tourism campaign, Miller light, British Airways, Levis, Axe, Vaseline, Johnny Walker and Dyson. My favorite client they have is Mentos and in honor of my new home I submit one of my favorite fan created mentos ad starring Jean Claude Van Damne from his movie "Bloodsport."

See you in the Big Apple!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Roomate Wins Pencil. Other roomates plan to sulk quietly.

My roomate Jake Dubs has won a One Show student pencil. Color unknown as of yet but a huge accomplishment, on top of this he has coveted an internship at Crispin Porter and Bogusky. The boy is on fire and is on his way to becoming the rockstar we know he is.

A damn fine writer as well. Here is his blog.

Go jake go!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Your title will follow you for life.

I am not an art director.

Well I guess I am here for all intensive purposes. But I'm not.

I can write, concept, body copy, and long copy along with drawing, color correction, layout, and design. I feel that a lot of talented art directors don't get the credit they deserve for their abilities beyond directing art.

I came here to be an art director. I don't think I want that anymore. I came here to be a dangerous quadruple edged sword. I assure you there is a sweet ninja blade that has this.

So I tried to think of a new title for this. I checked the interweb and was not shocked to find many art directors with the same complaint/concern. So I now have a blank line in my email signature waiting for the right word or words. Does anyone know a better word?

Friday, April 4, 2008

I hate the swedes, but....

Their gummy fish remind me of mom.

"A friend you can eat."
Swedish fish.

Great art direction with the faded 1970's look and colors.

As a proud Norwegian I can't stand by the evil Swedes, but I do love their Swedish gummy fish. Sorry mom.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The first CD's on Mars?

Virgle is a new joint project between Virgin and Google to make the first human settlement on Mars. This little video of the Google boys will explain:

After exploring the site, which is pretty funny by the way, I believe Brandcenter students are perfect for this task. It isn't because we're smart, athletic, strong, adventurous, or desperately seeking to get off this god forsaken red rock. Its because of this one little line and picture that students here and future Virglenauts will have in common:

6. Friendships - While awake, coed crew members cooped up for months with precious little privacy and essentially zero opportunities for interaction of any kind other than with each other can be expected to form intense interpersonal bonds.

Isn't that in the recruitment material somewhere?