Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My next big project.

“If I had my life to live over again I would try to make more mistakes
next time. I’d try not to be so perfect.
I’d relax more, I’d be sillier than I’ve been on this trip.
In fact, I know of very few things I’d take quite so seriously.
I’d be crazier, I’d take more chances, I’d take more trips,
I’d climb more mountains. I’d swim more rivers, and I’d watch more sunsets.
I’d eat more ice cream - and fewer beans.
Sure I’d have more actual troubles, but fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I was one of those people who lived sensibly, and prophilactically,
hour-after-hour, and day-after-day.
Oh, that doesn’t mean I didn’t have my moments.
But if I had it to do all over, I’d have more of those moments.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing but moments, one after another.
I was one of those people who never went anywhere without a thermometer,
a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute.
If I had it to do all over again, I’d travel lighter next time.
I’d start barefoot earlier in the spring and I’d stay that way later in the fall.
I’d ride more merry-go-rounds, I’d pick more flowers, I’d hug more children,
I’d tell more people that I loved them,
If I had my life to live over again.
But, you see, I don’t.”

(Letter from an 84 year old)

I'm a cynic. Self admittedly so. It's not the best attitude and I would be the first to admit it. If I had to guess why I am, I'd say it would be laziness. It's easier to say no then to say yes. Its easier to break things down then build them up, to make better than avoid. Thats my goal for the break. It's time to think aobut the most important part of being a professional. Attitude.

No one likes a nay-sayer. The world could use one less.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Semester Review: 3

75% there. This was a good semester. Tough trying and at sometimes fruitless but in the end it was a good semester. I saw lots of progress ended on a great note and am ready for a month off of informational interviews, sleeping and some intermittent work.

This was supposed to be the semester where you're supposed to put it all together, start to gain traction and get ready for June. It didn't start that way. I was working hard but wasn't getting anything out of it. It was a lot of art direction for very little good ideas. The professors said relax and simplify and it will come, but it didn't, until a couple weeks ago.

I stopped freaking out. Starting sleeping and working less, and the work got better. The more I lived a relaxed life the better the work got. I finally found some traction. And now I'm a little worried that I found some traction, will I be able to keep it with a month off.

Theres actually too much to work on to worry about that though. I've been busy reaching out and asking for time with former Adcenter/Brandcenter students in San Francisco, working on the One Show, D&ADs and, refining the work I already have.

My last semster will be full of the big boys. I have Charles Hall for International Brand Campaigns and Mark Fenske for Portfolio. It will be an interesting last few months. I've heard and seen the recent grads work, but I'm excited. The light at the end of the tunnel is slowly filling the screen and soon enough it will be May and this will all be over.

Slow down there big boy, one day at a time.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

All nighters do nothing.

It took me a year to figure this out. Spending 24 hours on any one thing is not productive, but it feels necessary sometimes here. The projects mount up and first your free time disappears, then your weekends, then your exercise, then your food, then all you have is work. It happens to everyone here. Everyone jokes about eating Hohos and Twinkies as three course meals and try to remember what a "weekend" was.

But after a year I've broken the spell. If I don't feel like working. I don't. That doesn't mean it doesn't get done. It just means I know myself a lot better after a year and a half here. I cannot do work by forcing work on projects. Shit in shit out.

It is such a fantastic transformation to see yourself not stress about things that drove you batshit a year ago. The real question is, will I be able to do this in the real world.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The name game.

This business is all about connections, who you know, met and had beers with. Oh and skill I suppose. Brandcenter does a great job cultivating talent. No one will doubt that some amazing talent comes out of this school in each respective field that is taught here.

What they don't tell at least publicly is that what connections the school provides on the outside. We get a book of every contact that the Brandcenter has including alumni, speakers, creative directors, recruiters, media directors, and assorted other fields. This book is pure gold. It is filled with a wish list of contacts and resources.

I've started reaching out to some of the people on this list trying to get things rolling before May. Its a little intimidating basically warm calling people off a list. It reminds me of my old job of selling insurance. Cold/Warm calling is the most intimidating experience of any ones professional life. But every single person I've contacted has been happy to talk to me, quick to offer help, and willing to meet.

If there was one thing this school gives you that trumps everything else, is that fact that it opens doors that I never knew existed let alone never would have known how to get to.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A win by any other name.

We won a pitch. Finally. It took a year and a half to win one. It feels good to win. Its why we are here, to win new business. So after all the work and time put in and a hard fought win over a lot of great pitches I should feel on top of the world but instead I feel exactly the same.

Well becuase the day you win one account there are 400 behind it that you have to pitch as well. I figure that you lose 9 of 10 pitches you participate in. Unless you work at CPB or W+K, pitches flow together, its great to win because you keep your job and maybe get a raise, if you lose usually no harm no foul. So I'm back pitching again today for Sigg water bottles, and tomorrow on to freezers, salsa, bronx zoo, dickies, One Show, D&AD, and portfolio. No rest for the weary.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Art Direction Fad #1: Kinetic Typography

I've seen these videos on the web for a few years now. They have been used in movies for some time now, and all of a sudden they've become every art directors go to typography choice for TV commercials. They're great. They give the attitude of the voice over through type, not easy to do. Its just interesting to see every shop using it these days, as you have probably seen below:

Its a small world here in the ad world and everyone borrows good ideas and wears them out just as fast. Its too bad this will be worn out, I have always been a fan.