Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Luke Sullivan: One of the best pieces of creative advice I was ever given.

Most of you probably already subscribe to Luke's blog. But for those who haven't discovered it yet, here's a great piece:

One of the best pieces of creative advice I was ever given.

And yes, Anne Lamontt's Bird by Bird is a fantastic creative help. Almost as much as Luke's book.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

All Six Sides of Advertising

I've never solved a Rubik's Cube. I can get one side, maybe two. But I've never been patient enough to solve the whole thing.

But I have solved a client's problem before. I've taken edits and layouts and headlines that weren't working and figured out a way to make them shine.

And I think that's probably what it feels like to solve a Rubik's Cube.

Advertising is a series of problems. Not every problem will lead to a One Show Gold or even a book piece. But most of them are solvable. And the more you enjoy solving them, the more fun you'll have in your career.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Your Career Is a Network Of Random Opportunities


You will be presented with many doors in your career. You don't always have to walk through them, but I'd advise you to at least consider each one. Maybe poke your head through and see what's there. If someone from an agency you don't think you want to work at wants to chat, why not at least chat?

Thinking back over my career, I can think of several opportunities that I completely passed on without a second thought. Some were offers made by people that I didn't really take seriously. When I think of these passed opportunities, I'd like to go back and kick my younger self.

Here's an excellent example of how this can work, by Jason Friedman at 37signals. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Taglines

Generally speaking, taglines aren't necessary. Luke Sullivan says, unless you can write a "Just Do It," just don't.

But here are two reasons portfolio students should practice taglines:

1. You're going to have clients who ask for them.
2. Taglines are just one more way to showcase how you think.

When I'm asked to write a tagline, I sometimes begin by asking myself, "What is this? And what does it do?"

The ultimate driving machine.
The uncola.
The king of beers.
The antidote for civilization.
Nothing runs like a Deere.
It gives you wings.
That was easy.
Think outside the bun.
It's everywhere you want to be.

Just a few examples of good tags that answer the simple questions, "What is this? And what does it do?"

Monday, August 20, 2012

Awesome or Awful

Check out Awesome or Awful: A Self-Critique Tool for Young Creatives. Wish I'd had this around when I was first in portfolio school.



One of the authors is Erin Eby, a super-talented art director who helps run an agency in Geneva, Switzerland. I had the pleasure of working with her when I lived there, and we collaborated on a number of projects. I kind of wish this would have been one of them.