A frustrated artist …

That’s me in the photograph. I was a first time flower girl; and it was one of my great uncles who was getting married. He was only 15 months older than my mother.

Can you imagine? The uncle and the niece were probably in diapers at the same time. It’s unsettling enough to think of your parents having sex, but your grandparents. And your great grandparents. Good God!

You will never know how much I hated that dress. It was tulle, but it was rough and scratchy, and it felt like I was encased in barbed wire. For most of the night I squirmed and twitched like I was possessed. And when we finally got Continue reading

The tighter they are, the better I like it …

No, I am not talking about my jeans.  Or Spanx.  I’m talking about deadlines.  Yeah, I’m one of those sickos who loves deadlines.  I thrive on ’em.  So stressneedless to say this WordPress Daily Prompt is right up my alley:

“Do you thrive under pressure or crumble at the thought of it?  Does your best stuff surface as the deadline approaches or do you need to iterate, day after day to achieve something you’re proud of?  Tell us how you work best.”

It’s a good thing I’m a stress junkie, because advertising is all about deadlines.  They’re a constant and they’re brutal.  And they seem to get worse and worse all the time.  As I think about it, it’d be a stressful business even without the deadlines.

Why?

You try sitting in front  of a blank computer screen every day waiting for an idea to hit you, or words and sentences and images to start forming in your mind.  It’s not easy, trust me.  I’ve been doing this for a Continue reading

Harder to decide than you might think …

I was just trolling through my file of WordPress Daily Prompts looking for some inspiration and this one seemed to call out to me:  “A classic desertedquestion, revisited:  What are the five items you must have on a deserted island?”

Not easy, is it?

At least I don’t think so.  It takes some thought.

  1. Right off the top I know I’d need sunscreen.  Lots of it, too.  Last thing I’d want to worry about is sunburn.  Or even worse, skin cancer.  I can live without make-up and hair dye, but I insist on protecting my skin from the elements.  If that doesn’t prove I’m a glass-half-full type of woman nothing will.  I know some of you out there are saying to yourselves, “You’re never going to survive.  So why bother with sun screen?”  Well, I plan on surviving.  Worst case, if I run out, I will have to forage for aloe and other plants with good healing properties.  Which Continue reading

Day 226. A Mystery

Yesterday I spent some time talking about advertising.  It made me think a lot about the industry.  And the people who are attracted to it.  As I said, it’s very stressful, painand not just occasionally.  It’s pretty much the norm.

The hours are long.  There’s no such thing as overtime pay.  Budgets are tight, and getting tighter all the time.  There’s never enough people.  There’s never enough time.  The pressure is always on.   The days of 2-or-3-hour, 4-martini lunches are long, long gone.  Never to return.  If they ever really existed at all.

So what’s the draw?

Why do we want to work in the business, to begin with?  Why do we knowingly walk right into the fire?  Eyes wide open.  What keeps us there?

Are we masochists?  Martyrs?  Gluttons for punishment?  Into pain?  Stress junkies.  Out of our minds?

What’s with us, anyway?  What’s the common thread?  Do we all have a gene no one else has?  Or are we missing one, most Continue reading

Day 115. The Sequel

Hello there.  It’s me again.  And yes, I decided that I still had too much ‘creative thinking’ on my mind (no pun intended), to switch topics and write about something completely different today.  Hope you’re okay with that.

So yesterday I talked about a lot of ways non-creative people are still creative.  See, it’s not an oxymoron. But I did confine the conversation to those of us who work in ad agencies, an industry perceived as being ‘creative’ anyway.  And because I think it’s important for you to know that I am a firm believer in the fact that creativity can, and should, and does, exist outside of ‘creative’ businesses, I’m approaching the idea from a different perspective, today.

At its very simplest, it’s called out of the box thinking.  Being willing to turn a problem, or a tough challenge, on its ear, looking at it from a different angle, through a different lens.

Being willing, regardless of what you do for a living, to sweep aside the status quo and embrace new ideas.  Different ideas.  Unconventional ideas for your industry.  Client-centric ideas.  Revolutionary ideas. Never-before-considered or tried ideas.  Regardless of whether you work in the private or public sectors.  Regardless of Continue reading

Day 114. A Misconception

I’ve been talking a lot about writing and ideas lately. It’s not surprising. They’re my stock in trade. But I’ve just realized that there’s a myth out there, that needs to be dispelled. So I’ve appointed myself the bearer of the news:

Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, ‘Creativity‘ is not the exclusive province of writers and artists and actors and directors and fashion designers and make up artists and hairdressers and lighting directors and singers and composers and interior designers and photographers and musicians and the like. Every human being has the ability and, as far as I’m concerned the responsibility, to think creatively. Without holding a paintbrush or a pen or a microphone or a camera or any other ‘tool’ those of us who are creative, use.

Here’s a good example of what I mean: One of the ad agencies I worked for, is BBDO. It is one of those huge, international (289 offices in 80 countries, 15,000 employees), full-service agencies that’s been around for eons. Since 1891, to be precise. I have worked for more than my fair share of the top agencies in the world, so I speak

Continue reading