And it's time to post something. First up, I saw this...
And then I listened to this...
I've been listening to quite a lot of old acid house, and Ewan and that Weatherall bloke are very good at it. I like how they took it in turns to play records.
Then I met Luke for breakfast and he inspired me by being young and interested/ing. Luke lives here.
And I've been doing other things, like making adverts for smoothies and orange juice, getting our new innocent home ready for the people to move into, judging some awards, and encouraging children to visit the dentist. Got a puppy as well, and a machine that scoops up dog sh*t.
Lots of good things. If I get a bit more time I might write more about each, in some sort of order and depth. Thank you for reading.
A while ago I realised that it was 11 years since I had worked anywhere new. So I thought it might be good to go and be the new boy somewhere. I talked to the people at method and made a plan to go and work at their place in San Francisco for a short while. I figured this would be a good idea for a number of reasons:
1. They're a smart business. Surely they had spare ideas that I could steal?
2. They are based in San Francisco.
3. They're quite similar to innocent, so there were some parallels that could be interesting.
4. Being the new boy would give me a different outlook than my default grizzledoldhack position.
5. They are based in San Francisco.
So I did it and now I'm back home, back at innocent, thinking about what I learned. It was a bit of a wrench to leave. My new American friends were fond of the idea of having an exchange student and made an attempt to kidnap me (see photo), but whilst they were doing crazy finger pointing, devil horns and posing for the camera, I quietly slipped away unnoticed, off to the airport. For all I know they may still be standing there, in that exact same pose.
Anyway, what did I learn? Well, I learned that whether you make laundry detergent or smoothies, you need to have a strong purpose behind what you do, or you are screwed (American word). I learned that having a bunch of people who believe in what they do is a much more powerful weapon that a bunch of people who are thinking about maybe joining the company down the road that makes cat food. And I learned that maybe I should just try saying these things straight, without having to load them up with irony or inverted commas.
I had a great time, they are a great business and it was very kind of them to let me stay for a while.
Personalised Christmas decorations (aka DataDecs) from the people at RIG (Russell, Ben and Tom) – sized, shaped and cut according to data collected from some of my internet bits (twitter, flickr, lastfm and dopplr). Here's some info about how they were made, by a man called Andy.
After receiving David's suggestion in the comments under this post, I ended up speaking about those sunsets. You know, the ones you take pictures of. I think it went well - I managed to mention how sunsets are linked to death, but then end on a rather upbeat note, which was a relief, as I spoke at the end of the day and there was no-one to be upbeat after me.
Thank you Russell for organising it. And thank you to Marcus, whose video contribution to my sunsets bit has now turned into an informative series.
My car has been called many things in its lifetime. And it has achieved. It has broken down. It has lost fights with pheasants. It has been to Winchester (no link available – it wasn't that exciting). So it was with great joy that we celebrated a landmark on Saturday evening, together, halfway round the bottom of the M25 on the way back from watching Gillingham draw 0-0 with Bury.
123456 miles on the clock.
I've been waiting for it to come up for a while, and now it's passed, we are ready for 234567, driveshaft permitting.
Dan is a good man. I hope he doesn't mind me using this photo of him that I found on his blog. Sure he won't. He occasionally writes innocent labels for beer money and spends most of his time doing things with film for people. Grows veg, makes chutney, fashions catapults out of squirrel bones (maybe). You should get to know him.
I learned a lot from Steve Paskin. Steve was an art director at Lowe during the time that we (innocent) worked with them, and he worked on most of our campaigns. He's a gentle, generous man, a great art director and a good writer, even though he might not consider that last bit to be his thing.
Before I met Steve I would always start off trying to have ideas by writing things and perhaps doodling a bit. Words would always feature heavily, as that's what I consider myself to be best at – writing. So that's where I thought my best ideas would come from. But then I started watching Steve, observing how he had his ideas, and he did it differently, usually by leafing through seemingly random scrapbooks and books full of photos and art, until he'd find something that might start a train of thought.
Now, this may not be a revelation to those of you who are art directors. This may be the way things get done. But for me it was new. And since I watched Steve do it, I've tried it myself, to good effect (good for me anyway). I came up with ideas that I would never have got to with words and scamps and doodles alone.
I've never worked at an agency and so I was always grateful to the creatives who'd let me sit in their office and talk crap with them, and watch them at work. Steve was one of those kind people, and one of the loveliest, most honest people I have met so far in advertising. Great artist, excellent ad man. You should have a look at his new site and get him to come and work his magic on whatever you're doing next.