Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Next Generation

I have a quote scribbled on a Post-It in my office. It reads, "The core responsibility of management is the next generation. For longevity of the enterprise." Big words that essentially mean mentor the young ones, they're the future of our industry.

I usually do this by telling stories about all the mistakes I've made over my career so students stand a chance of not making the same mistake themselves. Seriously, there are people out there that DO NOT want you to send that nasty email to your boss when you are pissed about something. Or drink beyond comprehension at the office Christmas party. Nope, we don't want you to do that. Again, cuz we have. And it kinda sucked (for both physical and political reasons).

Check out this list from Ernie Perich, president and creative director of Perich Advertising + Design in Ann Arbor, MI. It makes those who've been in advertising more than a decade nod slowly and sigh out, "ohhhhh yea, I wish I'd have done that too."

My personal favorites:
4. Travel every chance I got
15. Lose more graciously
21. Confront tough issues way sooner
37. Realize there’s always time to do something about the things I regret not doing

Monday, October 26, 2009

Glamour Don't

This is an entry into the series I call "Glamour Don'ts." Meaning what not to do with your creative portfolio.

It weighs 8 pounds. Eight. Pounds. Maybe that doesn't seem like much when you're talking say, a newborn baby. But in portfolioland, I'm used to measuring in ounces.

If you have a portfolio this heavy, please make every attempt to show the work in person. Carting around your actual print samples (must be a few coffee table books inside this one) is not fun for me. Better yet, take a photo or two and showcase your work that way.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Either way

Before I write this, know that I wholeheartedly can go either way on this. Sometimes I yell out, "No, never." Other times, it's "Ok, cool."

Jr. Art Directors who can write. I know you've seen it. A portfolio filled with art direction, design and. . . copywriting samples. Folks, I just don't know what to do with that. Sometimes I just want to stick to the point and see how you can art direct. Help me out here. I'd love to know how other creative recruiters feel on this one.

Recently a jr. art director was in showing me their book. Amidst were radio and tv scripts. (ignore the fact that I am retarded and pretty much hate reading scripts from jrs). That day, I was only in the mood to accomplish what I set out to do: find a good jr. art director. I didn't want it muddled up with a half-writer. Do I judge their copywriting abilities with equal measure? Do I not consider them if their writing sucks?

I guess that's why I prefer online portfolios labeled by section. That way, if I am focused on just art direction that day I can choose not to look. Or, when I am curious and have the time I can see what other talents this person might bring to the table. There may come a time when I need them to bang out a headline or two and I full well know that writing ability would come in handy.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

On your shelf

I came across this book recently, albeit it's been out a few years. It's called "The Art of Looking Sideways," by Alan Fletcher. You should own it. It's one of those books that you'll read once and be completely inspired. Then you'll put it on your bookshelf and forget about it for a little while. Sometime later you'll pick it up and thumb through it again. And put it away. And pick it up again. And put it away again. Pick it up. Put it away. Over and over, for the rest of your career.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

In the Meantime

While you are pounding the pavement searching for your dream job, spend some time getting your name out in a different way. Enter CMYK's contest for young aspiring creatives. They are currently soliciting work from recent grads to be featured (possibly on the cover) in an upcoming CMYK.

Don't underestimate this exposure even if it won't help pay your bills. Adding "Featured in CMYK" to a piece or two in your book would be a great thing to add to your resume.

And hurry, the deadline is October 18th.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


As you can imagine, I get a big boatload of portfolios sent to me. If they arrive via email, they may have to sit and wait patiently until I find the time to check them out. Then sometimes, when it turns out to be a cool one, I get bummed I didn't look at it sooner.

Like this one. These are the kind of portfolio websites that make it fun to check out work. Cuz it's not always the funnest thing to do everyday. Usually it is, just not always.

Instant Ad Legend, as the portfolio site is called, is the collective work of Sara Kujundzic and Ruchir Sachdev recent graduates of Miami Ad School, Hamburg. It's such a nice change from what I tend to see in portfolio sites. On the home page, you pick which ad legend you'd like to be: Bill Bernbach, David Ogilvy, Leo Burnett or the ever famous, Bruce Lee and are taken to what appears to be their office. Each are decorated with subtle tribute to the legend (Bill's "I put the B in DDB" poster). Overall, just plain coolio.

Beyond the fact that they have a nice collection of work, my favorite part is the thumbs up, thumbs down and WTF! buttons you can click on for each piece.

Don't feel obligated to go to this extent when creating your portfolio site. Buuuuuut, this is a creative industry and all. And if their website wasn't enough, here is a matching video.