Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Conveyor belt

No matter how cool a certain job might seem, in the end everything becomes a job. I once saw a documentary about techo-god Dave Clarke. He was sitting in his dressing room right before a gig and had the same dead beaten expression on his face as somebody who just got out of bed to prepare himself for a 9-to-5 day at the office. But when he got on stage, he spinned his records like a freaking madman.

There's no exception for advertising. In the beginning advertising seems like a creative playground where everything is possible. There seems to be no other business where you can think of your own ideas and use just about every creative discipline -whether it's film, music, graphic design or writing- to bring these ideas to life. But in the end also advertising becomes a job.

There's only one way to become good in this job: work really hard. Some people say it's about talent. I don't believe in talent and I don't believe that people are born creative. Of course there are people who show more potential than others. But this only works for them at the start of their career. Later on they come to the conclusion that in order to become better you have to keep on working - a lot.

After a year on the Miami Ad School, my opinion about this matter hasn't changed. The students that excel are not the ones who have the most talent, listen the best to the teachers or have the most experience before. Those factors all play a role, but what really separates the average from the best is that the latter simply makes more work. A simple calculation proves this: a student who has worked all night to make 10 campaigns has more chance that there's something good than a student who made 1 campaign and watches television afterwards.

Today Daniel and I were mass producing ideas. We were drawing sketches as if the empty sheets roll by one by one on a conveyor belt. At the end of the day we had a total of 16 campaigns. A record for this quarter. (not my all-time record, see We simply reduced our chances of failure to almost none by making a lot. You never know what happens if you do creative work, but one thing's for sure: the only way to get a little security is to get on the automatic pilot and to mass produce. Think of ideas until you get a headache, scribble until your fingers hurt and present them like a DJ plays in front of a live audience.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Ham says: you're right! :o))

9:13 pm  

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