ANDYVISION - watch me try to be creative. live.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

You know you've found a sweet gig when you get sunburnt at work.

Gotta love an office with a roof deck and the freedom to work anywhere you want.

It's nearly the end of the first official week of my career, and things are going well. (Haven't been fired yet at least.) I must say, Wieden+Kennedy is such a non-scary place. Really not at all what I expected. Everyone working there is absolutely great, and the building itself a very open and inviting place.

Karen and I have been adjusting rather nicely to everything. We're still in a random room hidden back somewhere that no one even knows exists. (It used to be the old account office apparently.) Affectionately dubbing it The Hole, we've turned it into our own mini-agency of sorts. It's actually a whole room so we technically have the biggest office in the entire building. We can work undisturbed, spread our comps/ideas all over the walls, kick around the soccer ball that we stole from the gym. Today I discovered some massive old Metallica, AC/DC and Jim Morrison posters as well as some Chinese paper lanterns that now adorn our walls.

As for the work, it's going relatively well. We had our first "check-in" with our CDs yesterday to present them what we've been working on. It was the most un-scary thing I've done in my whole life. It was so low-key. Our CDs, Monica Taylor (former CD on Old Spice) and Joe Staples (former writer on Nike) are awesome. They're both incredibly intelligent and funny and have fantastic vision, which translates into great feedback.

The biggest adjustment has—oddly enough—been the openness of our project. We're amazingly lucky to be working with a brief that doesn't dictate any sort of media. It's wide open. In a way, that's been a problem because there's so much we could do that it's been difficult to focus on just a few strategies, ideas and media. It's been like creative ADD for the last few days, but we're settling down a bit into some promising areas.

Working with TV has also been different. Karen and I have basically zero experience concepting and writing TV. So, I feel a bit at a disadvantage in that sense, but I think we'll be fine in a few more days/weeks. The thing that's comforting is the realization (thought? hope?) that everyone who's ever started in the business felt the same way initially.

Speaking of other people in the business, we've been joined by a few people. On Wednesday a really sick designer from Brooklyn Andrio showed up to work with Karen and I through next week. The same day, they brought in a senior freelance team that's done work all over the place. They're two seemingly very talented guys, they'd basically be CDs at Goodby if they weren't freelancing full-time. They're leaving at the end of next week so it'll be just Karen and I on the project. Eee. That's intense. Seriously.

Another thing that's taken some adjustment is working on the same client/product all day every day. I've gotten to a few points where I can't even understand what we're talking about anymore because we've been talking about it for so long that it stopped making any sense about four minutes ago. (It's like looking through Font Explorer for the right typeface; after looking at the word "Egypt" for five minutes in 200 different fonts it doesn't even look like a word anymore. Well, "Egypt" didn't really look like a word to begin with.*) Today I final was able to focus a little more easily.

Everything else is more or less the same. We're putting in 11- or 12-hour days right now, but it's not really a big deal. There's really nothing else we'd be doing in Portland anyway. It's a nice city--great beer, great music scene, amazingly clean streets and air--but everything seems to inexplicably close up at 7:00. It's bizarre.

Oh yeah, and there are so many crazies in this city it's mind-blowing. I think about two-thirds of the people you see in the streets are either a) totally insane or b) currently enjoying massive quantities of some sort of hallucinogenic drug. This generally means they haven't bathed in several days/weeks. The other third of angsty teenagers that have found their own form of rebellion by congregating en masse on the sidewalks sporting a cross between goth and hipster clothing and hair. It's really bizarre city. I'm moving into my apartment on Monday. It's right next to Wieden and in a nicer part of town. I think the rift-raft will be a little more scarce over there.

Still, I'll miss things like what happened today on my walk home. I was waking past a bus shelter. An old crazy woman was blocking the sidewalk with several bags so I went around into the street. She decided to the the same. That's where the differences in our actions ended. When she stepped into the street, she pulled her pants down and began shitting right there in the street. It happened to be right there next to me as well. Also, this occurred just two blocks after a crazy old Chinese woman stared Karen and I down from half a block away while she was giving us the finger.

Portland's crazy.

The Red Bull Flut Tag is this weekend on the river. We'll be working through most of the weekend, but I want to try to make it out for that at least a little bit.

Anyway, that's what's going on with me right now. Sorry if I don't answer phone calls/emails/texts/IMs immediately. Once we're a bit more settled in it'll be better. That being said, if I've neglected anything you'd like to know about, feel free to ask.

I hope everyone's doing well. I miss everyone back in Georgia. Keep kicking ass, and I'll catch up with you guys soon.

* We're not doing anything with Egypt for Starbucks. That was just another personal experience I've had.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The first day at W+K

I have to say the first official day of my career went pretty dern well. The space is really nice, quite open and light for being an old converted ice warehouse. (They also love giant doors. And giant animals too actually.)

By 1:00 Karen and I were being briefed on our big project. Sadly I can't really disclose any details, but we're both really stoked on it. It's a huge opportunity.

The whole thing is really pretty incredible. I'm trying not to think about it. We're just attacking everything like it's an assignment from teams class. And we're not thinking about being in world-famous Wieden+Kennedy. We're just thinking about doing some awesome work for a cool client.

The city of Portland is pretty cool in its own right. Super-clean, really quiet, way walkable. It's a lot smaller than I imagined actually, but that's not a bad thing. It's got a really unique vibe. It's like New York where everyone is just doing their own thing. Except everyone is white. So it's basically just a bunch of crazy white people.

Also, there are at least four Starbucks within a four block radius of our hotel. It's pretty ridiculous.

Speaking of ridiculous, this whole thing is pretty ridiculous. And pretty awesome.

Gotta get up early to go buy an iPhone (sixth attempt, no joke) and then go in and sell some Starbucks. Things are reallll good.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Portland, here I come

I got this sticker from Dan Balser over half a year or more ago. I think I got it because I just happened to be walking by his office at the time, no real reason. Still, I was pretty excited. I thought, "Wow, Wieden+Kennedy. Touching this static-cling decal will probably be the closest I ever get to that place. They're legendary. Waaay out of my league. Oh well, at least I have this sweet sticker."

Press fast forward to 8:39 Thursday night. My phone rings with an unknown number. "503? I wonder what area code that is." Luckily I love answering unknown numbers.

And luckily the person on the other end was Wieden+Kennedy creative recruiter, Lauren Ranke. I met her in Cannes, and we emailed back and forth a few times. All very positive, but I hadn't heard anything in a few weeks. This was totally out of the blue.

She asked if I was sitting down.

"I just did."

"How would you like to come out here to Portland to work with us?"

"Oh wow."

"Also—I know this is short notice—but is there any way you could start Monday?"

I'll spare you all the details, but basically I'm leaving on a plane, 11:09 tomorrow morning to fly out to Portland. It's a two-month freelance gig working on some new stuff for Starbucks. (If it works out well, it'll likely turn into a salaried position.) I'm also very luck to have a fellow Circus student and friend, Karen Gereffi as my art director partner.

It's going to be insane. I'm not even thinking about it. I'm just going to show up and do it. I'll write more as time permits. I have no idea what to expect. I'm not even expecting anything. I just want to get in there and kick ass.

To everyone in Atlanta that I haven't gotten to say goodbye to, take care. To everyone at Circus, thank you so much. You guys are amazing. I love you all. All my best.

The next time you hear from me, it'll be from Portland.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cake Wrecks

New favorite blog: Cake Wrecks.

More. Go look. Now.

Wild on Cannes: The Article

While we were in Cannes last month the fine fellows over at ihaveanidea asked us to write them an article about our impressions of the event. It just got posted today, and you can read it here.

Hopefully that'll serve at least partially for the follow-up that I promised. It doesn't really tell you everything about the week, and it was written with the IHAI audience in mind, but it'll at least give you a flavor for the week.

Hope you enjoy. I did!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Master Lee

I know I'm little late to jump on the Ji Lee bandwagon, but sooner's better than never.

For those who don't know this dude, Ji Lee is the man. Born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, he attended Parsons School of Design. He worked for various ad/design agencies for about seven years before ending up at Droga5 where he did some great work. Most recently he's moved on to become a creative director at Google Creative Labs.

Beyond that, I've been told he's an incredibly nice fellow by people who know him. His wife is supposed to be a delightful fine artist as well.

So, that tells you who he is. But what's more important is what he does.

This guy is a brain. Simply put. He creates idea that are so simple yet at the same time so brilliant they'll blow your mind.

His projects question our perception of reality or ask us to question it. Clean executions give him a really individual, amusing style that can border on cheeky.

The Bubble Project

Univers Revolved

Word as Image

Redundant Clock

That last one is awesome. It makes me laugh every time.

Anyway, this a very small taste. You really need to pop over to Lee's site at to see everything. Make sure to check out his independent projects. That's where the gold is. Really brilliant stuff.

Enjoy the inspiration. Now go do something.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

We're doomed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Someone's not making it to the Endless Shrimp Summer Platter

Want to hear a crazy story about a Red Lobster executive, a suicide staged as a murder, balloons and a field in Texas? Look no further.

The world is weird.

Can't stop the muggin'

So I was emailing thanks you to everyone I met up in New York last week. Circus alum/legend Dustin Copeland shot me back a reply with a link to an article Juxtapoz magazine. I just happened to be there during an art exhibition opening that Ogilvy was hosting and managed to get my mug in the pictures. Ha. I don't even work there. Needless to say, Dustin was furious.

So artsy. Both of us.

Check out the rest of the article here. It's cool to see a big agency having a bit of fun and getting involved with the art community. Cheers.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer Bummer

Lest anyone forget that it's still summer, here's another little reminder.

The future of advertising
right there, ladies and gentleman.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Cavnas Project: 9 Pieces, 9 Days, 1 Canvas

Inspired by a piece of advice from David Angelo of David&Goliath I received in Cannes and a visit to the Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain in Nice, Liza and I embarked on the Canvas Project.

The idea: Make a new piece of art every morning for nine days on a 5' x 7' canvas. Once done, photograph it and start over again the next morning. Each piece built on top of the previous day's.

The whole experiment was really therapeutic. for me. It's been good to let go of work. Whether I really liked that day's piece or really hated it, I knew we had to throw it away the next day. It was liberating in a way.

Below are nine days-worth of work, all on one canvas. (Click to enlarge.)

Day 1: "The Concept"

Day 2: "Vogue"

Day 3: "Holy Jorts!"

Day 4: "Bearnica"

Day 5: "Rockin' Z"

Day 6: "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Back from Reno"

Day 7: "PartyTime."

Day 8: "Fourth of July"

Day 9: "Nine Hours in a Small Room with Lots of Aerosol Spraynard"