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.


Dan said...

I believe you attract crazy people.

kirk said...

hey andy, i stumbled upon your blog because i have a google alert for "wieden + kennedy" and your blog came up. I enjoyed reading this post. I hope you're enjoying yourself over there -- it would be a dream come true for many! -kirk