Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Antoine Bardou-Jacquet

Welcome back to the Idea Bakery in 2010.

Work is calling and just to finish off the blog for the new year I thought I would look at the poll I set up asking which ad you thought was 'ad of the decade'. The winner, with 50% of the votes goes to Honda Cog, which totally contradicts ITV's Ad of the Decade Hovis, Go On Lad. (Although granted my sample size is minute!)

1. Honda Accord- Cog
9 (50%)

2. Hovis- Go On Lad
2 (11%)

2. Skoda Fabia- Cake
2 (11%)

4. Cadburys- Gorilla
4 (22%)

5. Compare The Market- Compare the Meerkat
1 (5%)

After a little research into this 6 million pound ad I discovered It was directed by Antoine Bardou-Jacquet.
Bardou-Jacquet now works for the production company Partizanlab.

Antoine certainly boasts a healthy CV, jam packed with campaigns he's directed such as:

Impressive stuff and it's easy to see why he's a top agency favorite.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


This fake spam giveaway from mother has had some mixed reactions on Creative Review. Although it is highly likely to be staged, I still love the strategic thought of using spam and twisting it's negative connotations to become a leverage to highlight something positive, generosity. Not sure I would have replied to the email myself, but really does challenge your perception of genuine generosity and giving at Christmas. But despite some people's negative reactions towards the idea of using spam, it's still certainly a unique way for an Advertising agency to send out their Christmas greetings.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

ITV, Ad of the Decade goes to..

dah dah dah.....Hovis, Go on Lad.

Outrageous. Who the hell voted for the Hovis ad? Kim Marsh? Steven magic boy? Antony Worrall Thompson? Ben Shepard? George Sampson? Or any of the other shite C listers they got critiquing the ads?

Mirrored by the classic Hovis ad from the 70's, Go on Lad relived the same journey the boy took but over 120 years, passing through numerous decades to bring the loaf to the table. I think it's a nicely directed advert and a medioca concept, but to beat Honda Cogs, the iconic Gorilla or even VW Dancing in the Rain, leaves me feeling a little disappointed. The top 5 ads "voted" were as follows

1. Hovis - Go On Lad
2. Skoda Fabia - Cake
3. Compare the Market-Compare the Meercat
4. Honda Accord - Cog
5. Cadburys - Gorilla

So mini poll opposite- who's your number one advert of the decade out the top 5 shown?

Friday, December 18, 2009

The process

A nice and perhaps very honest illustration of the creative process.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

End of the Airbrush?

Twiggy before

Twiggy after

Oh dear, Twiggy may have screwed up the use of airbrushing in adverts.

Well, of corse not Twiggy herself, but her picture of perfect eyes in the new Olay advert got more than 700 complaints.The excessive use of airbrushing has over exaggerated the look of Twiggy in the image, misleading the products abilities and sending out a message to women that is completely unreal and unachievable to obtain by using this product. These complaints have since prompted the ASA to ban the advert.

From my point of view, a little airbrushing doesn't hurt. After all nearly everything, from cars to food are smoothed out, made brighter, made sleeker and exaggerated. Its an after affect technique like any other, done to make the product appear at it's best. However, I agree there does need to be a point at which the ASA notices that over exaggeration of products has turned into lies. The question though, where?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Advertising Agency of the Decade

Well done Mother. See their show reel here.

Trunkated Trunk

Eugenie Scrase wins School of Saatchi with her found tree trunk on a fence. Not a fan of Scrase's earlier work( including a whistle hanging from a rail, a zoo without animals) and I was tad annoyed she won the whole show. But her last piece, shown above was probably the best at the final exhibition *dammit* It was a bold move and I have no idea how she persuaded the council to let her cut the whole trunk complete with two fences. Who said found art was lazy?!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Be judged by what others do.

We were lucky enough to go to the DMA awards 2009 last Thursday, for a night of entertainment, posh nosh,awards and dodgy dancing.

We both had a great evening and saw some interesting work to get our cogs ticking. Overall though, the night was dominated by Proximity London, who with their RNLI campaign won the Grand Prix prize and NINE GOLDS! The campaign quite simply used famous video bloggers and got them to spread the word about RNLI to the Vlogger's followers. They did this by sending the Vloggers a small package with which they had to open online. Not only did they reach there target audience, they reached alot of people and with a very small budget. click here for all the winners.

in awe.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

probation over.

Artist impression- By head of copy.

Monday, December 7, 2009

An Ogivly Christmas

Nice little iphone app from Ogilvy. It creates snow over images so everyone can have a white christmas. Simple and sweet.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The toughest brief yet.

... the annual Agency Christmas Greeting.

Didn't think it would be this hard, the jolliest brief of the year, but when the client is your employer, boy things get tough!
The challenge is to find an original thought about christmas (if that's possible) but still keep its relevance to the agency and promote its creativity. So far we have been failing with this and not getting the balance quite right.

So we had a week on it, researched and found there's a whole load of agency christmas love out there to contend with. See here for a big list of them form 2008.
Some of my favourites are below..

I'll keep you updated on how our first agency christmas card goes. eeps.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

School of Saatchi

*Gasp* no unfortunately not the notorious Saatchi and Saatchi but the Charles Saatchi of Saatchi Gallery type of school.

Did you catch it? Last night on BBC 2, the new Xfactor style art programme aired. Twelve young artists will battle it out every week to convince a panel of judges including Tracey Emin, Kate Bush, critic Matthew Collings and collector Frank Cohen and ultimately Charles Saatchi to let them exhibit their work in the Saatchi Galleries.

I watched it with baited breath, thinking this is either going to be a flop, exploiting young artists and showing some really poor executed pieces (bit like the recent Philippe Starck 'Design for Life' show on BBC2) or a triumph showcasing interesting and thought provoking art. But much to my surprise it was the later. There was a wide range of talent and I fell in love with Tracey Emin and I have gained some more respect for her. She reminds me of a great creative director that can smell shite a mile off and isn't afraid to question peoples reasoning. She was informative, clear and straight to the point. However having been through art school and such I do have a keen interest in contemporary art but some pieces I just don't get despite the explicitly clever reasoning behind it.

They also got the artists to do a life drawing lesson. Most of them couldn't draw, and some were shockers but the point was it was more about the skills needed between the eye and the hand and discipline in drawing. Which brings me to my daily drawing of scamps, which believe me could do with some discipline! what's your scamping style? illustrative? Stick men? freestyle? and does it really affect how well an idea gets sold to the client?

More on this soon.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chameleon Comedians

Could comedians cut it in the advertising world?

It could be argued that comedy has many parallels to advertising. Apart from the fact they both try to sometimes make you laugh, it seems that both succeed on finding an observation, truth or insight about a situation/product/person and exaggerating this to an audience. One to get laughs the other to get sells or both in some cases.

For example Lee Evans takes the simplest of observation and truths about "home cooking":
“I love restaurants, and that’s the thing now, they always boast about now, restaurants…home made cooking…I don’t want home made cooking, that’s why I’m here! ‘cos I don’t like the shit at home! Yeah…you know! And they don’t say who’s home it is, do they! Could be a mental home, couldn’t it!”

It's small insights, such as questioning what "home cooking" really means that could be a great starting point for say an organic restaurant company trying to outshine its fast food chain competitors. A small truth that has a broad appeal.

I then found a blog post on Nat and Lol's blog, Smells like team spirit. on campaign where the girls have been going to sketch writting classes and analysing sketches to see why they are successful. From these classes they noted that:
"I was struck by how similar this is to writing an ad campaign. The joke is the central thought, or strategy. And the variations are simply different executions of the same thought - just as three posters in an ad campaign are basically escalating the same concept in different ways."

Of course it also works the other way around- Copywriters can turn to comedy. Take Steve Patterson for example, a Canadian comedian once a copywriter who was fired because he was" shamelessly trying to inject humour into an ad ". So too much humour can also be a turn off.

I also remember watching a documentary where the comedy duo Smith and Jones get challenged with writing an advert. (Youtube and Google searching unsuccessful with referencing, please inform me if you remember it) However after a good start all I remember is that they found it really hard trying to tone down the laugh appeal and focus on the core message.

So lessons learnt...
Comedy can swing both ways. Perhaps the common denominator in both careers is finding that insight that people can connect with which makes something ordinary have appeal. Perhaps advertising is trying to find that balance between laughs and sales. Either way usually the funniest adverts are the most memorable.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009


I've found a update in the Lite message board section. I promise to upload lots of useful blogging material soon. As i'm quite busy and have a lot of blogs saved as drafts I though i'd let the "shy" entertain for now.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A beer jumper

These knitted jumpers came to my attention earlier this week. Perfect for the ever increasing cold weather and cosy nights in the pub. Think id need a cider one though.

Not much really to report my end. But things are busy with a new account we have been given to work on. I might be shot if i reveal just yet who that is but we are really excited to be doing work for them. Its certainly a challenge but we have taken quite a different route. Instead of just getting a brief and asked to come up with a creative solution, we actually collaborated with planners to come up with strategies and mechanics. We found this method really insightful and made us much more wary of the brand and the target audience. We have to admit some of it was gobbledegook and a few marketing diagrams whooshed past our eyes making little sense. But it was nice to get an input into direction and approach. This ended up with us being able to define a brand tone of voice, look and feel which we later presented to the clients. It was nice to get insight and feel fully involved from the start and seeing how a planner mind works.

As another week unfolds, hopefully soon i will be able to post up some work we have done. Meanwhile i finally take the leap and move to London on Sunday. So i'd like to say thanks and goodbye to the following people that made my commuting lets say somewhat entertaining:

To the pair of guys traveling back from a night out drinking expensive saki. You did indeed have curious minds and my argument supporting advertising I hope did somewhat help convince you not all is evil in ad-land. I thank you for your in depth thoughts about digital advertising coming from as you named yourselves "cyber-geeks" and i certainly loved your theory that the recession is the beginning of World War three. Heavy stuff for a late night commute.

To the man in the tweed jacket. Your spatial awareness for leg space I found particularly bemusing.

To the men who love a window. I do hope your neck doesn't ache to much from the 45 degree angle you liked to posses for the duration of the journey. Or perhaps sit the opposite side of the train on the way back to at least keep some balance.

To the tutting men who missed their VERY important meetings. You can't beat a good loud British TUTT.

To the voluptuous family from Brum who decided to penn me in, now that was a cosy trip.

To the 26 drunken viking girls.

and finally

To the commuters who every day flock to find a seat they can claim their own for the next 60 minutes. I found coach D was the favorite hotspot for a good scramble. Its a tough game commuting and it wont be missed. Bring on the bicycle!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Behind the Idea

I was surprised to find a new weekly section has been added to the Metro, "Behind the idea".
Supported by D&AD, every Tuesday an advert will be chosen by an expert and analyzed. The first feature is by Paul Brazier, AMV/D&AD president. He focus on a viral ad which involves sheep with LED's on being chased into shapes. (see article below or on emetro date 29.09.09)

I'm intrigued to see how the public view this new feature, so I will be paying close attention to how long people spend reading the page and wondering if they are generally interested or they may in fact just be another ad man commuting to work finding a common interest. Advertising critiques are no longer tucked away in marketing trade mags, blogs and advertising sites. I think it's great as advertising should be a worthy page filler, becoming an industry that people like to follow and have an opinion, just like cookery,fashion,arts. It does however mean we might, if glossy mags take hold, we could start to see big red circles round typo errors and bad art direction or having such headlines as "when good concepts go bad".

Either way, its great that the industry is getting national publicity. It may also mean my mum might know what my job involves now and what makes a great ad!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Aim, Fire, SHOOT

My first month came to a fantastic end when i got to direct my first photoshoot. Once the work has all been completed and available I will post it up. The shoot, yet pretty simple in its direction ie,no awkward angles,specific lighting techniques or models/animals to consider. But it was great to work with a really experienced photographer,Alun Crockford.

Meanwhile I found this "Ten things I have learned" by Milton Glaser. His words insightful and i particularly like number 10- tell the truth. Glaser talks about how its the designer's responsibility to the public to tell the truth. I think this really applies to nowadays when people want to know more about the product than ever before- where its made, organic,fair trade, eco, efficiency and so on. Consumers can see a porky even if its not staring them at the face. However with increased consumer and product relationship I think more than ever before its the product's truths that advertising can exploit to build strong brand appeal, history and product differentiation. The truth has become a powerful tool.

Overall it just shows that with the nature of this industry, everything is constantly changing and indeed everyone is always learning something be it big or small.

10 things I've learned- Milton Glaser:
This is a curious rule and it took me a long time to learn because in fact at the beginning of my practice I felt the opposite. Professionalism required that you didn’t particularly like the people that you worked for or at least maintained an arms length relationship to them, which meant that I never had lunch with a client or saw them socially. Then some years ago I realised that the opposite was true. I discovered that all the work I had done that was meaningful and significant came out of an affectionate relationship with a client. And I am not talking about professionalism; I am talking about affection. I am talking about a client and you sharing some common ground. That in fact your view of life is someway congruent with the client, otherwise it is a bitter and hopeless struggle.

One night I was sitting in my car outside Columbia University where my wife Shirley was studying Anthropology. While I was waiting I was listening to the radio and heard an interviewer ask ‘Now that you have reached 75 have you any advice for our audience about how to prepare for your old age?’ An irritated voice said ‘Why is everyone asking me about old age these days?’ I recognised the voice as John Cage. I am sure that many of you know who he was – the composer and philosopher who influenced people like Jasper Johns and Merce Cunningham as well as the music world in general. I knew him slightly and admired his contribution to our times. ‘You know, I do know how to prepare for old age’ he said. ‘Never have a job, because if you have a job someday someone will take it away from you and then you will be unprepared for your old age. For me, it has always been the same every since the age of 12. I wake up in the morning and I try to figure out how am I going to put bread on the table today? It is the same at 75, I wake up every morning and I think how am I going to put bread on the table today? I am exceedingly well prepared for my old age’ he said.

This is a subtext of number one. There was in the sixties a man named Fritz Perls who was a gestalt therapist. Gestalt therapy derives from art history, it proposes you must understand the ‘whole’ before you can understand the details. What you have to look at is the entire culture, the entire family and community and so on. Perls proposed that in all relationships people could be either toxic or nourishing towards one another. It is not necessarily true that the same person will be toxic or nourishing in every relationship, but the combination of any two people in a relationship produces toxic or nourishing consequences. And the important thing that I can tell you is that there is a test to determine whether someone is toxic or nourishing in your relationship with them. Here is the test: You have spent some time with this person, either you have a drink or go for dinner or you go to a ball game. It doesn’t matter very much but at the end of that time you observe whether you are more energised or less energised. Whether you are tired or whether you are exhilarated. If you are more tired then you have been poisoned. If you have more energy you have been nourished. The test is almost infallible and I suggest that you use it for the rest of your life.

Early in my career I wanted to be professional, that was my complete aspiration in my early life because professionals seemed to know everything - not to mention they got paid for it. Later I discovered after working for a while that professionalism itself was a limitation. After all, what professionalism means in most cases is diminishing risks. So if you want to get your car fixed you go to a mechanic who knows how to deal with transmission problems in the same way each time. I suppose if you needed brain surgery you wouldn’t want the doctor to fool around and invent a new way of connecting your nerve endings. Please do it in the way that has worked in the past.
Unfortunately in our field, in the so-called creative – I hate that word because it is misused so often. I also hate the fact that it is used as a noun. Can you imagine calling someone a creative? Anyhow, when you are doing something in a recurring way to diminish risk or doing it in the same way as you have done it before, it is clear why professionalism is not enough. After all, what is required in our field, more than anything else, is the continuous transgression. Professionalism does not allow for that because transgression has to encompass the possibility of failure and if you are professional your instinct is not to fail, it is to repeat success. So professionalism as a lifetime aspiration is a limited goal.

Being a child of modernism I have heard this mantra all my life. Less is more. One morning upon awakening I realised that it was total nonsense, it is an absurd proposition and also fairly meaningless. But it sounds great because it contains within it a paradox that is resistant to understanding. But it simply does not obtain when you think about the visual of the history of the world. If you look at a Persian rug, you cannot say that less is more because you realise that every part of that rug, every change of colour, every shift in form is absolutely essential for its aesthetic success. You cannot prove to me that a solid blue rug is in any way superior. That also goes for the work of Gaudi, Persian miniatures, art nouveau and everything else. However, I have an alternative to the proposition that I believe is more appropriate. ‘Just enough is more.’

I think this idea first occurred to me when I was looking at a marvellous etching of a bull by Picasso. It was an illustration for a story by Balzac called The Hidden Masterpiece. I am sure that you all know it. It is a bull that is expressed in 12 different styles going from very naturalistic version of a bull to an absolutely reductive single line abstraction and everything else along the way. What is clear just from looking at this single print is that style is irrelevant. In every one of these cases, from extreme abstraction to acute naturalism they are extraordinary regardless of the style. It’s absurd to be loyal to a style. It does not deserve your loyalty. I must say that for old design professionals it is a problem because the field is driven by economic consideration more than anything else. Style change is usually linked to economic factors, as all of you know who have read Marx. Also fatigue occurs when people see too much of the same thing too often. So every ten years or so there is a stylistic shift and things are made to look different. Typefaces go in and out of style and the visual system shifts a little bit. If you are around for a long time as a designer, you have an essential problem of what to do. I mean, after all, you have developed a vocabulary, a form that is your own. It is one of the ways that you distinguish yourself from your peers, and establish your identity in the field. How you maintain your own belief system and preferences becomes a real balancing act. The question of whether you pursue change or whether you maintain your own distinct form becomes difficult. We have all seen the work of illustrious practitioners that suddenly look old-fashioned or, more precisely, belonging to another moment in time. And there are sad stories such as the one about Cassandre, arguably the greatest graphic designer of the twentieth century, who couldn’t make a living at the end of his life and committed suicide.
But the point is that anybody who is in this for the long haul has to decide how to respond to change in the zeitgeist. What is it that people now expect that they formerly didn’t want? And how to respond to that desire in a way that doesn’t change your sense of integrity and purpose.

The brain is the most responsive organ of the body. Actually it is the organ that is most susceptible to change and regeneration of all the organs in the body. I have a friend named Gerald Edelman who was a great scholar of brain studies and he says that the analogy of the brain to a computer is pathetic. The brain is actually more like an overgrown garden that is constantly growing and throwing off seeds, regenerating and so on. And he believes that the brain is susceptible, in a way that we are not fully conscious of, to almost every experience of our life and every encounter we have. I was fascinated by a story in a newspaper a few years ago about the search for perfect pitch. A group of scientists decided that they were going to find out why certain people have perfect pitch. You know certain people hear a note precisely and are able to replicate it at exactly the right pitch. Some people have relevant pitch; perfect pitch is rare even among musicians. The scientists discovered – I don’t know how - that among people with perfect pitch the brain was different. Certain lobes of the brain had undergone some change or deformation that was always present with those who had perfect pitch. This was interesting enough in itself. But then they discovered something even more fascinating. If you took a bunch of kids and taught them to play the violin at the age of 4 or 5 after a couple of years some of them developed perfect pitch, and in all of those cases their brain structure had changed. Well what could that mean for the rest of us? We tend to believe that the mind affects the body and the body affects the mind, although we do not generally believe that everything we do affects the brain. I am convinced that if someone was to yell at me from across the street my brain could be affected and my life might changed. That is why your mother always said, ‘Don’t hang out with those bad kids.’ Mama was right. Thought changes our life and our behaviour. I also believe that drawing works in the same way. I am a great advocate of drawing, not in order to become an illustrator, but because I believe drawing changes the brain in the same way as the search to create the right note changes the brain of a violinist. Drawing also makes you attentive. It makes you pay attention to what you are looking at, which is not so easy.

Everyone always talks about confidence in believing what you do. I remember once going to a class in yoga where the teacher said that, spirituality speaking, if you believed that you had achieved enlightenment you have merely arrived at your limitation. I think that is also true in a practical sense. Deeply held beliefs of any kind prevent you from being open to experience, which is why I find all firmly held ideological positions questionable. It makes me nervous when someone believes too deeply or too much. I think that being sceptical and questioning all deeply held beliefs is essential. Of course we must know the difference between scepticism and cynicism because cynicism is as much a restriction of one’s openness to the world as passionate belief is. They are sort of twins. And then in a very real way, solving any problem is more important than being right. There is a significant sense of self-righteousness in both the art and design world. Perhaps it begins at school. Art school often begins with the Ayn Rand model of the single personality resisting the ideas of the surrounding culture. The theory of the avant garde is that as an individual you can transform the world, which is true up to a point. One of the signs of a damaged ego is absolute certainty.
Schools encourage the idea of not compromising and defending your work at all costs. Well, the issue at work is usually all about the nature of compromise. You just have to know what to compromise. Blind pursuit of your own ends which excludes the possibility that others may be right does not allow for the fact that in design we are always dealing with a triad – the client, the audience and you.
Ideally, making everyone win through acts of accommodation is desirable. But self-righteousness is often the enemy. Self-righteousness and narcissism generally come out of some sort of childhood trauma, which we do not have to go into. It is a consistently difficult thing in human affairs. Some years ago I read a most remarkable thing about love, that also applies to the nature of co-existing with others. It was a quotation from Iris Murdoch in her obituary. It read ‘ Love is the extremely difficult realisation that something other than oneself is real.’ Isn’t that fantastic! The best insight on the subject of love that one can imagine.

Last year someone gave me a charming book by Roger Rosenblatt called ‘Ageing Gracefully’ I got it on my birthday. I did not appreciate the title at the time but it contains a series of rules for ageing gracefully. The first rule is the best. Rule number one is that ‘it doesn’t matter.’ ‘It doesn’t matter that what you think. Follow this rule and it will add decades to your life. It does not matter if you are late or early, if you are here or there, if you said it or didn’t say it, if you are clever or if you were stupid. If you were having a bad hair day or a no hair day or if your boss looks at you cockeyed or your boyfriend or girlfriend looks at you cockeyed, if you are cockeyed. If you don’t get that promotion or prize or house or if you do – it doesn’t matter.’ Wisdom at last. Then I heard a marvellous joke that seemed related to rule number 10. A butcher was opening his market one morning and as he did a rabbit popped his head through the door. The butcher was surprised when the rabbit inquired ‘Got any cabbage?’ The butcher said ‘This is a meat market – we sell meat, not vegetables.’ The rabbit hopped off. The next day the butcher is opening the shop and sure enough the rabbit pops his head round and says ‘You got any cabbage?’ The butcher now irritated says ‘Listen you little rodent I told you yesterday we sell meat, we do not sell vegetables and the next time you come here I am going to grab you by the throat and nail those floppy ears to the floor.’ The rabbit disappeared hastily and nothing happened for a week. Then one morning the rabbit popped his head around the corner and said ‘Got any nails?’ The butcher said ‘No.’ The rabbit said ‘Ok. Got any cabbage?’

The rabbit joke is relevant because it occurred to me that looking for a cabbage in a butcher’s shop might be like looking for ethics in the design field. It may not be the most obvious place to find either. It’s interesting to observe that in the new AIGA’s code of ethics there is a significant amount of useful information about appropriate behaviour towards clients and other designers, but not a word about a designer’s relationship to the public. We expect a butcher to sell us eatable meat and that he doesn’t misrepresent his wares. I remember reading that during the Stalin years in Russia that everything labelled veal was actually chicken. I can’t imagine what everything labelled chicken was. We can accept certain kinds of misrepresentation, such as fudging about the amount of fat in his hamburger but once a butcher knowingly sells us spoiled meat we go elsewhere. As a designer, do we have less responsibility to our public than a butcher? Everyone interested in licensing our field might note that the reason licensing has been invented is to protect the public not designers or clients. ‘Do no harm’ is an admonition to doctors concerning their relationship to their patients, not to their fellow practitioners or the drug companies. If we were licensed, telling the truth might become more central to what we do.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I spy with my little triangle eye

Maybe a current mini trend sweeping the design industries. Those 3 sided polygon wonders are making a big appearance.

Here's some i've noticed:
Melbournes new identity by Landor:

Kate Moross' logo:

Fashion Label Lacoste:

Barbican Art Gallery:

And for Advertising, Stella Artois:

Monday, September 21, 2009

When I grow up I want to be...

... self taught, title sequence extraordinaire... DAH DAH DAH... Danny Yount.

My gosh he has some skills. Beautifully directed titles to such films as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Reaping and tv shows such as Six Feet Under. I find the whole idea of being a title designer exciting, a mini film to set the mood about a film. Danny got media attention with his interactive portfolio all the way back in 1992, way ahead of his time.

Turn the volume up!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Week 2

Blumin ell, what a rollercoaster of a week.
So the first week nerves are dissapearing and actual REAL jobs and the deadlines they bring with them are emerging. Some deadlines like to come alone whilst other like to clump together.Proceed stress.

So the next thing i've learnt that education doesn't teach... being able to juggle multiple jobs. At uni it's just one brief at a time, progression from scamp stage non exsistent and progression from yourself non exsistent. So its been a tough step this week, learning just how the process from an idea being scribbled down on the side of a napkin to the same idea being produced and all the quality control it has to go through before it can be given the seal of approval and released to the masses.

Secondanly, your part of a team. You and your copywriter. Yet your roles are very seperate and being the art director you have alot of responsibility seeing a job go through. I didn't quiet realise how much I would be solely responsible for and how much longer a job will be lingering around whilst a copywriter once words are done and approved can get on with the next job. Its kind of like if an idea was a kid, the copywriter will leave the kid at nursery whilst the art director takes the kid to nursery and then works at the nursery. But at the end of the day you both go and collect the kid and take it home.

However my week was topped off on a high note when I got to visit the opening night of Ryan Mcginley's new exhbition Moonmilk in Alison Jacques gallery. McGinley has done work for vaious adverting photography for Levis, Wrangler, NY times.

Moonmilk is about "crystalline deposits found on the walls of caves, once believed to be formed from the light of celestial bodies passing through the rock to the darkened worlds below." Here's some of Moonmilk... imagine each image about 6ft high and they take your breath away.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Week 1

It's been a short week, mainly due to the bank holiday but also because time has flown. I was dreading the working hours, simply as before this job I was acting a lot like a cat, moving only for food/washing and sleeping in sunny areas of my lounge. But, this maybe just a first week novelty, but drawing scamps and generally daydreaming/chatting mixed with the odd meeting and the 3.30 complimentary snack break the hours just disappear. This is despite me still seeing both sunrise and sunset on my 2 and half hour return journey to the capital. Yes, a house in the city is my priority at the moment.

So Monday I turned up all eager and still confused that I was quite literally walking into my first job. I was shown my computer and desk and was quickly hurried into a meeting to get briefed. I sat there, not quite knowing how these things run, but it went as follows,(in Chuckle Borthers style sketch to-me-to-you) account man-cd-us-cd-accountman-us-senior-us...US...oooh US, and at the end of 30 minutes we had our first complete job, starting from scratch with job number and a job bag! OH yeah!

I also got to art direct my first piece of work to a designer to mac up. Again a little odd as im used to just directing myself but was great watching an expert do their own thing and make ideas come to life as you visioned.

So here i am, first week down, absolutly shattered and still holding onto my Saturday job to make ends meet, with one day to rest, I will start all over again on Monday.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Job Title

Well, it's been a while since my last post but a lot has changed.

Firstly, I have a job! A proper salaried, sick pay, holiday pay, rent pay job.

Yes. Im as stunned as you. It all happened very suddenly but from today I'm getting paid to be a junior art director. It's a very odd feeling and I think I'm very fortunate to be offered a job so quickly, especially in the current crumbling economy we live in.

So, where do I go from here? Well I sure have a hell of a lot to learn and it's time to move to London.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Variations on the Normal

I got shown a great blog awhile back (Thanks Angus) I don't really ever comment about other blogs, but this one I thought deserved a little mention. The blog is by Dominic Wilcox. He is "an ideas man who works within the area of the ‘everyday’. Everyday objects, environments, buildings, human interaction, no area of normality is out of reach. His work, which is usually layered with an ultra dry wit, places a spotlight on the banal, always adding a new, alternative perspective on things we take for granted"

Here are some examples of his thoughts and ideas from his blog:

It's precisely this kind of lateral problem solving style of thinking that I really like. Just the simplest of thoughts mixed with genius moments makes me sick with jealousy and envy.

Friday, August 21, 2009

This is what happens if I don't leave Somerset!

Now my big sister always advised me to leave Somerset asap. It's a tad small and not alot to do! I thought I would share this little activity that fellow somersetarians like to do... dress up the sheep. Yes, that's right dress up some sheep sculptures that are on a roundabout. christ. Heres just some of the outfits they have done...


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Above the line, through the line, below the line, what line?

I was having a chat with Cate about our possible options of what type of agency to choose. We have a few things lined up but we aren't sure what direction to take. I compared it to the military, yes that obvious connection. Its like you want to join, but which part, (no particular preference applied here) army (through), navy (below) or airforce (above) and the SAS (digital, the section of the military that everyone talks about but no one quite knows what they do!) Without experiencing each part how will you know which area to join? After all you don't want to stay in the airforce but have a fear of flying! So in other words, we need a few other placements to decide where we want to settle.

But back to the present. We have a book crit at Leo Burnett next week with Ed morris. So, I'm currently residing at Cates to get our book up to scratch and in tip top condition.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Supermarket Sarah

Wouldn't it be lovely to set up your own agency in your front room? Well it could be possible (that's if i actually owned a property). Sarah, from Supermarket Sarah, shows just how lovely it can be done. Yes, it's not a agency but I just love the way she's took initiative to set up a shop on one wall of her house. The wall changes according to stock in and colours. Each item can be clicked on and bought. Ahh tis lovely and double bonus she invites people around for tea and cake (by appoitment only)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Show and Tell

Ahoy there,

I'm back from my travels. I've seen pirate ships, towers, shores,the high seas and parrots, lots of parrots.

Along the way, my attention was quickly grabbed by the maritime flags used on ships to communicate messages. Each flag denotes a letter and/or message. A prize will be awarded to who works out what the above maritime flags spell out, answers on a postcard please (or comment)! I find this type of visual communication intriguing. I think it's the interactive, code breaking instinct bit that interests me. Brings me back to the old theory days of semiotics and reading the signs. In this case more consciously reading the signs than subconsciously. But never the less its a successful style of communication that has stuck out the years.

so my actual holidays are over and in between Cates holidays and HS&P placement, I'm now having a go at sorting "emilyandcate.co.uk" website out.

Websites, Blasted things. I think maybe my over ambitious website plan maybe indeed scrapped. ooops. So for now I'm going to put together a simple website just to get the ball rolling. However, one would suggest using a website template guide such as Carbonmade, saves time and looks sleek. But im developing a nasty taste for ".carbonmade" sites. The reasons you may ask? Well i've decided, its simply lazy and lacks any personality. I know that pretty much everyone in my class had one. I'm starting to think its the black, polypocket filled portfolio of the online world ;boring and lacking any sort of creative finesse. I would like to know other peoples opinions on this subject... am I just jumping onto creative snobbery land? Or, as creative and Juniors at that are like pack hyenas,slobbering all over the same placments and jobs, that we should be making more effort with our self promotion from the pack and avoid pre-made sites?

hmmmm rant over... I did have a relaxing holiday, honest!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Take a Break

I'm on holiday this week. Bournemouth in fact. Been sunny thus far!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Back to School

Apart from the traveling (or how I like to rephrase, to make it seem a tad more optimistic, the "4 county challenge"), this week has been, so far, great for many reasons. The biggest obviously has to be working with Cate. We have settled very quickly into our new team.

I've decided that I wouldn't bore you with placement details but I will bore you with what i've learnt instead. After all it's now about the next step and pretty much forgetting everything you've been taught at Uni. A big old slap from the real world.

Day 1- Don't be kind to kids.
When returning home on the train,when asked by an innocent small kid, "is that paper?" (glaring at my scamp pad) why yes, (brain kicks in... oh samaritan moment ).. "would you like some?" Kid takes paper. Next moment, one scamp has become 100 mini scamp pieces all over a Great Western Train. So now i've learnt just don't be nice to kids, they waste your paper.

Day 2- Room to grow.
When the office is full up, the cafes a great spot. Especially on Oxford street. Star gazing central. Stars so far seen...
Tim Westwood, Willow (From Willow) oh and Lawrence Fox. Cate had to explain who Fox was but i was still impressed without knowing who he was.

Day 3- Uri Geller
This week has been a crash course with Cate. Luckily things are going well and one skill we now both share, telepathy. awesome. So, if you ever see us looking at each other with blank faces, they aren't just moments of complete blankness but we are simply just telepathically communicating.

Day4- Exhaustion strikes
Shit days happen

Day 5- It's a small world
Today we met Paul and Dani at Inferno. Over a drink (We owe you one) and got chatting. I have to say you both talk a barrel load of sense and we both came out feeling very inspired and nudged into a good direction. Thanks guys, and I hope we can buy you a drink back very soon!

So week summary:
Uni doesn't really teach you jack all

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A True Trooper

I thought I would make this post a homage to the grasshoper that survived a 90 mile journey on my wingmirror. Against all odds, 80mph winds, stopping and starting he made it.

Apart from all my UK galavanting, I will finally be starting a placement joining Cate at HS&P on Monday.Hurrah

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Today's Nude

Whilst I have been sat around waiting for placements to start I came across a Channel 4 series called Life Class: Today's Nude.. It's a series where for 30 minutes a well known artist talks through and draws from a nude model. Artists have included John Burger, Judy Perbeck, Maggie Hambling, Humprey Ocean and Gary Hume. It's filmed mainly looking at a still frame of the nude model so viewers at home can join in and draw with the artist.

Louise France from the Guardian described the series as "Full frontal nudity! On Channel 4! Before lunch! You can imagine the knee-jerk reaction already but a wonderful new series on daytime television makes for some of the most unusual, thoughtful programme-making you're likely to experience. Meditative, slow-moving, repetitive - Today's Nude is everything that most television output isn't, and all the more magical for that."

I think what I like about it, is that it brought back the 5 years I spent at life drawing classes. I decided that I would perhaps persue a more conceptual art career in favour of fine art. But I do miss that silent, break in the day when it was just you and a massive board with crisp white paper stretched on and usually a piece of charcoal and 2 hours drawing would fly by. But apart from nostalgic reasons, I liked the TV format, which seems like a unique concept (and having nude people on at 12:30 pm!) It's kind of like a cook-along show but for life drawing. It certainly breaks up the normal morning TV shows we are used too.

Catch up with the series here