I’m currently working on a portfolio to carve the new path in my “Yes You Want To Be A Writer But Mayhap You Should Get A Secure Job In It As Well”. So I’m gawnah beyuh Cahpeewriter.
I sat on the train this morning, thinking about the work my AD and friend, Maki, and I had accomplished. It felt right.
But it didn’t start out that way, ask the ECD (Executive Creative Director) whose office I bombarded for weeks. Three revisions happened off mediocre ideas stringing from a pretty solid platform for 3M Scotch Brand Tape. The first try was weak, the second was better but not there by any means and the third…Ah, the third. I love the third.
But had I not been told twice prior that the work was crap, I would never have gotten there. What we ended with would never have been my first creation, it took a lot of wincing and erasing and second guessing before I could look at a line- without the presence of a gracious ECD-and know deep down that it was right.
And what if life was like that?
Imagine an Erika sitting in a Life Office, the ECD of the Real World staring back at me with an expectant smile. He asks,
“Well, Erika… What are going to do? It’s your senior year.”
“I’m moving to New York, to be an act-”
“To be an actress… yes, of course. Very cliche…a bit done, no?”
“Well, yeah…but I’m-”
“Different? Ha. I mean, you are, of course you are, but acting doesn’t want different.”
“So….what are you suggesting?”
“Oh I’m not suggesting anything, it’s all up to you. But, look- you’ve got a great platform and you don’t have to go the normal route, or the cliche route- give me something solid. Give them something solid. But creative, new.”
“That will take some thought.”
“So come back with something better, we’ll meet in a week. You’re a tough one, you can do this.”
Obviously impulse is good, I’m not saying we shouldn’t follow our gut. I wouldn’t be in NY if I hadn’t.
But wouldn’t it be lovely if that impulse had been acted upon, like a rough vision written down in sloppy copy, and taken to your Life ECD on a quarterly basis? He or She would look at it, suck it in and spit it back out- and you’re left considering the spittle of your work thus far and how you can improve it.
The Life ECD in question, in reality, should be your parents as you start out in your world. When you grow into your own, when independence is shaped, the Life ECD should be you. We go years and years over analyzing the most trivial of things when we should be revising our plans based on the person we grow to be- as a singular person you never stop shaping. It’s the mindset of a true artist, one should never be fulfilled, nothing is ever perfect….And if anyone dare tells you you are, step away. That’s the account person blowing smoke up your ass and it’s the last thing that will ever benefit you.
The cardboard is, not you.
I want to be successful in my new path, but to be successful is to be your well versed Life ECD- be honest about who you are, what you’re doing and what you could do to make it all better. If half of the people that fill my silent commute would strive to live like that as well… Well, we’d be one hell of a well oiled Real World Advertising Agency.