Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Death by a Thousand Cuts

Last week, on Linkedin, someone posted a question to creative people,

"What percentage of the time do you feel uncomfortable at the beginning of a creative assignment?"

In a show of false bravado, I offered the very glib,

"O%. It's only advertising."

A weak attempt at humor to say the least.
But also mostly true.

Because I've been doing this for a very long time, longer than most 44 year olds care to remember. And I've built up a healthy reservoir of self confidence. Particularly in light of the fact that I've presented work, directly, to creative directors like Lee Clow, Steve Hayden and David Lubars.

And I've been in several hundred million pitches, seated across the table from people like Bob Iger, Elena Ford (of the Ford family) and even Andrew Puzder, who was at one time Precedent Shitgibbon's nominee for Secretary of Labor.

Plus, in addition to my thick nose, my thick feet and my thick chest, I have unusually thick skin. Made even thicker by my numerous trips around the sun. I'm at that privileged point in my life where I simply don't give a shit.

Allow me to clarify. I still give a shit about the work. But after the work is created I'd rather spend my time invoicing for it and not defending it.

Recently, my partner and I did an outdoor campaign (my favorite medium) for a new client. They loved the work. They thought it was "fun", "provocative" and "disruptive." Maybe a bit too much fun, too provocative and too disruptive. Because the positive feedback was immediately followed by the negative feedback. The hemming. The hawing. The second guessing. The omnipresent "ass-covering." And of course the backpedaling.

Thankfully, it was all done with one of those Love/Hate phone calls. I love hearing the work hit a nerve. I hate everything that follows.

At the very least it was another deposit in the my bank of self confidence.

You see, I can still come up with great ideas. I just can't be there when those great ideas get watered down to good ideas and good ideas get dumbed down to crap ideas and crap ideas get committee-fucked into whatever it is I'm seeing so much of these days.

That I can't do.

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