I just finished reading the Steve Jobs biography, and the one thing I picked up from him is that sometimes organizations have to believe in something that is not proven and gamble it all. It is my feeling that the members of the Art Directors Club want a resource that forces them to become better creative professionals. As the new Executive Director of the Club, I will be betting all my chips on the future—studying, learning, exposing and embracing the changes we face now, and will face in the years to come.
For 92 years (which is older than most of your grandparents), the Art Directors Club has been at the center of the advertising, design and visual communications industries. Huddled around this core, have been agencies and creative professionals that came to the Club for two main reasons: to network and to celebrate the best work created by their peers. It was an easy formula for the members, and an easy matter for the Club to implement year after year.
The social, technological, and interactive environments have instigated substantial change in the industry and in our lives, and this change has forced everything and everybody to evolve. Some of us resisted, some embraced, and some of us are still trying to come to grips with it.
Moving forward, The Art Directors Club is going to be different. We are not going to keep on doing what we have done in the past, rather we are going to throw ourselves headfirst into the uncertainty of change—and revitalize our mission to Connect, Provoke and Elevate. It’s easy to see where the industry is going to be tomorrow, but can you see a year into its future? Three? Five? The role of the new Club will be to start focusing on predicting the things that will come tomorrow, and to empower and educate our members to face these changes.
In an industry that doesn’t really believe in career education or training (ask most creative directors if they have taken management or technical training courses lately), the Club will become more than just a meeting place. It will become the place for our members to learn—and be exposed to topics, technologies and thinking that they won’t find in their day-to-day work experience. The Club will become your part-time University. Whether you drop in for a drink at one of our many events, or visit the websites to read an article or watch a video, I will make sure you come out a changed person and a better professional.
Sometimes you will come out with answers to your questions, sometimes you’ll come out with more questions, but I promise you won’t come out the same. It’s our obligation to you, and it is the challenge I have set for the Club.
Before online social networking came along, people actually used to meet face to face. Those were the days of ‘Humanbook.’ Call me old school, but I plan on bringing that back big time. Most people change jobs like a frog jumping lily pads in a storm, and I have discovered that the best business contacts throughout my life were always the ones that came through unexpectedly at events where I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone.
Our industry is changing so fast that you can’t even buy or write a book about it, because by the time it is published, it’s old news (imagine buying a book on social networks a year ago). The only way to pick up the freshest, latest know-how is to get it straight from the source of the river. The fact that this is usually done over drinks at the Club can’t hurt! Anybody want another cocktail alongside your web 2.0 know-how? I’m in!
You will notice that the Art Directors Club will be focusing a lot of energy on creating new content for the industry. Most advertising associations, non-profits and award shows tend to steer clear of controversial issues. But topics like racial discrimination, the role of women in our business, the debate of comp and agency pitch work, crowdsourcing and the role of award shows should be topics that are dealt with directly, openly and perhaps even harshly. The Club should be the neutral stomping ground where these debates take place, and I plan on facilitating that for all of us to talk, debate and learn from each other. Like Ken Blanchard, a world-renowned speaker said, “None of us is as smart as all of us.”
I know all our members understand that change is here, and instead of shielding you from it, we are going to hold hands together and step forward in unison like an unstoppable force towards it.
I hope you’ll join me.
ADC Board members Rei Inamoto, Robert Wong, Brian Collins and Board President Benjamin Palmer speak about ADC's new direction and leader.
Rami: One of my earliest assignments was some smut requested by my classmates in the 5th grade. In 1991 I broke my arm while on a cruise ship with my parents and learned afterwards to draw with my left hand. That was fun, and caused a lot of "awe" in both kids and grown-ups. I was a big fan of music, MTV and magazines such as 90s staples The Face and Select, and VOX which was NME's monthly glossy mag. Also I read Peter Bagge's Hate magazine a lot because I felt Buddy Bradley was my imaginary big brother and understood me. I went to art school because i liked to draw and had already spent a lot of my time doing so. Eventually years later I started doing illustrations by two lucky coincidences: my job at advertising agency was depressing and at the same time i was asked if I wanted to have an agent to sell my drawings. I would think the sum of these events led to me doing what i do nowadays.
Q: What were some of the struggles you went through to become an illustrator?
Rami: I attended art school, and did a couple of internships with lots of sitting around and smoking indoors. I fell out with my best friends with whom I started a small company (we're good now, though). I worked in the post office, too. I let my mom and dad pay my telephone bill for way too long. Eventually I was able to "quit my day job" as illustration work began coming in.
Q: What are some of the struggles you face on a daily basis?
Rami: I would say the main everyday struggle is to make some kind of schedule for the day and try and surf the internet as little as possible (or dick around in general) in order to get stuff done before late. Then you have time to do other fun stuff too like walk outside, bike, pick mushrooms and whatnot. I feel lousy everyday with so many fucking awesome illustrators around who draw better and funnier than me. Also I feel like Andy Millman from Extras, always wanting to do something "more real" than what's on the plate, but I'm sure that's what's it's like for everybody. So I'm definitely not complaining.
Q: What are some of the struggles you have with clients?
Rami: I have hard time when the brief changes to something else mid-way or something like that. And general rudeness and bad communication puts me off too. Also I don't dig when i feel like somebody wants to change my drawing just to get their say.
Q: What's the craziest thing a client ever said to you?
Rami: The clients have all been pretty polite, I can't actually remember having heard anything outrageous. I get "can we get this for free?" a lot, though.
Q: How do you motivate yourself in spite of said struggles/hurdles?
Rami: I try and think of all the fun stuff I can do after the job's done. I get to sit down and listen to good records all day. Plus I tell myself I can't act like a baby cos I'm "a pro" now.
Q: What's your least favorite part of the process?
Rami: I would think my least favorite part is cleaning up the illustration and checking it out so that it looks all nice and tidy and ready to be delivered. Also I'm a little paranoid "somebody" will modify my vector lines, so I try and make it so it's very difficult to do so just in case. Or starting up a new job can be difficult also, especially if there's a new episode of Weeds waiting. Then again, going to the kick-off meeting can be a bitch too.
Q: What makes it all worthwhile for you?
Rami: I have flexible hours, and I can buy a lot of LPs as inspirational material. Also there's a theoretic possibility to indulge in some moronic fun action because i'm "an artist" like for example my mom thinks. Sometimes you allow yourself to sleep in. And sometimes somebody says something nice about my work - I'm very easy to please.
Q: Were there struggles with the creation of this campaign?
Rami: There were absolutely no struggles creating this campaign, as I got to draw what i like to draw, and the brief was spot on perfect and clear and the client was very easy to deal with + fun like hell AND from NYC too.
Q: What does "Keep fighting the good fight" mean to you and what are your views on the topic of this campaign?
Rami: I would think it means that ad man's life is a lot easier if he doesn't let every dickhead get under his skin, but rather keeps calm and finds alternative ways to beat them / make everybody happy. That's sort of what I'm trying to do at least...
Q: What advice would you give yourself if you could go back and tell your younger self something?
Rami: Be more extroverted, be nice to people but don't try and please everybody. Don't point and shout. There's a million things I would say, so it would take so long eventually the young me would be an old fart again!
Audio NSFW. Keep fighting the good fight. Featuring Lewis Black.Enter now.
The Art Directors Club, the premier organization for creatives in integrated media and the first global creative collective of its kind, today announced a lively new campaign by DDB New York to promote the call for entries for the ADC 91st Annual Awards.
The integrated campaign, launching online today at www.adcawards.org and through a global print mailing on November 1, encourages creative teams around the world to "Keep fighting the good fight" despite obstacles to creating great work.
DDB, serving as the club's creative partner for the ADC 91st Annual Awards, developed all aspects of the campaign strategy and execution. The agency worked with Finnish illustrator Rami Niemi to design artwork for nine CFE posters and postcards showing humorous situations in modern day advertising that illustrate the impediments and obstacles to creating great work.
The posters include headlines such as "I think we should schedule a meeting" overlaying a visual of a meeting already in progress. Another poster, depicting a photo shoot for a can of unbranded tuna, has a client stating, "I want it to be Irving Penn meets Helmut Newton."
The agency also tapped renowned comedian Lewis Black, famous for his idiosyncratic comedy style, to create an original rant recording for the campaign. The animated rant video features Black channeling his inner advertising creative and fuming about the pressures of agency life with double-edged witticisms such as, "Comedy routines are developed over lifetimes. Movie scripts are crafted over years. But a compelling message to woo consumers into a buying frenzy… Yeah, we're gonna need that by three o'clock."
The agency has also created online banner advertising that will appear on leading advertising and design industry sites.
"DDB New York went above and beyond the call of duty to give us a truly integrated campaign," said Olga Grisaitis, director, ADC. "Creatives will relate to the portrayal of the challenges they face each day in the creative process."
"We wanted to give a nod to all the pain and suffering that every creative person goes through in order to produce a great idea," said Matt Eastwood, chief creative officer, DDB New York. "From getting the idea through the account team to the client meeting to the final production, there are so many hurdles and so many casualties. We wanted to encourage creatives to 'Keep fighting the good fight' because in the end, an ADC Cube makes it all worthwhile."