Sep 16, 2008

Joker’s 20 on 20 -- Prostituted Thoughts --

If anything in my reality is clear is that I enjoy random reads and love finding new blogs to have a look into how some people blogthink. Just in case and for clarification, I truly believe people have a specific way of thinking when it comes to their blog content, how they write and the virtual blog representation of who they are. That’s blogthink as I see it because you only have to try to write in another blog to notice how differently you think things from one draft page to the other. So a while back among comments left on this blog, I come across a blog called Prostituted Thoughts. If you like random musings of a Jr. Art Director with a uniquely twisted way of seeing life AND a random obsession with midgets, Sarah Palin’s punani and interesting artwork you should most definitely hop over to his blog. Ad content and random rants galore and chuckles are just a post away. Here’s #12 in Joker’s 20 on 20.

20 bloggers

20 questions

Some comments

0 editing… well maybe a spell check here and there.

1.) If your blog had a trailer and the late great Don LaFontaine read it, what would it say?

In a world of sensible organized blogging controlled by topic driven intelligent writers and account people with real life experiences and opinions, lives a small time art director.

::dramatic music lead by string quartet:::


Topics flow from his fingers like soda from a McDonald’s fountain machine. Effortless and completely free like an experienced streetwalker in Amsterdam, until one day… his world is turned upside down…like a snow globe…being turned upside down. And this time, everything…will not be… alright.

2.) How much do your thoughts charge for a blowjob?

They require a fresh pack of Black Forest gummy bears and a thank you, at the very least.

I actually prefer Haribo Gummy Bears… though not for giving head.

3.) Design your own Olympic event.

I don’t have an event per se, but the one thing I have noticed is the lack of little people representation. They have the Olympics and they have the Special Olympics. But why is there nothing for midgets and dwarfs. I suggest the Olympic committee stop discriminating and start giving what the public wants.

Not to be overly mean… but I’d like to see the pole vault.

4.) What does it take to have a good day at work?

The perfect day at work begins with a perfectly brewed cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee (large hazelnut, cream and sugar). This is very important. Then I need at least an hour to check all of my morning websites and there would have to be set blocks of time worked into my workday to write blogs as necessary. I would have a proofreader sitting bedside me at all times. They too would have to drink Dunkin Donuts coffee. I would spend the majority of the day brainstorming with my copywriter (‘cause lets face it…that’s the best part of making ads). At 4:45, we would show our ideas to our CD, account people and the client all at once, and they would love ALL of it immediately and cohesively. They would pat us on the back and invite us out for dinner and cocktails. I would then take car service home. The end.

Ah… the difference a good cup of coffee can make. Just ask Jane Sample.

5.) When did you say, yeah, I'd love to be in advertising?

I believe it was the first internship I had in college at a medium travel marketing company. I was staring at the fence between creative and account and decided to give my life up for free in the traffic department. My logic was that I would “see all sides” of an agency. My boss was kind of cool and she arranged that I sit in on a creative team’s brainstorming sesh. I had never laughed so hard inside any workplace before in my life. I knew I wanted to be a creative at that very moment. There was also a burning bush and some miracles…but that’s kind of the boring stuff.

I also did my own version of seeing all sides of an agency. I worked as an AE assistant for 6 months though some days I also helped media people, traffic personnel and pretty much any loose end that might need tying.

6.) Which would you rather be, Governor Palin's intern or the official hot female Olympian masseuse?

Ummm, her intern. Because lets face it…there is no way Gov Palin goes a day without receiving a massage from someone. All that moose hunting in Alaska really stiffens up the joints. And…I wouldn’t have to do a damn thing. Because not only is she not expected to know all the necessary information needed to be a presidential candidate, but she seems to have to drive her internal will to educate herself. I would have enough 9 to 5 time to keep my blogging up and I assume there would be tons of private jets and chocolate covered strawberries.

Funny how a smoking hot VP candidate can come from such a frigid place.

7.) A couple of bands that have changed your life.

Boys II Men
The Beatles (recently)
The Backstreet Boys (don’t ask…)

I promise I won’t ask… I’m afraid of what you may answer. :D

8.) Some accounts you have actually enjoyed working on and why?

Well, I’m relatively new to the industry and I’m about as junior as an Art Director can be, so in my job, there is a lot of spec work and “helping” of the higher-ups. But as far as work that is completely mine, I do have a full-page ad for an insurance company that should be running pretty soon. They had a really boring POD and strategy, and the client is not that exciting or risky in general, but I think I found a particularly interesting way of conveying what they wanted to say. I also have this online banner ad that I am working on which will be completely different than anything my company has ever done in the past. It’s the future man.

To be honest, no one is totally sure what the future will be. Trends can be predicted but that doesn’t mean it’ll be the reality of any of what gurus and knowitalls predict to be the future of advertising. Honestly, I see ad tycoons fighting to justify absurd amounts of spending and online advertising is a growing trend more than anything because you can better monitor what a person does in a site vs. assuming someone watched a highly rated program on TV.

9.) A woman asks if you have a love rug, what do you do?

I unbutton the top 3 buttons of my shirt immediately. My chest is not all that hairy, but it’s the right thing to do. If there are no buttons…I would have to rip my shirt open. Let us hope I have buttons.

May the buttons be with you.

10.) You are assigned to design graffiti for a pro bono, what account would you like it to be and what would you put in the artwork?

For some odd reason, right now, I really want to make work for a fashion client. I think that there is so much creative marketing potential that goes untouched in the fashion world-especially high fashion. It’s stuck in a sad boring box. And that’s unfortunate…because it is such a creative field. On another note, I think there is something completely fresh and ground breaking in this street art phenomenon that is occurring. There has to be some client that can take advantage of it.

I think some of the best conceptless art direction is done for fashion advertising. Beautiful layouts, photo treatments etc, but largely without any type of ad soul… though who ever said advertising had a soul.

11.) If you had to make a top ten list of why advertising sucks, what would it be?

In no particular order:
- the people in advertising. Egos. Egos. Egos.
- clients have no idea what they really want.
- you can no longer smoke and drink in the office.
- there are little to no minorities in this field. And while there are a lot of cultural and social reasons for this. Plainly put…it sucks.
- regular people don’t understand what you do. It seems cool in theory, until you permanently memorize a 6 minute explanation of your job description for strangers, that you can rattle at the drop of a dime.
- CD’s and ACD’s are old. No matter how hard they try, they are always a little out of touch and they are very moody.
- Big companies don’t invest in culturing their creatives (or at least mine doesn’t). We are your money makers…try to feed our mind sometime. Even if we don’t learn anything new…it’s worth the investment. I know, it’s partly our job to do this, but sitting around in a cubicle all day is not the best way to sprout creative flow.
- Generally speaking, ad people are weirdoes. And when it comes to certain things…they don’t know when to shut their mouths (this is a personal one, lol).
- They lied about summer hours. And now I have a trust issue.

I think your first reason is a mixed bag. I’ve met incredible people in advertising. People who I am thankful for knowing, namely my fellow WAS bloggers and a select crew of people I’d always love to work with. I’m not too sad about not smoking in the office and hey, in long nights I’ve had my fair share of drinks. Shit you NEED something to ease the pain of working late to help sell more chicken.

12.) Have you ever seen anyone checking out your blog?

Ha, only my girlfriend. But I’m pretty sure she was just trying to turn me on.

It worked.

Pinch them virtual nipples and un cyber your sex. :D

13.) What has been the most important lesson work has taught you?

There is more to making an ad than simply making a good ad.

Interesting, for me, one of the lessons would be that it is up to you to care for the quality of your life. If you’re willing to be responsible and do all the work, few people will get in the way of your crusade.

14.) When was the first time you read WAS and how'd you get to our little blog of hate?

I actually clicked on a link (Me’s link) in the comment section of Where’s my Jetpack.

Then thanks to Jet for the great blog and for leading someone here. Hope you enjoy our coupled madness.

15.) What would you ask for in a copywriter? I refer to skills not breast size or a Palin Smile.

Well, since I’m so heavily restricted…all I ask for in a copywriter is that he/she is a hybrid of an actual writer and a copywriter. I know that in a perfect world, the two are one, but more than often my writer writes me into a corner. Good writing does more than complement a visual…its more than just copy. It literally has the power to make or break an ad. It’s also nice if a copywriter has an opinion on more than just the words in an ad. I’m not asking for them to be artists, but art directors easily fall into visual traps- staring at Photoshop all day long can fry the brain. Tell me if something looks stupid before I show it to my CD please. Oh…and all copywriters should naturally act as a thesaurus and spell-check. Oh… don’t be a douchebag- I get it, you are smart and know a lot of words. Oh…and be funny. Lets just say that if they were the opposite sex, I would want to date them.

I totally agree in regards to not limiting oneself to one’s own discipline. If I see something out of whack visually, I’m going to say something because I expect my artist to call me on my bullshit with lame copy. My main problem is that I’m pretty sure I’m a would be writer stuck as a copywriter.

16.) What college courses were absolutely useless to your future?

Greek and Roman Mythology in my undergrad. I did get an A+ in the course though. I was really into it, but I don’t think all the retained knowledge on Zeus and Juno well be my saving grace any time soon.

You’d be surprised how random shit comes to help you out when you least expect it.

17.) Give three titles for 3 posts you think would be interesting for me to write?

How hot is Megan Fox.

The difference between Copywriters and Art Directors and Graphic Designers (I love that creative series you just finished, and selfishly want more)

Why Advertising Sometimes doesn’t Suck

Coming soon.

18.) The best thing about NYC is?

The diversity in general.

19.) Name 5 Guilty Pleasures from Prostituted Thoughts

It’s important to note, I have ADD in every part of my life. My focus changes from hour to hour. Here are a few things I’m into right now:

- The Olympics, in all its glory.
- Celeb gossip. I’m not as bad as I use to be. But I still need my fix.
- Sarah Palin. And the rest of politics…I guess.
- Haruki Murakami, a very cool Japanese artist.
- Midgetville. I haven’t written about it…but it’s this “urban legend” of a town out in the middle of Pennsylvania that is made exclusively for midgets. They have miniature houses. And for some reason…no one has ever seen a midget actually in the town. But, when regular sized people enter their community, they are assaulted with rocks. It’s like the movie The Village. I can’t even begin to explain the theories I have in my head. It’s ridiculous.

Feel free to elaborate on your little people fascination. Should make for some very interesting reading.

20.) A question that might need an answer from a certain joker would be?

Well, as I read your blog, I learn more and more about your dissatisfaction with your job as an ad writer. It started off as a dream gig, and now that you are witnessing the realities of it, your creative criteria is not being met. And that’s sad, because you do seem very talented. Is there anything that can change you mind /make you stay in advertising? Or is there a clear distinct line between advertising creativity and lets say…. a novel writer, in which satisfaction cannot be met? Is it as simple as you either like it or you don’t? Give us young creatives (especially the ones in ads school some advice). That’s like 10 questions all in one…I’m sorry.

Well hell of a multiple part question, but hey, you asked so here goes. This will probably be a long ass answer so get ready.

First off, thanks for saying I might have talent. Trust me, I try and do on this blog what I’m not allowed to do with my job. As for if there’s anything that can change my mind about advertising, well yes. All I need is to find a place where I’m not asked to underperform. One of my main gripes with most jobs I’ve had is that either internally or via the client, we’re constantly asked to do something less compelling than what can actually be produced. Often times I find myself having to over justify or rationalize advertising that could work if given a chance and am met with people who will look for any excuse to make you scrap what you’ve done and follow their lead right back into the box. That’s not to say every place is like that, I’m just saying it’s a lot more common than should be the case. Secondly, Ad Agencies aren’t exactly known for their excellent working conditions or satisfied employees. Just look at the turnover rate and ask around to see how most people feel about their job (though I think it’s just natural to hate where you work). As for staying in advertising, I’ve honestly been giving this a lot of thought lately because I’ve been able to see things that really rattle you. I’ve seen responsible people get canned because they’re over 40 even if they did everything right but since they wanted to have a life and not work every Saturday of their lives, they weren’t considered a team player. I’ve seen people with more than decent skills be jobless for long periods of time. I’ve lived having to resign to be offered more money (by the way, if you resign, it’s often wisest NOT to take a counteroffer and stay where you are). As for the work, I’ve said it before and I’ll quote myself: “Being a creative is the perfect job in theory and utterly frustrating in practice”. We should love what we do, but in my case, I’m often pushed to just wanted to get work out of the way rather than embrace it and it mostly has to do with someone thinking that X or Y artwork won’t connect with a demographic I’m a part of, go figure. As for satisfaction being a novel writer VS an ad writer, I don’t think there would be ANY project I could love doing more than writing a book. I’m at chapter 36 of my first full blown book and trust me, I love every single page I’ve written because it’s been quite a release because it’s been my creative call every shot of the way and if I win, lose or draw, it’s on me, and that I can handle because at the very least, I’ve enjoyed the book immensely. So in a nutshell it isn’t as easy as liking your work or not and true, there’s a lot that has to do with how you take situations, but I think there’s only so much you can take before you want to do something else unless you find a place where you enjoy working at. For that you need interesting projects, interesting accounts, interesting clients that challenge you but that want to work for the best creative rather than the one they think is right, a place where you don’t feel like an alien (chemistry helps you suck it up more than you know), a boss that inspires you, is fair and backs up his point rather than a jelly back numnut who has NO say in the final decision, CEO’s that try to connect with his employees, etc etc. I’ve been in advertising 5 years, but I’ve worked with enough artists, enough hours and on enough accounts to fill at least 8 years. I’ve worked at least 2-3 years of extra hours that haven’t been paid. I’ve worked with almost 30 artists and I’ve worked in a tad more than a handful of categories. I’ve worked large brands, small brands, local brands and whatnot and the problems always seem to stem from the client or an AE. I’m sure if you ask a client, they’ll say AE’s and creatives are difficult and AE’s will say creatives and clients just never cooperate. It’s a blame game rather than teamwork to do the best job you can.

Want some tips? Here’s 10.

1. Don’t believe this is a glamorous industry. It is not. It’s a job and though some places might kick ass, most don’t.

2. Get ready to have good work maimed and ruined. Get ready to have your best work shelved and locked up in a deep dark cavern never to see the light of day.

3. Be prepared to work your ass off without seeing one cent of extra pay. Extra hours, work weekends, lunch at your desk… it’s all a definite possibility.

4. Be cautious where you work at. I wasn’t and though I’ve gotten a shit load of experience, just look at how satisfied I am.

5. Do your best not to take things personally. There are hordes of people trying to justify their salaries and they’re in between you and getting good work done.

6. Be nice to everyone. That way when someone gets on your bad side, people will know the problem is not you but whoever messed up with you.

7. Never let work get in between your health and your social life. I’m not saying don’t stop hanging out, I’m saying if you are made to feel guilty over going to a family outing on a Saturday, you’re working at the wrong place.

8. Look around and pay attention. You can learn from everything and everyone you encounter. Talk with everyone because guess what, you can learn a lot from the person you least thought could help be it professionally or personally. This means, if there’s a frustrated person, lend an ear, maybe you can help or maybe you can learn.

9. Don’t ever copy from Archive. If you happen to do an idea that’s been done, that’s human, but ripping off something is never something you should remotely consider unless you don’t give a shit about scruples and lack a conscience.

10. Once in a while, imagine what you would do if you weren’t in advertising. You might just get to the point of taking your own advice.

Wow, that was a post unto itself.


Chef Joker


Me said...

Fuck. I just read about not smoking at the office anymore and I froze up. Have to finish reading this post later, as I am seriously affected by that line.

I MISS CIGARETTES. Smoking is awesome...

Dwight said...

Man... I've been reading this guy's blog for about a week or so and all along i was thinking yesss i want his job. After this i feel sad... sounds just like my current job except with a cooler title. :(

Anyway great interview, it was very entertaining (and informative too) :D

shaun. said...

thanks for the interview joker.

good stuff.

PS thanks for answering my multi question. i snuck that in there at the end.

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