THE LIE OF WRITING

Everyone lies about writing. They lie about how easy it is or how hard it was. They perpetuate a romantic idea that writing is some beautiful experience that takes place in an architectural room filled with leather novels and chai tea. They talk about their ‘morning ritual’ and how they ‘dress for writing’ and the cabin in Big Sur where they go to ‘be alone’ - blah blah blah. No one tells the truth about writing a book. Authors pretend their stories were always shiny and perfect and just waiting to be written. The truth is, writing is this: hard and boring and occasionally great but usually not. Even I have lied about writing. I have told people that writing this book has been like brushing away dirt from a fossil. What a load of shit. It has been like hacking away at a freezer with a screwdriver.
— Amy Poehler, Yes, Please h/t Austin Kleon

I CAN'T DRAW... YET

Look ma, my first #ShArt!

Look ma, my first #ShArt!

I've always envied people who can draw. Just watching their process is mesmerizing. I love the movement of the pen, the deep concentration on the canvas, and the clarity you must have to take something that's inside your head and put it on paper. Maybe that's why I got a job where I get to work with art directors. However, even though I love art, I am a really shitty illustrator.

I want to change that. So, I'm going to start a small project — Shitty Art or #ShArt, for short — where I take idioms and puns that make me groan or smile (or hopefully both) and turn them into illustrations.

The goal is for me to become a better illustrator and hopefully a better thinker. I'm going to do one a week and honestly critique them toward the end of the year. Fair warning: this is going to get ugly. But, I've never been one to hide my failures.

Follow my march against mediocrity on Instagram and Tumblr.

 

BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO GO THROUGH THE GATE

The hardest thing about starting a new chapter is not knowing what's on the other side. Will you fail, or even worse, will you succeed? If you let it, that question alone makes life stand still — for days, months, maybe even a lifetime. When faced with a gate, don't ask yourself what will happen after you go through it. Ask yourself what will happen if all you do is keep asking.

THE SAME SCRIPT WON'T MAKE THE SAME AD

One of my favorite technology ad campaigns of all time is the HTC You campaign (see below). I remember thinking the first time I saw the spot, "They get it!". The perspective of the phone's view, the way it's shot, the way the VO is read, and the script that makes you think differently about this thing that lives in our pockets — they nailed it.

Then I saw this newer HTC ad last week (also below). I couldn't help but be disappointed. It's virtually the same script from 2009. But it's all wrong. It's like the ad lost its soul. But it did teach me one thing — a script can only be so good. Yes, the script establishes the feel, but that feel has to be carried throughout — from the way the VO is read to coloring.

2009

2015