Monthly Archives: June 2013

“I’m undaunted in my quest to amuse myself by constantly changing my hair.” — Hillary Clinton

I only have one question. Where did they get it all?

behind the scenes: http://http://vimeo.com/69204699

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seeing different differently

Joe and I were thinking of moving closer to the beach. With traffic it’s a thirty or forty minute drive to Santa Monica. Without traffic it’s only fifteen. But distance from the beach wasn’t the only motive to move- we live in a ghetto part of LA. Our first week here it was funny. The second and third week it began to feel inconvenient. Food4Less is the only thing in walking distance and driving anywhere in LA takes three times as long as it should. Now that we’ve lived here for almost a month, the area is beginning to feel comfortable. It’s been nice to leave the shiny, crowded areas of LA to cross I-10 into our shabby, familiar hood. This feeling first hit me the other day on a run. Here’s what I wrote right after, you could blame the whimsical drama on my heart rate.

Just went on another run through our hood. No really, it’s the hood. But this evening I realized some things. Maybe it was because I had my headphones in, and maybe it was because the music (lord huron) was inspiring, but things began to look appealing. Dare I say beautiful? I dare. I’ve been somewhat of a close minded jerk recently. This neighborhood is risky at night. It smells like the ass-pit of a circus sometimes. But it’s also different. Really different things happen on the corners and streets in low income areas, and I’ve noticed they aren’t all scary. Today I passed about six churches, all of them covered in posters, and loads of kids hanging out and kicking balls around the church schools. I saw two moms walking their twin girls home. Each had one hand full of groceries, the other hanging to their spastic kid. I saw about four packs of old people literally leaning against walls, smoking (cigs), laughing, and talking. It seemed like a familiar spot to meet, and none of them were in a rush to leave it. I saw an old lady with far too much make up on waiting outside a beauty salon in a broken chair. What looked lik her husband was standing up next to her, staring off across the street. She didn’t need another beauty appointment. Block after block I saw old vehicles that I haven’t seen in such quantity since I was about ten. Seriously, I saw two different colors of the ’98 Dodge Caravan my mom quit driving eight or nine years ago. I saw posters and ads that were obviously outdated. No one’s buying the space, but no one bothered to take them down either. The architecture in the area is interesting, too. All of the houses, buildings, businesses look like they were booming about thirty years ago. Gorgeous design but zero upkeep. My street is  like a ruin, waiting to be wandered. Colors, typefaces, words, behavior, sounds, and just general lifestyle that seems old and slow. It’s a rarity in that aspect. I like it.

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During the same run I took a breather break to Instagram these and more, captioned “#ghettobeauty”. Go see what else shares that hashtag. Seriously, search it. A real photo series (with my real camera) of life in my neighborhood is coming soon.

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The Pussy People

this would be make a great dog food ad

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It’s More Than Sugar-water (sometimes)

“With the Small World Machines, Coca-Cola continues its positive-driven multi-year initiative which sees Coke re-imagining its dispensers and trucks, turning them into gift boxes and carriers of happiness.”

Touchy-Feely Belongs at Work Too

This morning the interns were summoned into the front conference room. Actually, I had no idea of this meeting. I was busy searching for another intern who had accidentally deleted half of my life from our work computer. I may elaborate on that later. I may never speak of it again. 

In the search for Mackenzie I found a conference room full of people and realized why our intern tables were empty. They were ten minutes into a presentation and I was clueless.

There’s a lesson I apparently haven’t learned: constantly check your email, or get left behind.

Luckily I hadn’t missed much, the lecture had just begun. The morning’s shit-comtances would soon turned to a thoughtful lesson over something called “Emotional Intelligence”. 

Presenting was a nice man who teaches leadership, in this case intern leadership.  His voice made him seem approachable, relatable, but in control. I knew he had to be a teacher, then he told us he had taught at SMU. We, the college-aged interns, watched and listened to his presentation intently. Which is saying a lot for a patchy projection from Dallas, Texas. 

Pointers I gained from his style:

  • Use KeyNote, it’s more attractive and simple. 
  • Draw information from different sources then connect them in clean fashion. Though his presentation was over a theory for working style he used visuals, facts, and stories from all over. Newton, Bill Gates, himself, etc.
  • Be yourself, talk slowly. He might’ve said “you know” too much, but aside from that I felt like I was in a one-sided discussion, not a lecture.

But it’s his substance, not style, that really had me interested. 

Emotional intelligence, or emotional quotients (EQ), are sort of parallel to intellectual quotients (IQ). A person’s EQ is their cognitive ability to identify and control their own emotions to better a situation. Unlike IQ, your EQ should grow your entire life. So that’s how Annie seems wise and retarded at once!

Poor woman- that was harsh. My grandmother’s unbelievably cool.

To place EQ in context, he told us of historical genius’s that went no where after diploma day. 

Here’s a few gems took away:

  • Awareness of other’s emotions begins with a high awareness of your own.
  • Awareness of you emotions doesn’t mean you know how to control them. 
  • Know who you’re talking to and dial your diction accordingly. Communication’s easiest when both parties are comfortable.
  • Landing a jobs isn’t about being liked by the right person. It’s about being liked by all of them AND a skillful follow-through. 
  • know your coworkers, especially those you admire. names and titles are important. 

None of this is groundbreaking news to be, but it felt nice to be reminded. It also felt good to listen and learn from a lecture– it’s almost like I missed it.

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What They Said

– Milton Glaser, designer behind “I ❤ New York” logo

Tweets Turn Wheels for Progress

Minddrive, an after school non-profit in Kansas City, Mo, has been teaching “at-risk” teens mechanical engineering since 2009.

Recently, they travelled to Washington DC to support education reform in one of their electric creations. But there’s a twist: the entire trip was powered by word-of-mouth.

In their “Social Fuel Tour” video, Minddrive asked people to share their cause the way they normally would (using social media channels and functions like shares, tweets, etc.). They then converted that buzz into electricity for their travel! As a young group looking to drum up attention for legislative change, banking on the energy of public buzz turned out to be a brilliant move.

Minddrive scored big with us on this innovative use of social media by taking something organic but typically passive, like discussion about education change, and turning it into something active, immediate and observable in the real world.

More on Minddrive and their efforts.

A Dose of Happy Spam

One of my duties as concept/copywriting intern is to compile varied inspiration. I write about this content for our company’s Tumblr page but some of my favorites are included in agency-wide email, “The Creative Corner.”

Here is last week’s inspiration for the e-mail. My boss reminded me to pull from various buckets, so I chose historical, semi-philosophical, and design centered articles.

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The NY Department of Records just released two million photos of untold stories and scenes forgotten. See it.

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Nike restructured the Air Jordan, then their site, with a wildly creative user interface. Browse it. 

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Thomas Kolster (copywriter) talks sustainability and why it belongs in the world of ad making. Read it.