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A Copywriter Writes

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DAN WATSON

Kiwi copywriter.

Illustrator on the side.

This blog is filled with stuff that simply comes to mind that's too long to tweet.

It's mostly my observations as I try to make it in the advertising industry. It keeps me writing and, hopefully, gets you reading.

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  • September 9, 2011 3:01 pm

    Approachability or, The Type Of Creative Director I Wish To Be: Part 1

    Basically, my long term goal is to one day (hopefully in roughly 12-15 years) be a Creative Director of a sweet agency.

    If you were to talk to many creatives my age at once, that life goal gets really old quick.

    But it’s my goal and even though the needle on my experience dial points just above ‘Fuck All’, I’ve taken to already preparing myself for the role.

    This means I’ve carefully watched and learned from the CDs I’ve already had the privilege to work for in my short, but illustrious career to date.

    There are a number of qualities that I both admire and dislike in CDs I’ve observed or just heard about that I wish to either emulate or avoid.

    However, I tend to think of them as I see them and say to myself,

    "I want to be just like that when I’m older."

    or perhaps,

    "I must not let myself become like that when I get older."

    So I shall talk about these qualities one at a time.

    Starting with one of the most important, in my book.

    Approachability.

    From what I’ve learned, if a creative feels comfortable with their CD, then they’ll show them any old crap they’re working on and seek an honest opinion, the way it should be.

    Alas, sometimes the creative is shit-scared for their CD for a number of reasons, and so they self-judge themselves heavily and end up presenting what they think are their best two ideas, or at least what ever that they think is worthy.

    Sometimes, this may be due to something that the CD simply cannot help. For instance, if the CD is incredibly successful and influential and thus as intimidating as the meathead dating the girl you’re crushing on.

    I know I’ve been there, I’ve worked for a CD who I could only dream of working with in my uni days. When that time did decide to grant itself to me, all I thought about was not disappointing him. All he had to do was enter the room and I’d be sweating bullets faster than a gatling gun.

    This can be good for a creative; a nice motivational kick every day. But it’s a bit too far when you panic at the thought of showing the ideas you’ve come up with to them.

    Other times, the CD is just gruff and speaks their mind, no matter who gets wounded and maimed in the process. That probably works for some, for the rest it has us trembling so much we can’t hold our Moleskines properly.

    Being able to simple stroll into your CD’s office and spit across some first thoughts at them without taking a second one is a crucial factor to a young creative’s development, in my humble opinion.

    I had a CD once who had approachability down to an art. He would saunter into the office, ask us how we were and not even ask to see our ideas sometimes. When we offered, he would simply shrug and say,

    "Yeah, sure. I mean, if you’re ready. No rush."

    And just like that, we’d be at ease.

    And no anxiety meant less pressure.

    It also meant a desire to impress, as opposed to a desire not to screw up.

    Big difference. Especially when you’re talking about creative productivity.

    All, in my eyes, dependent on how approachable you are as a CD.

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