Today it's difficult to draw the distinction between work and play. I feel like if you truly want to love what you do, make sure that work is playful so that everything you do can be considered 'work' in a positive sense, but not necessarily a job.
Please give us a brief bio of yourself.
I love to make things. that's my job. i collect tattoos, i'm a peanut butter enthusiast, and I live in brooklyn with my dog. This is my 2nd interview on The FWA. I'll be curious to see if i've changed all that much in a year and a half. Currently Executive Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi NY, prior to that I was creative director at Rokkan and before that, a creative director at JWT NY and so on and so on...
What do you do for inspiration?
Recently i've been running a lot. I just took up surfing (I try to go in the mornings before work), playing music regularly and generally immersing myself into things that have nothing to do with advertising or marketing.
Please list 3 of your favourite sites.
google (dot com), netflix, gramfeed
How many hours do you work each week?
I think i'm constantly working. I'd say I tend to be in the office anywhere from 50 - 100 hours a week depending on what's happening. but i suppose everything i do can be regarded as work in some form or another.
How do you relax or unwind?
What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?
I think the hardest part is my favorite part, and that is making something you love and feel strongly about. I often get stuck on making that a reality when you fold in all the other parties that are part of the project. Internal team members, clients, etc. The challenge is being smart about doing what's best for your client and what's best for the work and they are not always the same thing.
How many projects does your company juggle at any one time?
I'd say that there are currently over 80 open briefs in the creative department right now.
Who is your target audience?
This varies from project to project. The latest trend among our clients is tackling the Millenial crowd. Get them excited and the others will follow.
Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?
Absolutely. It is still a fairly prestigious achievement within the industry and we're always happy to be awarded one.
What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?
My very first site was for a band I was a part of in High School. It's definitely not online, but I used a lot of visuals from the artist Dave McKean and taught myself how to code nested tables in HTML. This was probably some time in 1996.
Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?
When I was 4 years old i wrote a book called 'Rocks'. You can take a wild guess on the subject matter.
Are there things you do OUTSIDE of work to ensure that you are in the right mindset to be creative and/or successful in whatever you are doing?
I recently discussed a similar question with some friends. Today it's difficult to draw the distinction between work and play. I feel like if you truly want to love what you do, make sure that work is playful so that everything you do can be considered 'work' in a positive sense, but not necessarily a job. My brain is always on and regardless of where I am, I may come up with an idea for a paying client or an art project or a song, or a collaborative piece with a friend, and that is all 'work' in some form or another it will all be beneficial to my career.
The web is getting out of the web. Do you find that thinking in digital solutions alone hinders you? Do you feel the urge to solve the problem using all mediums necessary?
Absolutely. All the lines are blurred. We are makers of things so we should strive to make the best things and use the appropriate mediums to spread those things based on the idea.
Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?
Who knows if we'll even refer to them as websites, but in 10 years everything will be connected in some for. It's content consumption and we'll always have it at our fingertips it will just get easier for us to access it.
Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?
Working at one of the larger ad agencies, I'd say we don't really produce websites as much as we come up with digital ideas that support the over-arching campaign idea. We're really proud of the work we just did for Trident on The Fun Audit and we are currently in the middle of some other really fun digital initiatives.
Do you think Flash is here to stay?
I think this is truly a question for Adobe. Flash is a truly powerful tool and they are a smart company. As the web evolves they quickly find the appropriate places for flash. I don't think it will ever die, just evolve as the web does.
What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?
I taught a class on web design @ Pratt Institute for a few semesters and there were more than a few students who were already great designers. I think design is something you either have or you don't. You can always increase your skill level, learn to use new tools, teach yourself new tricks and get a better understanding of the basics and it's history, but you don't necessarily need to attend design school to get into the field. I didn't. I have a degree in film making.
What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?
My own body
What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?
More smart work. Building digital experiences and tools that are valuable to our consumer, that are part of our client's DNA and ladder up to the big ideas we come up with to help elevate the brand and make our audiences love them for giving them valuable content. If we can 'TELL' people less and 'DO' more for them, we will win.
What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?
One of the new Mac Book Pros
It has been a privilege, thanks very much
Thank you. It's always an honor. Cheers.