I started my career working on print ads about oscilloscopes for engineering magazines. When I would see what agencies like Wieden+Kennedy were doing, it was like a David-Blaine magic trick to me. How they came up with that stuff, and how they sold them to clients was a mystery to me. A mystery I wanted more than anything to figure out.
I eventually met a W+K creative director who agreed to look at my portfolio, and told me that my work was solid, but that it lacked “a voice” and that he wanted to see “my voice” come through the work. I had absolutely no idea what that meant. What was my voice, and how did I make it “come through in the work”? I thought about it endlessly and eventually figured out that my creative voice is just my unique creative sensibility. The problem was, I didn’t know what my unique creative sensibility--I loved so many different things. So I kept trying to figure out what set my voice apart from anyone else’s.
I discovered that biggest clue to your creative voice is the work you love the most. Not just what you like, but what you LOVE. What are you obsessed with? Of all the work in the world, what are you the most jealous of? What do you never tire of watching/looking at? Whatever that is, it’s a clue as to what your own creative voice is, and the type of work you should strive to make.
After creating a method that helped me zero in on my voice, I threw out my entire portfolio, and started over with the determination to only include work that represented me, and the type of work I loved and wanted to do. I set out to create a polarizing portfolio, that would repel people and places I didn’t want to work for.
When I finished this new portfolio of spec work, I had been working in the business for 3 years. Some agencies and people thought I was too old to have a spec book. Luckily, Dan Wieden wasn't one of thoseyou'll.
I hope you'lll start worrying less about what others think, and more about what you think, and what you love the most. Zero in on the creative work (not just ads, but everything) that you're the most obsessed with, because the more clear your creative voice becomes, the more powerful your work will be.
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Among other things, I'll walk you through the step-by-step process for finding your unique creative voice. Spots are very limited and you can apply for the next session here: https://schoolofastonishingpursuits.com/tasap/course-description/
“Remember when working in advertising was fun? Good. That's the way it's supposed to be. And on top of providing great advice to help you be a successful creative in advertising, Creative Megamachine also reminds you that it's ok to love what you do. Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned vet, Creative Megamachine breaks down each lesson into easily digestible steps to push you to be the best, most prolific, most creative version of yourself.”
- Mike Blanch, Group Creative Director at TBWA\Chiat\Day
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Stars: 5 out of 5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (the good sparkling ones even!)
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