DO YOU DOODLE? (my Monday meeting ritual)

space scene doodle artwork

space scene doodle artwork

I used to doodle incessantly when I was a child. I can still remember trying to sell my juvenile artwork to my parents for extra chocolate bar money during my pre-kleptomania (read: hustlin’) days. I also remember this habit/passion/pastime trying to be exorcised out of me during my school years.

I was always something of a daydreamer. My eyes would be locked on a swaying tree outside, my mind would have me be living as Superman, and my teacher would be shouting my name across the classroom.

“So nice of you to join us, Mr Kirton,” she’d say sarcastically.

“I could kill you with one punch,” I replied telepathically, my crooked smile and rhythmic nodding putting her at noticeable unrest.

She’d return to her chalkboard of authority and I’d return to doing some actual good. The world needed me!

I find it funny that I am now employed in a profession where the ability to daydream is part of the gig. As much as “creatives” embrace the whole oddball persona, being a little bit “out there” is necessary to deliver great conceptual work. I just love that my colleagues don’t find it weird when I spend Monday morning traffic meetings invested in my notepad, exploring worlds far beyond the reach of the real. #perksofthejob

Or maybe they do notice, but don’t feel comfortable enough to test my Cheshire grin and psychopathic nod. Can’t say I blame them.


A Meeting of Microexpressions

Wayne's World

“I’m not here for the radio ad or the brochure. I’m here to build your brand to what I believe it can be!”

A barely perceptible twitch caught the corner of his mouth and curled it up for the briefest of moments. It’s called a microexpression and (mostly) all people demonstrate them.

What it told me was that this guy takes the name of his business to heart. And he should. After all, it’s his livelihood. And while this may not seem like anything special to some, to me it makes all the difference.

“Oh, he’s just so passionate!”

Ever heard that said about someone? What it basically describes is someone who puts their whole heart into what they do and who they are. It also describes a characteristic I look for in potential clients.


I’m a dreamer. When I was a kid my parents called it “Wayne’s World” – that magical place I would disappear to where I could recreate reality as I pleased. I ended up never leaving Wayne’s World. Instead, I chose to rather find people who were interested in joining my dreams. Nothing’s changed.

When deciding on a client to invest significant time and energy into, it makes sense to do so with one who shares the same passion and ideals as yourself. To overlook this most basic of requirements is to whore yourself for a date neither of you is truly interested in; the fruits of which are often unsatisfying and riddled with worms.

If I’m going to do great things – or any of us, for that matter -, then I need clients who not only believe in what I do, but who also believe in my passion for their brand. The simple fact is that the work I do for them carries my name on it. Literally. And I take this point seriously. It’s in my best interest to supply them with the best work I possibly can, which can only happen with complete faith and trust.

I spoke about his brand like a dreamer and it made him happy.

Wayne's World
Party time! Brand excellence!

It really did! I watched him light up as I explained how social media could be used to engage his audience and keep his profile current. We all want to believe in something better. I think a lot of times life just makes us jaded to the thought something better exists. But he saw what I felt. I told him I care about his brand first and foremost and that, I believe, is what any good business owner wants to hear. Especially when it’s the truth. And he knew what it meant in the bigger picture.

I wasn’t selling a 30-second radio slot or a three-page brochure. I was selling an idea: The idea that his brand is the most important thing in the world of his business. And it deserves originality, integrity and love.

I don’t know if I’ll ever hear from him again. I’ll make my follow-up call, but there’s only so much one can do. I’m not looking to strong-arm anyone into anything. If a client is willing to pay me for the services I offer, I hope they do so because they believe both in me as an artist and business leader, as well believe in my passion for them, the valued clients I humbly serve.

Only time will tell if we’ll work together professionally, but the way he appreciated what I had to say about his beloved brand made me happy at the thought of working with him at all.

Happy Monday!

Back to the Future (of Advertising)

Business Cat

“What the hell is this?” I asked like an uncultured brat, holding up what I know now to be a leopard print catsuit.

“It’s a catsuit” replied my mom.

“Is it dead?” I inquired further.

“For now,” she said. “But don’t worry; it’ll live again.”

What she was implying, I learned, was that fashion is cyclical. Something is dope for the moment, then loses its presence. And the only thing that can give it any presence again, ironically, is its absence.

Fashion Cat
I can haz dignity?

We are creatures of progress: Opposable thumbs, the Magna Carta, stem cell research, Nicki Minaj. My point is that as we create, so we set the foundation for new creations in the future. What started as chemistry experiments resulted in effective batteries, which in turn resulted in the concept of “electronics” becoming an actual possibility. This is something we now all take for granted.

So what is it, then, which compels us to retrace the timeline? To resurface what has been buried? To partake in what has already been enjoyed? Is it nostalgia? Is it something more? Seriously, I’m asking, cause I don’t know…

I came across this ad today promoting the new Ikea 2015 catalogue. It’s a parody on the current state of digital marketing – specifically the iPad. It’s a throwback to the beauty of the old – of the humble and noble book: The Champion of Alexandria.

Featuring “zero page loading time”, “tactile touch technology” and an “eternal battery”, it’s clear that the bookbook by Ikea is the next big thing.

Here’s the ad below. Let me know what you think of it. Personally, I love it. Then again, I might just be old-fashioned. Enjoy!

Radio, Folio and After Effects, yo!

I’ve been meaning to upload my digital portfolio for some time now. I think having it exposed to a broader audience will provide great insight.

I used to be semi-proficient in After Effects. My skills have since receded to the point where I needed to Google the shortcut key for RAM preview (it’s Num0 if you’re wondering). In any case, I decided that I could bind my need to upload my folio to my desire to increase my After Effects proficiency. Expect more of these, in increasing elegance, in the future.



writing typo

Did you catch that tipo? Because your client did.

It happens so quickly. And right now, spreading through their subconscious is the niggling presumption that maybe your business is just not as upright as it claims to be. I know, it’s only a spelling/grammar/contact detail/technical/legal gremlin – oh so silly –, but these things matter. It shows you care about your communication with the clients you so passionately and thoroughly serve. Take it away and they are left dialling the number of a Chinese take-away that sadly isn’t yours, wondering why the hell they bothered to respond to your ad in the first place.

Food for thought.

writing typo
You go, bro?

What’s your brand’s story?

What’s your brand’s story? And believe me, every brand has one.

You see, there are two types of brands existent in the world today: managed and unmanaged. Unmanaged brands flap their business image like the untied sail of a ship. So as the winds of perception blow, so the sail draws flat against the current, forever at the mercy of the whims of the external world. A ship lost unto the tide.

Managed brands, on the other hand, understand that only a vessel with a sail strung towards a fixed direction reaches its destination. Maritime analogies aside, the important thing to take away from this is as follows:

Your brand has a story. End of story. Either you are controlling, managing and utilising that story to the greatest benefit of your business, or you are not.

Writing, simply stated, is the art of telling your brand’s story. It’s the difference between “get it done” and “just do it”. It’s the solution to the 06:30 vs. six-thirty conundrum. It dictates whether your customers are interested enough to listen to what you have to say, and whether or not they’ll believe you if they do.

Do I have your attention now?