A few posters I made last quarter, for Journey of Type with Matt McFadden. 17 writers, 9 posters every week, one font, one cool class.


David Carson, start running.

Picture 4


Amnesty Int’l – Control Arms campaign.  Joy Divisionesque?

Picture 2


This one might be my favorite…

Picture 3


Put down the Germ and WALK AWAY

Advertising creatives are receptacles for useless information. We dump everything we find straight into our brains, let it seep out slowly. Hopefully, it leads to some interesting work. It can also have drastic repercussions.

Ever since I completed a print campaign for Purell Soap, I’ve become a full fledged germaphobe. I wash my hands constantly – 4 or 5 times a day. I scrub before I eat anything. I pound fists rather than shake hands. I de-MUNI-fy with antibacterial spray sanitizer after riding the metro.  If I forget to spray – it’s like skipping yoga for a day – something’s off.

Then it got worse. I started to realize how many surfaces my hands come into contact with everyday. Think about it. Then I paid attention to how often my hands make it into my mouth. It’s astounding. Automatic.

How other people do the exact same thing? Could I continue to trust them? I drew parallels with the ultimate health trap: ‘If you sleep with this person you sleep with everyone THEY slept with.’ Now I can’t touch a doorknob, ATM keypad, or shake hands with a stranger without wondering how many people had sex on them.

Before I Cut the Cake

I turned 26 years old last week. Go me!

I don’t get the idea of birthdays. You’ve made it! Great job! One year closer to death! But I do appreciate the alcoholic traditions associated with the holiday. Because isn’t that what birthdays are? Holidays? Except this time, we’re celebrating you.

Here in SF, friends gathered together for parties and pints. I was there, too.
In LA, the family I currently speak to raised hell over kebabs and Persian rice. Edahn and Varda presented me with a 21.5-inch monitor after I cut the cake.
It is huge. And yes, that is what she said.

Spirits soared the day previous, when after my daily dose of chi kong, I discovered an email from the internship coordinator. I clicked on the email.
The message opened. I began reading.

Congratulations. You will be attending the Crispin Porter and Bogusky Greenhouse in Boulder, Colorado for your summer quarter away. First day of class is Monday, July 6th and ends on Friday, Sept 11th. Please bring oatmeal cookies and Belgian beer for the entire creative department.

CP+B is the mother agency of the school. We are its suckling babies, mouth closed tight on its creative nipple. They keep their people busy busy busy, and I don’t plan on sleeping much during my Ad-venture. Ha. I love puns. Suck it.

In short, next week the Bay Area will release me from its grip for six months.
I hope to return stronger, wiser, and able to survive on four hours of sleep a night. Boulder first, then who knows? Paris, Tel-Aviv, Sydney? Choices, choices…So many choices! Well, as the old saying goes: Never complain if you’ve got too much peanut butter on your hands.

Stop. Collaborate and listen. 12 things picked up in Miami Ad School.

indifferent1Portfolio school is a revolving door of people and personalities. Every class becomes its own family, full of laughter and smiles and enough drama to put my Iraqi aunts to shame. I met some folks from the first quarter in one of the classrooms, bombarded with questions. It was kind of surreal, and I remember doing the exact same thing when I started at MAS. I don’t remember the conversation verbatim (it’s been a long week and not over yet), but here are some things I’ve come to learn while studying at Miami Ad School in San Francisco. They’re fairly copywriter specific.

1. Learn the design programs. Your art director will appreciate it when you handle execution of a bullshit project, and come through when their expertise is most needed for the serious ones. ADs can sometimes let loose with art direction, and you need to be able to communicate why the second word in your headline is too slanted and illegible.

2. Write a ton of lines. Don’t write lines you think your teacher will like. Write lines you like, that are meaningful to you. And save everything. Microsoft Word doesn’t care about that extra bullet point item. I can’t tell you how many times my teacher saw treasure where I only saw trash.

3. WRITE IT DOWN. Carry a small book and mini Pilot pen with you everywhere. My neighbor Zeev told me a rule: 3 breaths, and it will pass. If a thought pops into your head, and you take three breaths without putting it to paper, it disappears.

4. Pay attention to what people say. Last quarter, I focused on design. Now I listen and observe, observe, observe.

5. Don’t suck up to teachers. Some of them are as old as you are. You can be normal.  Talk about stuff unrelated to advertising, share links, show them shit you’re working on outside of class. They have interests too.

6. If you show a line or idea to someone and they say it doesn’t make sense, trust them: IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY FUCKING SENSE. Fix it, burn it, get over it.

7. Make friends with art directors, and give them changes in bundles instead of bits.

8. Speaking up helps. If a teacher asks for ideas, bring them to the table. But strive to shut up a lot more often than open your mouth. The popular kids at school are usually the nicest and friendliest, not the ones who need to prove themselves, their artistic talent, or comedic abilities during class. It’s annoying, we’re all artists here, and your parents are the only ones who think you’re funny.

9. Stay in your own world, while looking at what other teams are doing. It’s easy to be impressed, then jealous of how extensive and amazing your friends’ projects are. Be happy for them, and make your shit better. You’ll spend more time gawking at what they’re putting together than getting anything done.

10. Don’t talk shit about people. Everyone develops a reputation at ad school. The smiling nice guy. The IT person. The networker. The kick ass illustrator. It works both ways. The creep. The annoying one. The flake. The drama queen. The shit talkers and the gossipers. It’s unfortunate, but once you develop that brand, that shit sticks and that’s how people remember you. How do you want to be remembered?

11. Unless you’ve gone through a writing or design program, you will suck in the beginning.  Ad school is this introspective process, where you come in full of passion and life and unbridled enthusiasm. It’s so cute…But your work is a lot of crap. Most of it comes from regurgitated commercials and snazzy headlines you hate. The GOOD news is that you get better. You filter out more and more of the crap, realize that YOU DO have innate TALENT, and more importantly, start treating yourself, your reader and your teacher with respect. People avoid advertising. You are a person. Go from there. It gets easier, and you get better.

12. Read. Read fiction, books, nonfiction, magazines, blogs you like.  Read an assload. It makes you a better writer and is better than reading: Settlers nearly made all the buffalo extinct. Here’s how. (Product shot of a gun) Hey. That’s actually not such a bad line. I bet it will be in when I look at it 6 hours from now.

Writers I like to follow, and suggest the RSS: (There are others out there…But it’s fucking late and if I don’t stop this, this will become the longest post on this blog)

Andy Pearson (headline a day page)

Journal of a Junior Copywriter

Makin’ Ads

Stories in 4 Words

I’ve been kicking myself in the head recently, feeling frustrated with the level of my work.  I write ads that sound like ads. My headlines sounds like sleazy sales pitches – there’s no story. The nice part is that I’m no longer in denial, and being conscious of my weakness only toughens my self-editing filter for crap. Still. It takes work to boil down words into something interesting. Focusing on a specific product, like Floss or the San Diego Zoo, complicates things only further.

So I came up with an exercise that yielded a lot of interesting lines.

The challenge is to write a 4 word story – something that conjures up a visual image, a story, a beginning, a middle, and maybe an end. Here are the results. If any of these make you laugh or think, then do a shoulder dance and go eat some chocolate. Write your own in the comments, should you get inspired.

  • Covered in Sharpie. Everywhere.
  • Fuck you. You’re grounded.
  • She’s still sinking, Sir.
  • They also took your dog.
  • Your ACL is destroyed.
  • The plumber didn’t answer.
  • My God loves you.
  • I’ve got till noon.
  • Let me touch it.
  • It’s fucked. You’re fucked.
  • Not Guilty. Jesus Christ.
  • Your dad looks high.
  • The rabbi molested me.
  • She just stopped breathing.
  • We’re moving back in.
  • Killed by Disco.
  • I’m pregnant. You’re thirteen.
  • Did you swallow it?
  • Don’t invite the Canadians.
  • The drugs started working.
  • I’m keeping the penthouse.
  • She removed everything. Everything.

why work when you can live?

i’m going to post a short story im working on in a few days, and would appreciate anyone and everyone’s feedback. it’s a flash fiction piece, and i dig it. a tragic comedy. sad, but bittersweet at the same time.

interviews interviews interviews this week.

if I don’t land a job im finishing the app then heading to new zealand for a while. Its time I get me some intense UV rays. and see what the sheep are all about.

here are some options: hawaii, new zealand, australia, thailand, nepal, hong kong.

something rural. something nice. and something far far different than los angeles. couchsurfers, get those beds ready.