Category Archives: New York City

Flea from the empty.

I spent 5 hours at the Brooklyn Flea last Saturday with my face buried in racks of clothing from days gone by. Everything around me seemed to have value, seemed to have a story, a previous owner who loved, cherished, protected and valued that thing.

Not only that but everything was beautiful.

Charming.

Warm.

Pleasant.

Perfect in spite of their seemingly obvious imperfections.

Whoever made these things, whether it was a baseball bat from 1938 or a map of Lemberg from 1886 cared about what they were making. They were creating value and adding to the natural beauty of the world around them. They did this by transforming some piece of that natural world for themselves or to make money for themselves – true artisanship.

Contrast this with the shopping mall I spent an hour in (no purchases made) just before Christmas. Very little aesthetic value (unless you’re in the Apple store and maybe 2-3 clothes stores) anywhere. Brands melded together and there was nothing distinct from one place to the next except for the name out front.

We need to re-imagine the world. Re-imagine the way we make things. Creative class, this means seeking work (as much as possible) that will enhance the world around us and not just become a part of a growing grey mass.

We must rise up and ‘flea’ from all that which is not beautiful, interesting or of value. If we can stop churning out ‘things’ or ads for the sake of doing it, we just might create change and make the world a lot more like the Brooklyn Flea. Trust me, it’s a lovely place.

The Quest for the Holy Grail…

My Quest: To get a job as a Jr. Copywriter with an Ad Agency.

Okay well maybe I am not searching for the actual holy grail that Sir Lancelot and his chums were searching for. Although I wouldn’t have minded a stop at the castle Anthrax where Sir Galahad avoided almost certain temptation.

Too bad.

No no – I am and have been on the hunt for a job in the Advertising industry for a week now.

What does that mean?

I made a kickass resume – the likes of which you’ve never seen. Take a look.

Then I crafted cover letter than screams my name. Literally. Again, look here.

Applications:

According to the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) there are 310 registered agencies in New York City.

As of today I have personally contact each and every one of those firms.

Responses:

As of today I have heard back from 16 agencies. 7 said they would keep me in mind.

The other nine are interesting:

4 are CEO’s

1 is an HR rep

4 are creative directors or copywriters themselves.

Can you believe it?! I am writing back and forth with the CEO’s of these mega agencies.

Their comments range from: “wow, that’s funny,” to “I am interested, tell me more”

So how have I done it so far?

Well I drafted that CV, Cover Letter and then a simple email that gets the readers attention and urges them to read my documents.

I personalized each email, searched tirelessly for the right contact information and in a week I had gotten through them all.

Most importantly I was myself in the entire process. This allowed my personality to bleed through the page, as it were.

It turns out that there really are people on the other end of these internet tubes. You just have to catch their attention.

What’s next:

Well I am moving on to the next markets, Chi City, BOS, LA and SF in search of my holy grail.

I will be relentless. Soon I will start to post my exchanges with these CEO’s (without disclosing their firm or identity to give you an idea of how our e-mails go back and forth – and maybe get some advice from you as to how to move forward).

Tomorrow I apply to the SF & LA ad agencies – updates to follow.

Until then – keep cool.

Liam