Barry Cadish
Portland, Oregon


Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

Barry talks art…and it ain’t pretty

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Has it really been three months since my last post? If so, my apologies. I need to be more diligent about this whole blogging business. Which means getting down to the business of blogging.

I spoke last time about how lame I was (and still am) when it comes to drawing out my ideas. Truth is, I suck terribly at sketching much more than a doodle. I cannot even draw a straight line with a ruler. I cannot color within the lines. I cannot paint or mold clay in a way that resembles anything more than…a pile of clay. I don’t do art well at all. In fact, I look at a Jackson Pollock painting and see, well…paint running down a canvas. This is art? In fact, you (yes, you) can create your own Jackson Pollock-type painting right here. Right now. It’s so easy, even a writer can do it. But I digress….

Anyway, by default, I wrote. When I discovered I had a knack for advertising concepts and subsequent advertising copywriting, my career began to take off. While a student at Advertising Center, I was surrounded by people who could draw exceptionally well. We called them budding art directors. Trouble was, they spent most of their time drawing up their ideas instead of thinking about them. One class project, for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art comes to mind.

I can’t remember the exact assignment, but I do remember all these art director wannabes comping lovely picture frames, vases, semi-nude models and other assorted art-like images. One person in class drew a beautiful picture frame with detailed scrollwork all around. But there was no…idea. We didn’t know what the hell her concept was and the instructor pointed it out. As a result, I believe she withdrew from class shortly thereafter and was never heard from again.

So I can’t emphasize enough that concept is king in this business. Spend your time on formulating the idea instead of making pretty pictures that make people scratch their heads and say…huh?

Which is my usual reaction to Jackson Pollock.

Barry Talks Trash vis-a-vis Advertising.

Monday, January 26th, 2009

In my previous life, I counted garbage for a living.

No, I didn’t rummage through curbside cans sitting outside random households. As a junior administrative assistant for the City of Los Angeles, I added up the “dump slips” from the previous days collections around the San Fernando Valley.

Evidently, they wanted me to “count” how much garbage was collected from two-man trucks (one man drives; the other lifts and dumps) vs. one-man trucks (one man drives; the truck’s automatic arm lifts and dumps) thereby determining which mode of refuse collection hauled ass.

The dump slips are in and…one man and his truck were more efficient!

And so was I. My day began at 6a.m. and four hours later, I was finished counting. So what’s an overly-efficient L.A. city employee with four hours left in his workday supposed to do?

I did my homework, of course.

I was taking two advertising courses simultaneously. A concept class, at Advertising Center, taught by a copywriter at Daley and Associates, plus a copywriting class, at Otis Parsons (now simply Otis), taught by a senior copywriter at BBD0/West.

So there I sat, diligently “drawing” out concepts on everything from potato chips and roach killer to security systems and steaks. I use the term “drawing” very loosely. You see, I can’t draw. Even my stick figures are lame. To prove it, here are drawings I did of my magnificent family for our 1999 holiday card. See? Lame!

Anyway, I had the worst looking ads of anyone in the concept class. Why? Because I spent most of my time thinking about the idea. And that, boys and girls, is today’s lesson: concept is king. In my next blog, I’ll talk about how my  student TV script for Sizzler steak was my entree into advertising.

But now, I must take out the trash.