'IT'S NOT WORTH IT': Ad Exec's Brutal Rant Before He Died Of Cancer Is Absolutely Ch

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Old 11 November 2012   #1
'IT'S NOT WORTH IT': Ad Exec's Brutal Rant Before He Died Of Cancer Is Absolutely Ch

http://www.businessinsider.com/its-...1?0=advertising

Excerpt from his essay:

1. The creative industry operates largely by holding ‘creative’ people ransom to their own self-image, precarious sense of self-worth, and fragile – if occasionally out of control ego. We tend to set ourselves impossibly high standards, and are invariably our own toughest critics. Satisfying our own lofty demands is usually a lot harder than appeasing any client, who in my experience tend to have disappointingly low expectations. Most artists and designers I know would rather work all night than turn in a sub-standard job. It is a universal truth that all artists think they a frauds and charlatans, and live in constant fear of being exposed. We believe by working harder than anyone else we can evaded detection. The bean-counters rumbled this centuries ago and have been profitably exploiting this weakness ever since. You don’t have to drive creative folk like most workers. They drive themselves. Just wind ‘em up and let ‘em go.

2. Truly creative people tend not to be motivated by money. That’s why so few of us have any. The riches we crave are acknowledgment and appreciation of the ideas that we have and the things that we make. A simple but sincere “That’s quite good.” from someone who’s opinion we respect (usually a fellow artisan) is worth infinitely more than any pay-rise or bonus. Again, our industry masters cleverly exploit this insecurity and vanity by offering glamorous but worthless trinkets and elaborately staged award schemes to keep the artists focused and motivated. Like so many demented magpies we flock around the shiny things and would peck each others eyes out to have more than anyone else. Handing out the odd gold statuette is a whole lot cheaper than dishing out stock certificates or board seats.

3. The compulsion to create is unstoppable. It’s a need that has to be filled. I’ve barely ‘worked’ in any meaningful way for half a year, but every day I find myself driven to ‘make’ something. Take photographs. Draw. Write. Make bad music. It’s just an itch than needs to be scratched. Apart from the occasional severed ear or descent into fecal-eating dementia the creative impulse is mostly little more than a quaint eccentricity. But introduce this mostly benign neurosis into a commercial context.. well that way, my friends lies misery and madness.



The rest is found here:


http://www.lindsredding.com/2012/03...in-perspective/

Last edited by Andrewty07 : 11 November 2012 at 08:59 PM.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #2
Loads of stereotypes and things I can't even remotely relate to in there.
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Old 11 November 2012   #3
Sorry for the spoiler alert, but this last line of the essay is borderline offensive:

Quote: Oh. And if your reading this while sitting in some darkened studio or edit suite agonizing over whether housewife A should pick up the soap powder with her left hand or her right, do yourself a favour. Power down. Lock up and go home and kiss your wife and kids.


Um, okay. Yeah, let me get right on that. Then we can let the bank take the house, we can sell off the cars and move into a homeless shelter while we volunteer at (and eat at) the soup kitchen. Forget about medical or dental coverage and college tuition for my son.

While this man's circumstances are unfortunate and I wouldn't wish them on anybody, he is preaching to the choir who, incidentally, have no other church to go to. What exactly does he mean by "produce something lasting"? Like, just go off and paint a bunch of painting and fill the dumpster you now live in? That's just bullshit.

The more I think about his "dilemma," the more offended I get. Yes, we chose this business. Yes, it can be over-demanding or wreak havoc with our lives and families, but here's a newsflash: So can any job! Every person, somewhere deep inside of them, wonders if their existence has a larger purpose, or if they are helping the world or hurting it by merely being here. Guess what? That makes you more than an over-worked creative. It makes you a human being.
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Old 11 November 2012   #4
Originally Posted by Artbot: Sorry for the spoiler alert, but this last line of the essay is borderline offensive:


What, the fact that he's just alienated all the hetero female artists reading it, or the fact that he used your instead of you're?
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Old 11 November 2012   #5
And on a more serious note...

Originally Posted by Artbot: The more I think about his "dilemma," the more offended I get. Yes, we chose this business. Yes, it can be over-demanding or wreak havoc with our lives and families, but here's a newsflash: So can any job! Every person, somewhere deep inside of them, wonders if their existence has a larger purpose, or if they are helping the world or hurting it by merely being here. Guess what? That makes you more than an over-worked creative. It makes you a human being.


God, this. This. This. I've said the same thing so many times in different discussions on this site over the years - people tend to develop this myopia where they think their job is the only one like this in the whole world. Welcome to life, people; it's hard and you're often going to get stuck doing stuff that drags you down or interferes with your life, or at least tries to. It's up to you to change that.

Furthermore, I'd say that people make themselves workaholics, and then they tend to assume that everyone else is too. This notion that all artists are starving and working themselves to the bone is only applicable these days to people who seem to go out of their way to choose that path, or fail to get out of it should circumstances put them there.

Unfortunately the web is full of sentiments like this, including a number of well known VFX-related blogs that constantly push the idea that every CG artist is working until 4am and can't have a family. It's just not true.
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Last edited by leigh : 11 November 2012 at 11:17 PM.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #6
Person dies relatively young and regrets not having prioritised things correctly in his life, and having missed out on all the rest. Major generalisation on all people doing creative/artistic craftmanship ensues, the whole thing must surely be F'ed for everybody else too.

Of course stock brokers, fund managers, fashion designers, product designers, architects, musicians, or any of the other professions involving pure intellectual work and open hierarchies rewarding (over)drive need not apply, it's only us poor artists deluding ourselves.

Sorry, tired of reading stuff like this. I'm sorry the guy felt like that, I'm sorry he wasted his life and realized too late there's no infinite supply of it, but he has no right or clue to put down an entire category and tell them what's important or not to them.

But lets ignore the millions of people who thrive in those, or similar, environments AND manage a healthy balance of activies in life, and pile them in with the rest of the blindsided and the inconsiderate, and tell everybody they simply shouldn't do it at all, instead of telling them they can have a better life AND keep their job.
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Last edited by ThE_JacO : 11 November 2012 at 11:06 PM.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #7
Quote: "2. Truly creative people tend not to be motivated by money. That’s why so few of us have any. The riches we crave are acknowledgment and appreciation of the ideas that we have and the things that we make. A simple but sincere “That’s quite good.” from someone who’s opinion we respect (usually a fellow artisan) is worth infinitely more than any pay-rise or bonus."


Bollocks!
I personally get very angry and offended
when someone lavishes my work with high praise followed by an insulting request that I work on spec or "for exposure"(Free).

This Dead Fellow has never read some of the bitterly angry rants on craigslist by "creatives" about people expecting them/us to hand over professional design work or even programming for the "acknowledgment and appreciation of the ideas that we have ... etc."


Cheers
 
Old 11 November 2012   #8
I think you all need to think about what you post, because your not in the same position as he was. Because I think you're reading it as a statement of fact, and not considering the mental and physical anguish this man was going through, as he realized his time was almost up, and all those dreams will remain unfulfilled.

If you were, or had know someone in a similar position, you'd realize that the rant, is not a failing on your part, nor is it about you, nor any advice you need to heed .. but somewhat rather the pain of himself reflecting on what he has done, what he has not done, and his anger at not realizing it all before it was far too late.

It's a mans last stand to rebuke all he has know, and done, to say damn you to life, so he does not go quietly into the night, and fights of onsets of the regrets that come with any life, and an untimely fate that unfortunately there was no escape from.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #9
Originally Posted by leigh: What, the fact that he's just alienated all the hetero female artists reading it, or the fact that he used your instead of you're?


Both.

He worked in advertising, so maybe he thinks the real world really is just like all those ads he creates.

Seriously, I want to know what job in the world would be personally & professionally fulfilling, encourage a generous & balanced family life, allow the time to be fit & healthy, and help humanity is some non-selfish way? Does he have any examples of this magical career he speaks of? Maybe a Saint or something? I don't think there are many openings for those jobs.
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Old 11 November 2012   #10
I'm yet to see any woman in this CG-industry, who would sacrifice her life for CG. Somehow they always manage it so well that they live a happy life, never browse cgtalk, never do anything beyond working hours. Sorry, men, it's your choice.
Men are always insecure. That's how we were raised. "Be a man!" This goes beyond the problems of cg-industry. That's why so many try to be so damn good to prove to ourselves and others we are worth to be loved.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #11
Quote: Truly creative people tend not to be motivated by money. That’s why so few of us have any.


Add me to that tiny list... I barely have any savings. And yet I'm spending all my money attending workshops :(
 
Old 11 November 2012   #12
Originally Posted by leigh: And on a more serious note...



God, this. This. This. I've said the same thing so many times in different discussions on this site over the years - people tend to develop this myopia where they think their job is the only one like this in the whole world. Welcome to life, people; it's hard and you're often going to get stuck doing stuff that drags you down or interferes with your life, or at least tries to. It's up to you to change that.

Furthermore, I'd say that people make themselves workaholics, and then they tend to assume that everyone else is too. This notion that all artists are starving and working themselves to the bone is only applicable these days to people who seem to go out of their way to choose that path, or fail to get out of it should circumstances put them there.

Unfortunately the web is full of sentiments like this, including a number of well known VFX-related blogs that constantly push the idea that every CG artist is working until 4am and can't have a family. It's just not true.


I have plenty of friends whose lives do not revolve around their work.. that is the point he's making I think.. there are people in this world who can just turn off and relax and not ponder on that or this - one of my brothers is like this and he still succeeds in what he does but I envy his relaxed state at times... then there are those whose minds are constantly challenging them and asking for more and just dont shut off, those people I think can not separate one thing from another quite so easily and perhaps there are more of these types of people in creative jobs.. so work becomes life.
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Old 11 November 2012   #13
Nobody lays on their death bed thinking
"Gee, I wish I had spent more time in the office"
 
Old 11 November 2012   #14
So I guess the advice here would boil down to “Don’t marry your work." Work hard and take pride in what you do, sure, but you don’t need to pour your SOUL into every single thing that lands on your desk. Learn to identify when something is good enough, and move on. It’s a very valuable skill and a basic foundation of time management. It will also help you stay sane, and keep you from losing sight of your priorities.

Still a really good read, especially for new people who want to avoid these same pitfalls.
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Last edited by Decency : 11 November 2012 at 12:52 PM.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #15
I dunno - maybe it's just me but as something of an old-timer in the creative industry (clocking up well over two decades now), I've seen so many changes in my time that I actually think he has quite a few valid points...

Or maybe i'm finally going senile
 
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