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Archive for February, 2013

Leo Ehrlich

leo

One of the guys behind Volta Ferrorama – a campaign which won a gold Lion in 2011. Leo Ehrlich was born in Brazil and studied Visual Communication in Rio, where he also worked at several agencies, including DDB Brasil, before moving to Grupo W in Mexico. Now, he works in yet another continent as a senior art director for Wunderman in Dubai.┬áTime for a quick ‘n short interview.

Could you tell us something about yourself?
I love everything that involves creativity and hate everything that involves bureocracy. And also I play the drums.

How did you get your very first break in the industry?
I think it was when I won a bronze lion in 2009 that I thought; ‘now I’m into advertising’.

How’s advertising in Dubai, compared to the rest of the world?
It’s a new market with few good agencies and not so many passionate people.

And Brazil?
Brazil is a very competitive market, people really love what they do and the importance they give to awards is huge. That’s why it’s on the top five of most awarded countries.

What skills are most important for a creative?
Lots of patience, free imagination, communication skills, receptiveness to new things, cultural and artistic references.

How important is finish? If ideas are the most important thing, can sketches be enough?
The most important thing is not to have the idea, but to sell the idea. So everything that can be done to sell an idea in the best way possible, is what counts.

And lastly, what’s the best advice you can give to students around the world, who are trying to get into the business of advertising?
Just get into the business – Join a good agency, no matter what the salary is and learn the maximum you can by trial and error. If you have passion and commitment, things start to happen before you even know.

Write

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I’ve been writing articles since studying graphic design, now some six years ago. Most of my articles are rubbish, boring, and by now, outdated. These items never see daylight though and are put in a folder called ‘articles’ on my desktop. But the thing is; I don’t necessarily write them to be proper, up to date and/or entertaining. I write them to educate myself.

Now, my articles are never about myself, and neither is this. But one thing that sparked my mind is this piece of e-mail reply I got from Ivan Raszl on an e-mail I send him. He wrote me back, saying; “Look, there are lots of ambitious people that chat me up. But very few have the brains to process all the info coming at them.”

I’m not convinced I have more ‘brains’ than others, but it got me thinking (and in the end writing it down, here).
I often force myself to have an opinion about inspiring or interesting things I see or think. My advice to you is that you do the same. Force yourself to unravel any interesting thoughs you have, and force yourself to have an opinion about subjects that interest you. And while you’re at it, take your verdict a level or two beyond the meaningless ‘nice’, or ‘great idea’, cause that’s not really an opinion. A compulsive opinion will make you process the information you’ve just read or seen, and will make you better at processing information. In some ways, the brain is just like a muscle. You need to train it.

Einstein once said; “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
Spot on. It’s exactly that.

That’s why; write it down. I’m talking articles here. Not Twitter, not Facebook. Sharing is not the same as processing. Write an article about it. And even though nobody is going to read them, it raises your meta-cognition; knowledge about knowledge. When you’re channelling that mental confetti, you’re raising your self-awareness, and forcing yourself to understand the subject well enough, so that you can explain it, including your own opinion. That’s writing! (Some may argue blogging, regardless of medium.) You’ll get better at it over time, and in the end people might even start to read it.

Little note here; if you have a blog (on which you write), I’d love to know and read it.

It’s a fallacy to think writing is just for copywriters. Everybody can write. Even art-directors. Heck, a lot of teenagers are blogging nowadays – so what’s your excuse anyway?

Now, then. You need no more advice from me I suppose.
You need to go do something.

So go.