Longing To Be Elsewhere

Ernie Schenck, executive vice president and creative director at Hill Holliday, explores the tendency in creative people to occupy their minds with thoughts about how much better things are “over the hill and through the trees.”

We are terrible longers, we ad people. No matter where we are, we long to be somewhere else. Goodby. Wieden. Chiat. If only I weren’t stuck in this sorry ass agency in Davenport, we think; if only I could squeeze my eyes shut and a wormhole would pass over me at that very moment and when I opened them, I would be awash in the glorious radiance of Crispin; if only I could be anywhere but here in Davenport, in Tacoma, in Providence, in Oklahoma City, life would be good, life would be perfect. The creative grass is never so green as it is anywhere but where we happen to be.

Truer words have rarely been written.
I don’t see one of the name brand shops as “the answer” like I once did. For me personally, it’s about working with people I like on projects I find worthwhile.
[via Communication Arts]

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About David Burn

Native Nebraskan seeking the perfect pale ale in the Pacific Northwest. Disc golfer. Fan of Kurt Vonnegut, community radio and wolves in the wild. Copywriter and brand strategist at Bonehook. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp.

  • veedub

    old irish saying: Faraway hills may be greener but the grass is just as hard to cut.

  • marvin clonkey

    That’s bullshit. The healthiest grass is always the easiest to cut. I used sit on a cardboard box, “writing” ads under lifesucking fluorescents for $15 an hour. The client would count the syllables in my radio spots, then the AE would rewrite them.
    If you’re unhappy, where you’re at is hell. Where you want to be is heaven. Never forget that.
    If you’re at CPB, WK or Goodby, etc. and it’s hell, leave or change it, but please don’t fucking settle.

  • veedub

    i wasn’t saying “settle”. the phrase means that your idealization of crispin or wieden etc invariably omits the inevitable negatives.
    the weather in portland is miserable, for example. but you never think about that if working at wieden is your dream.
    of course you should always strive for the ideal, but there’s no nirvana in advertising.

  • http://adbroad.blogspot.com Ad Broad

    Thanks, David. This post drove me to CA where I read this worthwhile piece in entirety. Schenck mentions the book that triggered him to write it: Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas, another great read.