Write All About It: Meet Michael
Associate Creative Director & Copywriter:
How did you end up with a career in Copywriting/Creative Direction?
The short answer is I worked my ass off. The longer answer is that I’m one of those rare creatives who knew from a young age that I wanted to make ads. I always thought the ability to split the worlds of art, entertainment, and business was unique to advertising and a unique place to be.
What do you think is the most important part of messaging and writing for brands?
Honesty. Whether you’re talking about ice cream or children’s ear tubes, people know when you’re blowing smoke. Most of the time you have what the brand thinks they are and what consumers think they are. It’s up to us to find the truth between and bring that to life in a fresh way.
How do you keep the team motivated in the face of tight deadlines?
I remind the team that even if it’s really really important, it’s just advertising. Every creative worked hard to be where they are, not to be stressed about finding a new tagline, but because advertising seemed fun. With the right attitude it can always be fun, and everyone works better when they’re having a good time.
What’s your favorite part (so far) about being in this role at Chemistry?
As cheesy as it sounds, it’s the people at Chemistry. Everyone I meet seems to “get it.” It feels like we don’t have to talk about what we’re doing; we’re all working toward the same goals. Theres’ no ivory towers and every department comes together daily.
What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done? Professionally and personally?
Professionally and personally it was making the move to London. I had a crap portfolio full of spec work and no knowledge of the U.K. I followed my wife and hopped on a plane and we stayed for four years. I got into portfolio school over there and it was like jet fuel for my creativity. My teacher, Tony Cullingham, and the experience of learning from the big shops in another culture pushed me further than I thought I could go.
What’s been the biggest creative challenge in your career to date?
For me it’s not one project that’s been a bigger challenge than another. It’s the constant emotional creative roller coaster. I think every creative struggles with it. In 24 hours you can go from being on top of the world to, what am I doing with my life?. It’s a lot, and it took me a long time to learn every lull and every moment of self-doubt will end and be met with rewarding highs.