Since we’re in the midst of that weird lull between Christmas and New Years, I thought I would take this opportunity to peel back the #TGAA curtain once again. With the finish line in view, I can finally say—without a shadow of a doubt—that those I've had contact with over the past year either understand this project or they don’t. There's really no middle ground to the receptions I’ve received from people along the way.
Many applaud us for trying something new that has the potential to help a lot of people. Others, however, refuse to give us the time of day, choosing instead to believe that this is some self-serving attempt on my part to land a job (one month out and I still don't understand it). What I’ve noticed though is that most people who feel that way don’t ever take the time to read the blog or ask any questions about the project.
Throughout it all, the most interesting responses I’ve received have been from people who love the project, but realize it’s something their agency would never go for. I won’t pretend to know all the ins and outs of these shops, but it does open up an interesting line of questions. Why is someone who applauds creativity, working at an agency that does not? Why wouldn’t said agency be interested in such a project? What does it say to jobseekers who go the extra mile to get noticed by prospective agencies? If you ask me, these are all extremely important considering we’re supposed to be working in a ‘creative field’.
Such responses aren’t regulated to individuals either. I’ve also received some interesting replies from professional organizations. On one side, you have the Art Directors Club and the various branches of the Egotist, who have been absolutely amazing to the project the entire time. They’ve helped spread the word, create meaningful connections and even provided a slew of unique insights. They understand what we’re trying to accomplish and I’ll always be grateful to them for what they've done.
On the other hand, some of the more traditional organizations have been hit or miss, based on the their location. Yes, some of them have been rather wonderful. But some—if they even reply—have been completely uninterested and question the project's worth to no end. It’s a weird dichotomy indeed.
Obviously, I don’t expect everyone to support or even care about this project. It's not as if I’m walking around thinking this is the greatest thing to ever exist. Although I do think it’s pretty great. I mean, if I didn’t believe in it what’s the point of even doing it, right? When agencies and organizations that tout themselves as ‘creative-friendly’ and ‘forward-thinking’ won’t give it the time of day though, it does raise some red flags in my book. That's why I'm thrilled to be visiting LA. Utilizing the same tactics that brought 13 other agencies onboard, I could barely get anyone's attention down there. I'm extremely curious to find out what makes their creative community so vastly different from the others.
In the end, I think the lesson of it all is that you should always research where you’re going and what you’re doing. Don’t believe the hype or listen to any lip service. Draw your own opinions, form your own thoughts—no matter which side of the coin you fall on. And for those of you out there who have helped this project grow and succeed, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. For those of you out there who think this whole project is a waste of time, I thank you too—you’ve helped push me to make this thing bigger and better each and every day.