Day 397 (aka New Year's Day)

Happy New Year!

2015 has finally arrived and that means I hop a plane to LA tomorrow afternoon. 13 months down and only one to go. Can you believe how far we’ve come? Sometimes, it’s hard for me to even wrap my head around. I don’t really have much to share with you today, because over the past week I’ve just been out stuffing my face and running along the beach—though not at the same time (I don't want to cramp up).

I simply want to say that I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. I’m so grateful to those of you who has been following along on this little adventure from day one. There was a time when I wondered if such a project could even exist. Yet, here we are, 30 days away from the finish line and I owe it to each and every one of you. To the people I befriended along the way; to the sponsors who helped spread the word and kept me fed; to the agencies that took a chance on a young Copywriter from Cleveland, Ohio; to the people who have visited this site over and over again—I thank you.

I don’t know what this New Year has in store for me, but I’ll never forget the time we spent together in 2014. You’re the best. 

-Steve-

Day 394

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.

-Steve-

Day 390 (aka Christmas)

Merry Christmas everyone (who celebrates Christmas)!

This is actually the second time I’ve spent this holiday away from my family. The first one happened the year I moved to NYC. Since I arrived in the city at the end of November, I thought it kind of silly to pack up and fly home a few weeks later—plus it cost an arm and a leg. I spent the day wandering around Times Square, which was completely empty. Let me tell you; it was a sight to behold. I bet very few people out there have ever seen Times Square without thousands of people mulling about. It was actually a really special moment, because there was a light snow coming down and the weather was just perfect. It’s an image I’ll never forget. Though I followed that up with a visit to this random diner in Queens and the food ended up making me sick. So, I like to chalk the whole thing up as a wash.

But despite its flaws, I’ve decided to try for a similar adventure today. This afternoon I’m going to walk around Market Street in the Financial District, as I assume it’ll be rather empty as well. I then plan on picking out a new movie to see (I say new, because I ended up watching The Interview online yesterday) and heading to one of the city's many diners to chow down. Hopefully, my stomach will be more forgiving this time around.

Those are my plans for the day and I’m sure they’re far different than yours. I just ask that whatever you’re doing today—whether celebrating or not—enjoy it. Every holiday is unique and you should never let it pass you by just because things don’t go as planned.

Merry Christmas everyone,

-Steve-