I absolutely love driving on the open road; air flowing by my face, sun beaming the vibrancy of the world and the vastness of the horizon on your plane. There's a feeling of adventure that swells up when you've got hours to spend looking over country you haven't been before, even if your destination is predetermined. I blast music, sing and try to enjoy the moment. Part of this enjoyment is purely sensory, but there's also an illusion that I grab. Looking out towards the open fields of grass and winding through the forests of highway I enter in brief meditative states. This happens very momentarily, I imagine summer scenarios and a 'free life.' One that's full of meeting new people enjoying summer barbecues and a general blissful hue encompasses.
Not to say some of this isn't already true, it's just what happens when I'm on open highways. It's probably my favorite part of driving and it's not always daydreaming scenarios. It's absorbing the beauty of the vastness of the world and freedom in being able to get in a car to tour it. Driving on the open road is exploring the sublime and it procures me to exhale into summer personified. I image myself living different adventures and wondering what grand things fall behind hills I'll never explore and what interesting tales exist through passages I'll never live. I am quite aware during this that this is very illusory but, for brief stints during minute 7 of a 10 minute song it makes me feel great. What appreciation of the freedom I have for those moments.
Moments at Brandcenter come in waves. I have four classes and one mandatory lecture each Friday. Each of my classes are around 3 hours long and I only have one class a day. This might not sound like a lot and honestly I was a little concerned when I received my schedule at the thought of having such free time. Boy was I wrong. Each class piles on another and you spend most of your days working on the assignments due in the following weeks.
It goes a little something like this.
- Business of Branding has group based assignments and takes up most of your time. The assignments usually are given well in advance and range from larger projects due in a few weeks to smaller weekly assignments. There's also several readings for the class distributed and quizzes given.
- Visual Storytelling is my personal favorite class and consists of only Copywriters and Art Directors. So far we have been paired up as small teams of 2 ADs and 2 CWs. We are given two weeks to conceptualize and shoot videos for various assignments. 1 week to pitch concept, the next to shoot and edit.
- Problem Solving for Art Direction is individually based and consists of weekly assignments. It's been fun so far but definitely has been frustrating nailing down great work.
- Creative Thinking consists of individual weekly assignments and I can't really tell you the breath of work because it just ranges from seemingly random tasks to things outside of the realm of advertising projects. But it's my favorite lecture by far and definitely helps you think at 10,000 ft. There are also books you 'have to' read for class.
There's a strong emphasis on organizing yourself and work but most importantly there's a need for organizing your mind. It really is difficult to pull yourself away from a project that you've been constantly drooling over. But it's helpful to step back to enjoy and experience life, because honestly creative juices get sucked up when you over analyze projects. There's so much more to Richmond and this area than I thought existed. It's worth exploring and while there's a ton to learn and do work I think there's a lot to experiencing the world and these connections that advertising looks to communicate. You learn by doing but often the learning you need is doing life.
Fenske quotes of the past weeks: "If you clap when one of your peers shits on this marvelous carpet you've lost," "Good ads are not collections of product features...they connect with an audience emotionally," "Art Directors and Copywriters skate on the top of life's ice." "Want an example of optimism? I hope you die," "When you cut the neighbor's grass you never do it as well as your own." Q. "Prof Fenske do you enjoy your work?" A. "Have you ever had difficulties passing stool? Did you enjoy that process? No you don't enjoy it but afterwords there's not a better feeling in life." "Don't love yourself more than others." "What is the temperature of the sun?" "Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig just enjoys it."
*I have missed a few weeks of blog posts but will promise to keep this more up to date in the future.*