Thursday, August 27, 2009

On and On

No phone calls, no email message dings, no TwitterBook posts....

no hours in front of the computer...

Getting away from it all makes it all seem worth it. I haven't been able to totally disconnect, but I am putting a good effort in. The shop seems to be running smoothly without us.... well, with a little direction from the man in the woods.

This week has been filled with: campfires, hiking, cooking and eating, eating and eating.... playground trips, horseshoes, gathering wood, fishing, Terry Farrel Jim Beam, Bass Ale in the woods, pie-iron cooking, marshmallows, trees, grass, waterfalls, star-filled sky and rainbows. Well, I just threw that last one in, it sounded good....

We'll see you kids back in the city soon!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fields of Joy

I can see clearly now the rain has gone...
It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun shiny day.

The month of August has become our official OW vacation month. It is not that we stop working and leave town, we just take it (a little) easy. August includes: a few long weekends, some days off with out-of-town guests sightseeing, and trying not to work on Fridays- well only 1-2 hours anyway.

We do get away for a few days to go camping, but followers of this blog know that:

  • the laptop comes on the trip
  • the office is staffed while we are gone
  • and I am in contact via phone and email
I can't just shut down completely, can I?

While running our own gig, we really need to be reachable at all times. We have a lot of help doing the OtherWisz show (as a client once called it), but it's my ass if something goes wrong. And I can't pull a Stefan Sagmeister and:
  • close my business down for a year
  • go on sabbatical
  • make art
  • come back & pick up as if nothing has happened....
Now, I am not complaining, I signed on for this 'graphic design thing'. But a strange thing has happened: I re-discovered the weekend. They are like a mini-vacation- one in every week! And this 'weekend thing' really peaks with Summer in August- now we really got something.

I have had several periods in my life where I had a full head of steam. I worked during the week, worked nights freelancing, had DJ gigs on the weekend (often both a Friday and a Saturday night) and it just kept going. But after almost 10 years of just doing this-- running the design business-- I have all but stopped working on the weekends. This is the way it was meant to be and I like it. Weekends!! Yeah!!!

This 'weekend thing' just sort of happened. Now I really look forward to the weekend. I am usually getting fired on Thursday nights... I'll work late on a Thursday anticipating the weekend, then I am free once Friday night hits. I mean, I can still send some emails over the weekend, perform some quick website maintenance/updates, maybe read some documents... but I don't want to. Unless, of course, I absolutely, absolutely have you (see the above point about "'s my ass if...").

So now a great month like August comes along and it has a good solid 4 weekends in it. This is like 4 vacations in the same month. These vacations include cutting the lawn and gardening, but hey, it beats sitting in front of this computer. I don't really think the 'word' computer and 'vacation' should be in the same sentence.... Once I can break that chain, we can really be free for that month off in Italy or Spain. Now that sounds like a good idea!

But for now I can float through Summer relaxing and really targeting these weekends for maximum fun. For the rest of the month I will be building websites, playing outdoors, reading RFPs, walking to the Saturday market, writing proposal & meeting notes & agendas, camping & hiking, marketing & promoting things, hanging at the waterfront & eating ice cream, writing letters & articles, laying in the yard hammock, camping, did I mention camping? Not so bad.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Don't You Forget About Me

RIP- John Hughes

Director John Hughes passed away last week and I offer my 15 favorite quotes from Breakfast Club (1985) as a tribute. I also love Ferris Buellers Day Off and Sixteen Candles, but B.Club meant a lot to kids of my generation. I was one of the sterotypes in this movie.

Top Breakfast Club Quotes

15) Don't mess with the bull, young man. You'll get the horns.

14) But face it. You're a neo maxi zoom dweebie, what would you be doing if you weren't out making yourself a better citizen?

13) Stupid, worthless, no good, goddamn, freeloading son of a bitch. Retarded, big mouth, know-it-all, asshole, jerk. You forgot ugly, lazy and disrespectful. Shut up bitch. Go fix me a turkey pot pie. No dad, what about you? Fuck you. No dad, what about you? Fuck you. Dad, what about you? Fuck you.

12) Hey, how come Andrew gets to get up? If he gets up, we'll all get up, it'll be anarchy.

11) We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that's all.

10) Hey, homeboy, what do you say we close that door, we'll get the prom queen impregnated.

09) Well, Brian, this is a very nutritious lunch. All the food groups are represented. Did your mom marry Mr. Rogers?
Uh, no. Mr. Johnson.

08) You're an idiot anyway. But if you say you get along with your parents, well, you're a liar too.

07) What if your home... what if your family... what if your *dope* was on fire? Impossible, sir. It's in Johnson's underwear.

06) Just me. Just you and me. Two hits. Me hitting you. You hitting the floor. Anytime you're ready, pal.

05) The next time I have to come in here I'm crackin' skulls.

04) When you grow up, your heart dies.

03) Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place.

02) You know what I got for Christmas? Oh, it was a banner fucking year at the old Bender family. I got a carton of cigarettes. The old man grabbed me and said, "Hey, smoke up Johnny."

01) Could you describe the ruckus, sir?

BONUS BEATS: Breakfast Club trivia

NY TImes (Aug.17) Quotable John Hughes Video Clips

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fancy Footwork

I always get a kick out of the johnny-come-lately reporting of the local newspaper. They always seem to be months, if not years, behind trends that have been-and-gone in other larger, national papers. Sunday's (Aug. 2, 2009) BuffaloSnooze had an article about a new 'Virtual Office' ad agency in town. The story was written about this great new concept that is challenging the big boy ad agencies on town. The Virtual Office involves hiring freelancers instead of having a staff. Sorry boys, old news....

For almost 10 years our company, OtherWisz Creative, has been one of many 'virtual offices.' In fact, the invention of the laptop computer was designed to free us all from the cubicle world-- the laptop computer had born the original virtual offices. As well, wireless technologies let us break even further from the tradtional office space.

OtherWisz Creative has always been a lean mean, designing machine using freelancers. Our staff is small and our work is big, hence our tagline "Little Firm Big Solutions." By doing all the creative ourselves and outsourcing everything else- from photography, writing, illustrating, programming and software development- we have always kept overhead low. This has also enabled us to pick the right individual for the right job or task. Each project always had the best-of the-local-best working on it- all under the OtherWisz name.

Working as a virtual office always seemed to fit how we operate, and it works. As the death bell tolls for the big agencies in town, companies are taking more notice of the little and middle-sized players. Stand, a local advertising agency was the latest big shop to close, and it would seem, others are due to follow.

I guess this way of operating isn't 'news' until someone puts a tag on it (hence, the Virtual Office).Who needs a physical office space at all anymore..? We can communicate via the internet, meet with clients in their office (more convenient for them), post proofs and comps online for review... even get paid electronically. We actually like having a physical office space- our 1885-era converted barn is a creative stimulus in itself- but we don't need really need an office. Things have changed drastically in this industry, but contrary to what the BuffaloSnooze reports, the Virtual Office isn't new.