Exclusive interview with Go Art Director Go!
Just over a month ago, Chris Baker and Will Benham, writers at the Creative Circus, released Go Art Director Go , a site dedicated to their fellow counterparts.
The photo above features Will (drawn by Chris) and Chris (as drawn by Will).
We were able to wrangle an exclusive interview with these two brains: it's still a wonder that these two haven't been snatched up yet.
1. Name, where you're from and what quarter are you at the Circus?
Chris: Chris Baker, 6th quarter copywriter from the land of chocolate, Hershey, PA.
Will: Will Benham. 7th Quarter copywriter from Marietta, GA, the land of the Big Chicken.
2. What is your most favoritest thing about Advertising?
Chris: Probably when you and a great partner are in the zone and ideas are flowing and you just feel like when a scientist has his ‘Eureka’ moment. Only you’re having it every five minutes. But something I’ve never experienced before was when Go Art Director Go got popular and there was such a vast and positive reaction to it, that was pretty awesome. For brands, Twitter is like the behind the back conversation your friends have about you – only, you’re listening in. And it’s always great when people are saying nice things.
Will: No two days are ever the same. It’s also what I hate the most. Constant challenge, and you’re only as good as your last piece. It’s the ultimate thrill when you nail it, and extremely frustrating when you don’t.
3. When you're trying to brew up that next great idea, where do you go in Atlanta? Is there a particular spot or ritual that you take part in?
Chris: Writing has to be at my desk in my room under my little green lamp like the ones in the library of every movie. For ideas, I don’t have one place I go, but I feel like that’s a little counterintuitive. I love concepting in Piedmont Park. Octane is great, Bookhouse Pub, anything that gets me out and about. Because if I couldn’t do my work out in Atlanta, I wouldn’t be out in Atlanta.
Will: Call me counterintuitive, but for me the magic happens in the shower. After I’ve researched, finished meetings, and written every bad headline my brain can produce I’ll go take a shower. Usually that’s when the best breakthroughs happen for me. For all the nitty gritty work I like to go to a coffee shop to concept and write. Sip is my favorite, but I’ll use Starbucks if I have to.
4. What is your spirit animal, what is its name and why that particular breed of animal?
Chris: Geez, I don’t know. My friend called me Pooh Bear once, but I think he was politely saying I was getting rather plump. Oh, bother. No, I’m probably an otter? They’re playful and cute and they eat seafood off their stomachs so that’s pretty cool.... Or, since I’m talking about food, maybe my friend was right. Damn.
Will: The Internet quiz I just consulted says my spirit animal is a hawk. I’m in complete agreement. His name would be Sir Swoopy because he is a distinguished gentleman who spends most of his time flying around doing awesome hawk things, but swoops in and gets the job done when necessary.
Chris: More like Sir Droopy, because... you know... penis jokes.
5. When you are writing, do you typically use a pen or do you type? If a pen, what kind of pen do you prefer?
Chris: I LOVE this question. I write first with a pen and then I take it to my laptop. Always. Unless it’s something long, I always write in a MoleSkine notebook with a black Uniball pen. I used to write with a G2, but I made the switch a couple months ago to the finer point of the Uniball. And besides, the G2 has gotten too mainstream for me (joking).
Will: Pen on paper. You just get more ideas down, and you’re less apprehensive about what you’re writing because it doesn’t feel as official. Plus, when you go back to type it on the computer you’re already editing. One of our teachers, Paul Korel, got me back on board with this method after I had lost my way, and I’ll never go back to writing on the computer first.
6. Any advice for young creatives here in Atlanta?
Chris: Psh. If you’re looking to us for advice (read me, Will gives great advice) you’ve made a wrong turn. But since you asked, I think it’s as simple as work hard and don’t be a dick. I can’t tell you how many people in the industry have said that to us at the Circus. If you surround yourself with people you like, work really hard and have fun doing it, your work will show that. So don’t get too stressed, hit that grindstone, and hold a door open for a stranger when you can.
Will: Well as someone who’s still without a job, take this for what it’s worth. My advice is to just go for it. I think too many times we just assume things aren’t going to work, and don’t do anything with the ideas in our head. Go Art Director Go, for example, would have never happened if I hadn’t run it by Chris. Sometimes just doing something now and worrying about whether it will work later is the best course of action. As someone who overanalyzes everything I could definitely do with a heaping bit of this advice myself.
7. Not to make things too complicated, but would you draw a picture of the other (Chris, draw a picture of Will, and Will, draw a picture of Chris) and send it on in?
Chris: I see. We've got ourselves a comedian at the Egotist, making two copywriters draw.
Will: We are available for freelance portraiture if anyone is interested.