Category Archives: Me Myself and I

Where Have I Been?

It’s been a while hasn’t it. No news is good news let me assure you. I’ve been working as a freelance copywriter at an agency for the past six months and everything seems to be going well. One day, perhaps, they’ll offer me a job, but for now, I must keep on working late and longer than most.

The lack of posting is at the behest of the social media policies of the agency. I’m not supposed to link to work without the content creator’s permission. I never once did that. I’ve been a victim of strange social media policies before, so rather than try to fight the man, I’ll play along. Unfortunately, that means a dip on the radar from what once was my advertising blog. I’ll try to bring it up with the bigwigs at work but I’m sure they have more important things to worry about.

I miss this, but I always promised I’d never create another LiveJournal. I don’t want to read this in five years time and wonder why on earth I spilled my guts onto a keyboard. Nobody reads diaries unless they’re exciting, and therein lies my problem – I’m just too vanilla. For now, I’ll leave you with a quote from Gary Provost. It makes me smile, and I hope it does you.

“This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important.”

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Where I’ve Been, And What I’ve Seen.

Hello..!

So, I’ve had a little absence from the old blogosphere, but at least this time I have an excuse (yes, a real one). In the past two weeks I’ve travelled the world, seen the sights in Chicago and New York, and ended up somehow engaged to a wonderful woman. Isn’t life just great?

Now where does the blog fall into all of this? Apart from the numerous stories about sunstroke, dunked-beef sandwiches, lack of decent trainer shops in NYC, and 2012 dunny collections, I also managed to take over 700 still pictures and 400 movies. The sifting process has already begun, and you’ll be the first to see the outcome of a big city obsessed young adult visiting some, well,rather big cities.

And Now, A Short Monologue From My Washing Machine

Hey Ciaran. I’m super stoked that you’re going away for two weeks to America! I bet you’re going to need some washing done. You don’t even own two weeks worth of clothing hah.

Well, no fear, I’m here! Just bang a load in, and after I’ve done with this one, I’ll do the other three/four you’ve got to do before you fly out! I’ll be the hero of the hour, after all, what else was I made to do!

Actually, you know what, I don’t think I can be bothered. Yes, I know I’m halfway through the first load of the ‘big holiday’ wash, but I’m tired. Yeah, come to think of it, I can’t be fucked.

I could spin it, but I’m not going to. I think I’ll just sit here, filled with soapy water, and a very important whites load. I don’t give two fucks that I was serviced only a month ago, I’m old. Go wring it out over the fucking bathtub like last time. Rip your hands open. I don’t care

No, I won’t even open the door properly either. I’m going to spill a shit load of water into your kitchen. Fuck you douchebag. I SAID NO. SERIOUSLY.

FUCK YOUR HOLIDAY. FUCK YOUR CLOTHES. AND FUCK YOU TOO.

The Washing Machine – 26.07.12

Levi’s Vs Nike.

Two brands I actually buy into have joined together in a collaboration that actually speaks to me. It’s rare that something like this happens, but at least it’s a decent looking video short.

It’s funny, because if I could only wear one brand of jeans it would be Levi’s, and if I could only wear one brand of trainers it wouldn’t be Nike. While I love the swoosh, my heart has been taken by Vans. I do very much appreciate the amount of time, effort and money Nike has pumped into Skateboarding (Pacman Nike 6.0s you will be mine), it just isn’t the skate brand for me.

Either way it’s a cracking short; straight to the point, selling the alternative lifestyle. Isn’t that what any good ad should do?

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Sailor Jerry Uncut – Where Eagles Dare

There are three things about myself that pretty much any one I’ve ever met can attest to;

  • I love advertising – I’d live it if I could. I am constantly enthralled by new campaigns, creativity, and the notion of selling an idea that people would love to be part of.
  • I adore punk music and its offshoot genres, especially in a live setting – My record collection is about 80% pop-punk, 10% hardcore/screamo, 5% indie/alternative, and 5% hip-hop. I’ve been to way over 300 gigs in my life time, and I’ve got ticket stubs to prove it. Out of those 300, I can tell you exactly who I’ve thrown myself off of a stage, amp or speaker set to, and I can tell you exactly which shows I’ve caught a crowd surfer/stage diver to the face.
  • I’d take a spirit, mixed or otherwise, over a pint of beer any day – I’ve never liked beer. It’s probably because I had such a sweet tooth when I was younger that I started to drink vodka and mixers when I hit the clubs, and that has stuck with me ever since. Of course at the age of 25 my palate has matured, and I’m perfectly happy sipping a Long Island Iced Tea, Mojito, or a good spiced rum.

Yep! That’s me alright.

It’s a surprise then, that I stumbled on this next particular branded video while doing my internet rounds this evening. You should probably turn your speakers up, as the soundtrack is pretty damn good.

Now that’s a lifestyle video done well. Good rum. Good music. Good times.

There’s not much I can say about the video other than it sells the ‘Sailor Jerry’ lifestyle perfectly. It manages to do this much better than some other spirits. I’m looking at you Bacardi, maybe you could learn a trick or two. The spot is loud, fast, and blurry. Just like a night on the spiced rum should be.

I feel the effectiveness is all in the quick paced editing and cracking soundtrack from The Misfits. The quick cut montage approach appeals to my internet warped attention span, and the blistering soundtrack appeals to the fourteen year old in me wondering why I’m not playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater on the Playstation every second of every day. The imagery contained within calls out to my live music obsessed side, and after looking up just who has played outside the store in Philly, I’m sort of jealous I’ve never had a chance to attend one. There’s nothing like a good punk show to raise the spirits of anyone down in the dumps.

Overall, it’s a video that has managed to capture my attention, and has been replayed at least fifteen times so far. In today’s world, in which I am sitting at a computer with 8 tabs open and trying to use seven different computer programs, all the while simultaneously using my smart phone and giving my time to write a blog post, that’s something special. That’s something very special indeed.

Now be gone with you. I’m going to try and jump off my couch onto a beanbag. That’s sort of like stage diving right?

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My Name Is Ciaran Watkins, And I’m On Drugs

Do you know what’s really difficult? Writing on Co-codamol. Do you know what’s even more difficult? Staying awake on Co-codamol. It’s a horrible horrible feeling.

Short story long, about two weeks ago I did something to my foot. Something to this day I’m absolutely sure is a fracture, but the Doc insists I’ve got a bad sprain. The left of the middle on the top of my foot hurts whenever I put weight on it, which of course means I can’t actually walk without a funny little limp. It hurts to stand, and sometimes it even hurts to sit. The cure? Rest and drugs. What do I want to be doing? Not resting, and definitely not taking drugs.

Sure enough, on a strong painkiller I lose all sense of who I am/what I’m doing, so any attempt I’ve made to write has ended in either me falling asleep, or me thinking that the GoCompare ads were actually rather amusing. That’s bad. Very bad.

This sense of uselessness has given me a bit of time to take stock, and realise that I’m too precious with content here on this blog of mine. I often go a week without posting something, because I don’t know if it will live up to my own stupidly high expectations. I’ll try to stop that.

I read a really nice article about sketchbooks, unfortunately I can’t remember where, but it opened my eyes! The key points were that you should always draw something, anytime, anywhere. The book shouldn’t be the end, it should be the means to an end; to think of a sketchbook as something to contain ideas, not something that would sit in a gallery. Collect everything and put it in your sketchbook; conversations, images, and inspiration. Straightforward stuff really. Stuff that I should already know what with my 6 years of formal art and design training.

Switch a couple of words around, and I’m staring at a painfully obvious outcome; In a perfect world, this blog is my “sketchbook”, and I should use it as one.

As clichéd as it sounds: write something every day, listen to conversations on the street, observe human interaction and put yourself in other people’s shoes. Sometimes writing can sound a bit too “salesy” because we forget we need to talk to people, not at them. Most of all, have fun! It definitely shows if you’re trying to force creativity, so let loose and let creativity take over.

Marissa Langman – Former D&AD Winner

That’s what I intend to do a bit more, but in all honesty, I’ve been getting off my tits on drugs. Sorry like.

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Guess Who?

Well hello there.

Two weeks and nothing? Not even a postcard? I know, what an awful blogger I’ve been.

If it makes you feel any better, I’ve been putting my time to good use;

This will be sent out to almost every advertising agency I can think of, find, or be pointed at, and to anyone, anywhere that would like a copy. I’ve still got to do a bit of touching up after some critique from the lovely Gem, but in a rather primitive form, it’s good to go.

Look out.

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It Begins.

There’s quite literally 21 minutes until Super Bowl XLVI.

When the time comes, I’ll be watching the game live on BBC television, and the adverts live on the adblitz Youtube channel.

As I type, I’m watching the New York Giants run out onto the field to Tinchy Strider’s ‘Written In The Stars’ (good on you Tinchles!), and my boys, the New England Patriots running out to Black Sabbath ‘Crazy Train’. I have no idea who the half time act is, but I have a feeling it might be Madonna. I could look, but why ruin the surprise? I’m excited. Oh look, they’re singing the national anthem. How quaint! Can they do a flyover for a Dome stadium?

For now, here’s an advert for the Super Bowl adverts, Inception style.

 

I AM EXCITED.

My Weekend Through A Lens

In the weekend just gone, I went to Oxford. It was full of bicycles and brilliant buildings, and absolutely devoid of bins, but more importantly, babes. It’s a rather strange place. While the shopping was pretty poor, the cafes and food establishments were fantastic. The Natural History museum was a great two hour outing, but apart from that, we were left with little else to do when we weren’t eating ourselves into a coma.

It’s a lovely place to go for a short break, and a brilliant place to celebrate a relatives birthday (Hi Mum!), but if I were there for more than a few days I’d probably want to off myself. There’s a travel poster in there somewhere, but for now here’s what two days of photography looks like after I’ve filtered out the shite.

Flicks

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Pics

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None Out Of One. Doing Well So Far!

So it’s 2012. Whoop-de-fucking-doo. Isn’t the new year wonderful. Bells and fucking whistles… Yes, if you haven’t already worked out, I’m absolutely and definitely one of those annoying folks who instead of looking forward to the new year and planning how to improve themselves, I look back over the past year and tot up my failures to make myself feel even more pathetic. It’s a great quality don’t you know? Really gets the new year rolling in a positive direction.

2011 was the year I didn’t get a job. The same as in 2010, 2009, and the 21 years before that. Let’s be honest, we’re not going to count 1987 as that was the year of my birth, and I was pretty much an eating, shitting, and crying machine. You can’t really get a job with those kind of bullet points on a C.V, so we’ll strike it from the records.

“But Ciaran”, I hear you screaming, “Didn’t you start this blog to help you get a job? Wasn’t the idea to post once a day about anything and everything to gain some form of presence on this old internet thingy? To ‘sell’ yourself so to speak?” – In short, yes. In long, very much so, yes. Let us indulge ourselves in the mind and soul of the innocent minded, twenty three year old Ciaran Watkins and reminisce. What on earth did that prick have to say for himself?

“I’m a sucker for saying I’ll do something, and then never finding the time, and generally not giving a flying toss after the idea has fluttered to the back of my mind.”

“I guess that means I have six months to change my life, or at least sniff the smallest morsel of success somewhere. Maybe a pat on the head, or at least a well done from someone I respect, otherwise it’s straight to the centre of hopes and dreams with a patchy as shit C.V, where I will most likely be told that I am suited for a job in retail, selling footwear.”

“Ever since I was young, I always knew I wanted to be an art director / copywriter for an advertising agency, with at least one advert my mum can show people on youtube. Well, apart from when I wanted to be a train driver. I fucking love steam trains.”

“Hello, my name is Ciaran Watkins, and I am a perfect example of a child of the Internet Generation. Please help me.”

Well would you look at that, wasn’t I full of hopes and dreams. A shining beacon to one and all. A young pup with all the knowledge and prowess to get somewhere, but needing a kick in the arse to do so. I don’t really think that worked all that well. Do you? No? Funny that. Here’s a little run down to really put you at rest;

  • I lost my way with the whole ‘one a day’ malarky. I then began to resent myself, and strayed from the path more and more.
  • I got a job. As a supervisor. In a shoe shop. Flawless.
  • I continue to want to work in the creative field, and I still want to show my mum something I made on youtube.
  • I am still a perfect example of the Internet Generation, and I still need help.
  • I also still love steam trains. They’re fucking boss.

Pathetic really, if you think about it. Here’s what I’m going to do though; not think about it. After all, today is a new day, and it just so happens to be the start of a new year, and if I remember correctly, some clever and wise old man told us that the world was going to end quite soon.

That solves it then! I’ve got a year to achieve everything I’ve ever wanted, but on the off chance I achieve nothing, it won’t really matter, as we’ll all be dead. I like those odds. I really do.

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