Thursday, 21 February 2013


I was recently asked to write a short article for a creative industry mag. 
The theme was Desperation.

Why do we hide desperation?  It seems a peculiarly British trait.  

Want something, but for Gods sake dont let anyone know how much. Meet someone you like. Pretend you dont. Feel like your lifes falling apart, that the last, proverbial straw is looming? Keep it to yourself.

Desperation and advertising go hand in hand. And yet we still deny its existence. Faced with a bare wall, at 3am in the morning when the coffee has stopped working and the dubious bottle of whatever-alcohol-brand-you-last-pitched-for has been cracked open, we will confidently tell each other that everythings ok. 

That the three crap ideas in front of us are the best thing we could have done. 

But why?

Desperation got me a job. Sheer, bloody minded, torturous desperation. As soon as I gave into it, doors started opening. 

Before that it kept me awake during the late night portfolio building of university. It made me knock on doors. Talk to strangers. Go back and knock on the same doors.

And now, I watch the friends that kept their desperation alive, get even further.

It keeps you keen, and forces you to make big, bold and sometimes brilliant decisions. 

Desperation inspires brilliant works of art.

Would Romeo and Juliet have been half as good if Romeo had just shrugged his shoulders and said, Yeah, Im not that into her…”

Would the frenetic, passion-infused work of Van Gogh have been a fraction of its tortured brilliance if he hadnt been driven by the pure and utter desperation to be heard?

Put simply, desperation makes you brave. And perhaps more importantly it makes you honest.

So that is my advice. To my often all too complacent self and to anyone thinking of a career in a creative industry.

Give in to desperation, see where it get you.

{Starry Night over the Rhone, Vincent Van Gogh, 1888}

No comments:

Post a Comment