Life in Motion: A Frank Look at Modern Advertising
“The only people who care about advertising are the people who work in advertising.”
– George Parker
My career in advertising has taught me three very important things: let go of the things you love, grow a thicker skin, and see things for what they are and not what you wish them to be.
There is a lot of stigma surrounding the idea of working in this industry –– the term immoral devil worshippers has been thrown around more than a couple of times. I sleep very soundly at night, although I appreciate the concern.
The one thing I can say, however, is that this type of career really isn’t for everyone. You have to be able to find balance between creativity and logic; especially when it comes to finishing projects on time and deciphering the vague briefs you’ll often get. For some reason, the concept of stepping outside of yourself and looking for the bigger picture is almost alien to people.
That said, it’s what I live for. I can’t imagine myself stuck in a nine-to-five waiting for the weekend to come around because it’s the only salvation I have when it comes to my predictable lifestyle. I get challenged every day with problems that seem impossible at first, and it’s become such a part of my life that I get bored if things are going too smoothly.
We all have a love-hate relationship with the advertising industry, but you have to make sacrifices to have the privilege of doing something you love for a living. Like most of us will tell you, a rich and fulfilling personal life is not something we’re always familiar with. You’re colleagues become your friends and then eventually your extended family, because you spend more time with them than anyone else in your life. A weekend off from work eventually becomes a novelty and you cherish it more for it.
So, why would anyone choose this as a career path?
- You get to work on household names and brag about it to anyone who will listen
- You get opportunities to do work that resembles big budget features
- Motivation and inspiration come and go without any warning, which keeps things interesting
- You become captivated by different ideas and care about them as if they are your children
- You are only as good as your last project
- Last, but not least, you get caught up in the romance of it all and it eventually defines your work
I get excited and inspired at least four times a week by the projects I get to work on. I have no doubt that what I do is meant for me and it’s the most fulfilling and satisfying part of my life. I suggest you find something similar. At the end of the day, the path you choose has to be something you feel passionate about or you shouldn’t bother.
Then again, I sometimes work one hundred hour weeks and love every second of it –– so what do I know?
Frank Liebenberg is a Lead Animator & VFX Artist at The Fort