Just Asking

Go to trade school. I had the worst book. I only got my first job (at Needham, Harper & Steers) because of an act of kindness, truly. I was so green I didn’t know what I was doing. —Kevin McKeon, executive creative director, StrawberryFrog, New York

I know it’s a cliché, but less is more. Oh, and try to avoid clichés. —Stop thinking you’re such a genius and keep thinking up new ideas. I think I used to stop too soon. Try taxidermy. You’ve gotta be hard on yourself; that’s the point. … Be your own worst critic first. Getting a job afterward is going to be a lot easier. I would tell myself: Keep going. —Don’t show clever ads; show that your brain dissects problems in a way that no one else has thought of. They want to know how big someone can think, more than how succinctly they can write or design. That, and don’t wear a jacket and tie to your first interview. I would probably say, “If you’re showing this book to Wieden, edit and rework the book accordingly, and if you’re showing this book to Crispin, I would take out those few campaigns.” I feel like I just showed the same book to every agency. —