‘Male Copywriter’ Lawson Clarke Has Some Advice for Aspiring Freelancers

By Patrick Coffee 

In case any of our readers ever dream of breaking out of the agency rut by lighting a match and burning the whole thing down, we have to advise you not to do that. There are other, less violent ways to escape your frustration…like working as a full-time freelancer! “Male Copywriter” Lawson Clarke just took the plunge.

As you may know, Clarke launched the site–and the persona that went along with it–after getting canned by Arnold in 2009. In a subsequent interview, he said “I don’t look at it as a gimmick,” and he clearly doesn’t. Bob Garfield once gave it three and a half stars!

This week Clarke left his SVP/creative director job at Hill Holliday after more than three years and announced his newfound freelancer status with a semi-erotic video in which he sells his One Show award and attempts to beat up at least one child.


Clarke spoke to Tim Nudd earlier today about the project, his belly button piercing and his decision to poke fun at one Vladimir Putin. We asked him a few more questions about his advice for other creatives who want to escape from the shackles of the Big Bad Agency world.

Why did you leave Hill Holliday now? No, really.
I did the best work of my career at Hill Holliday and I’m leaving behind some very good friends. But, honestly, the reason I’m going back to freelance is simple: I just like the freelance lifestyle. It suits me well. I freelanced for about 5 years before coming Hill Holliday, and always knew I would go back to it eventually.

What’s the appeal of freelancing?
Is the freelance life for everyone? No, but for me it’s a good fit. The Malecopywriter reboot was just an attempt to make my life a little easier and get the phone to ring on its own. I mean, the irony is we as creatives spend our entire careers coming up with ways to get our clients noticed, but when it comes to our own brands most are content just to throw their portfolio on Cargo Collective and call it a day.

What would you say to others who are thinking of making similar moves?
My advice for anyone thinking about making the jump would be to make it easy on yourself and think of a way you can have clients come to you. That being said, this is going to be hilarious when I’m working as a barista a year from now.

That was a solid take, though we do have a theory that Clarke agreed to speak with us primarily so he could read all your comments.

Please feel free to mention his mustache.

Credits for the project:

Creative Director: Lawson Clarke
Art Director: Jude Senese
Web Design: Rafael Feliz
Producer: Whitney Bogosian
Director of Photography: Tim Mollen
Editor: Michael Reuter
Colorist: Chalie Coffou
Animator: Marcio Lima