Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My split second of fame on Toronto Star ^_^

One Saturday night, I was sick and stayed home. Decided to upload this personal project on cardsofchange.com a site a friend sent me. Monday morning, got an email from Diana at Toronto Star. My first newspaper appearance is as follows:

Take a look - it's all in the cards

by Diana Zlomislic - Living Reporter
May 12, 2009 04:30 AM

They asked pink-slipped workers to modify and upload business cards, with inspiring results

You've just been laid off. Included in your office detritus, still sitting in the trunk of the Toyota Corolla, are: paper clips, a can of Static Guard and a box of business cards.

A couple of guys in California have figured how to put one of those things to good use.

Cardsofchange.com, which launched 11 days ago, is encouraging pink-slipped workers around the world to modify their business cards – put an upbeat spin on the "What now, what next?" question and upload it to the site.

"We asked people to share one positive thing that came from their layoff," Tom Van Daele, the site's creative director, says by phone from Santa Monica. "It's a therapeutic message, actually."

Lily Tse, 31, lost her job as art director at a Toronto ad agency in mid-April. Hoping to comfort her, a friend emailed the link to cardsofchange.com.

Cliché though it sounds, she admits she started to feel less alone.

"I looked at all the people with awesome titles who worked at great companies from every part of the world," she says.

"You realize everybody's impacted. It's not local. You can't take it personally."

One card in particular inspired Tse to come to terms with her own layoff. Uploaded by Hildie Neuman, a former power broker at a top ad agency in New York, the card showed two thin X's drawn in black marker over her job title and contact information. A handwritten message filled a gully of white space in the middle: "I planned my daughter's wedding!"

Tse uploaded her own card on Saturday night.

She modified it by doodling clouds, a flower and a happy-faced sun. She kept her job title visible but added three extra little lines above it to tell the world that she's also a traveller, a chef and a photographer. Super-imposed over all that, in a cheery pink, sans-serif, ultra-modern font, is a cheeky message: "I just art-directed this card."

The abundance of folks on the site who worked in advertising is no coincidence.

The site itself is founded by ad geeks who went out on their own after losing work at major agencies. Cardsofchange.com was conceived during a brainstorming session for one of their new clients at their small advertising upstart, dubbed unknownlab, in Santa Monica.

Tamer Kattan, 38, and Van Daele, 28, worked together on the Nissan account at TBWA/Chiat/Day, a top California ad agency, when the company announced layoffs.

Kattan started at the company in 1991. "Within advertising, you have seniority," he says, "but you have seniority within a silo – depending on what brand you work on. Automotive is a category that suffers quite a bit during a recession."

After being laid off, Kattan spent time volunteering – reading to kids in libraries and schools around Los Angeles. "They're so honest," he says. "I know that I have a receding hairline now because of them. And that I'm short."

Van Daele and Kattan launched unknownlab in February.

"It's less glamorous, that's for sure," Kattan says. "We don't have an indoor park. We don't have this huge warehouse and free food and all that stuff, but the actual process of coming up with ideas and solving business problems is just as exciting.

"I don't think you need to have a big budget to have a great idea."

Jeremie Goldwasser, 28, an art director laid off less than two weeks ago from Young & Rubicam in Brussels, uploaded one of the most creative cards to date on the site.

He turned his business card into a paper plane. In capital letters on the plane's side, his message: "FLYING AWAY!" – his email address hand written on a separate white slip of paper attached at the rear like jet contrail.

"I felt pretty sad at first," Goldwasser says. "I'd been at Rubicam for four years. The Belgian advertising industry is really having a very tough time."

The bad news, though, has him thinking big.

"I'm still young and I believe to be really creative you have to start all over again, all the time. It's something I'm willing to do."

He's looking to pack up and find work abroad.

Canada is at the top of his list.

"I speak perfect French and I speak English and I don't like when it's too hot, anyway."

Tse, meanwhile, is heading to Cannes next month to accept a National Advertising Award for an interactive project she art-directed.

"I'm sure someone else will appreciate my talent when the economy gets better. I can go back to doing what I was meant to, just at a different company."

Read full article here: http://bit.ly/M37Fz
Also on today's printed Toronto Star - E1 Section.

See my card here: http://bit.ly/NvTkZ

No comments:

Post a Comment