By Dean Shein
A letter to Robin. My advertising mentor in Sydney.
I do apologise for the late reply. I’ve just got hold of a new phone and I’m having to re add all my contacts. I found your number while on your website. While I was there I had a look at most of your work. I really enjoyed it. The RSPCA ad was extremely powerful. It’s surreal style made the execution almost hyper real.
The work I did for Peter Souter and Richard Curtis was well received. I’ll send it to you. Peter is a magical man that I really admire. My ad hero. The meeting with him left me rather exuberant. I ran around in the playground afterwards like a kid. More than everything though he’s just such a kind and supportive man.
Let me fill you in on where I am currently. I started in September really not knowing what all this was about. Fast forward to almost July and I’ve absolutely loved ad school. The atmosphere has been electric in this place. My mind has been filled with all sorts of wisdom. So much of what you were telling me before has been repeated to us. Reading joke books as well as children’s novels… The parallels in what we do are uncanny. I have recently re-fallen in love with Roald Dahl. What a mind he had. Just bonkers. Einstein said that only when we are be able to communicate to children, that is when we truly understand.
So… In terms of the idea process and coming up with ideas, in a pair… I absolutely love it. It’s riveting. Unfortunately it’s the second part which I have been struggling with. Delivering/Production. This athletic like approach you speak of. Dave Trott style…
And this is where it gets bitter sweet. I will hopefully be attending the school again. Yep trays right. Starting it all from scratch in September… Well not really from scratch, as my mind is now well awake.
The reason for this is I am yet to find a partner… I wonder what that says about me. It’s really because have failed to produce. I still don’t have a book. After chatting with Marc I feel that I maybe I just haven’t found flow yet and once I do, I’ll truly soar… Some stars take a little longer to burn bright. Marc does however want me to once and for all attend to my lack of ‘delivery’. I just don’t produce work, once I have the idea. For multiple reasons. I get distracted. I lose focus. I lose motivation. I become overwhelmed. I wonder how I’ll ever do the thought justice. And so I’ve don’t something that I’ve been scared to do for many years. I’ve booked a consultation at the ADHD clinic. I went as a teenager and was told I only had mild symptoms that would disappear as I grew older. But I really do have an organisation and concentration problems that need urgent attention… I’m going to find out once and for all what’s happening in my mind. Marc is of the view that if I have to take a few chemicals to help me move from occasional ‘flashes of brilliance’ to delivering work on a daily basis, then so be it. It’s something to be proud of. I love my mind. And I don’t want to lose myself in the process. That’s why I’m sure I’ll be trialing different intensities of these chemicals after analysis.
I’ve currently just started physiotherapy for my feet as I haven’t run in 2 months since my last marathon. I over did it and now I’ve suffered. I tried to do too much with no proper running structure. It was all too sporadic. I guess it mimics my work ethic. Not running has affected my mental health. Marc stresses the importance of having the mind in a meditative state. It’s so important for our health. It’s also in this playful child state that we arrive at ideas. When we are laughing. When we are not even thinking. When we are out of the studio. When our thoughts are lurking around in the back of our minds. In our subconscious. This is when our thoughts become like wine. It’s time for the mulling to take place. And this happens outside. In the park. On the train. At the pub. On the train. During sex. During sleep. Sleep is so important by the way.
Marc is adamant that we must keep ourselves constantly inspired. We are encouraged on a daily basis to connect the dots and absorb culture. A galley. A gig. Theatre. A poetry gathering. A cooking class. A wax museum. It’s so important to have a creative life that goes beyond our day to day stuff. And here’s the best part. What we see… What we hear… What we feel… What we absorb… It all goes into our minds… And seeps into our work.
Robin, I’m only just getting started. I’ll be back in September with a healthy body and a healthy mind. To find not just a partner, but myself. After all I need to get a job before October 2020. Before my visa runs out. I’m ready to crack on.
This place that I’m at is weird and wacky. I feel right at home. I am so fucking lucky that I might get to stay here. I’ll get to keep being a sponge. Everyday we are re-inspired. But I’ll need to give much more than I have. I’ll need to give it my all. I’ve lost motivation at times. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I’ll need to harness some predatory thinking. I’ll need to work smart. I’ll need to know when to switch on and when to switch off. I’ll need to not lose my head. I’ll need to deliver. I’ll need to continue being me.
I hope you and your family are well. Chat soon!
P.S. I’d love to order some of the kids books you and your missus have created.