You don’t own ideas. They own you. #GrahamFink – By @dennis_engel87

Dennis Engel

By Dennis Engel


You don’t own ideas. They own you. #GrahamFink

Monday Marc invited us to the Shanghai exhibition of Graham Fink in the Riflemaker gallery London. I wouldn’t say that I am deeply in love with his recent art works but if you know Graham, the amazing advertising work he has done and how he reinvents himself again and again already since decades this was reason enough to get out of our Brixton advertising bubble and convince him to visit us in our studio before he would head back to China. 

Luckily either Marc’s high professional persuasion techniques or the pure presents of 35 SCA students at his exhibition made him visit our studio today. 

So here are the things we have learned in his masterclass:

1. Do the opposite

This is something that Dave Trott mentioned too and that most of ECD’s would agree on in our industry. Try to make things differently. Break rules. Get out some funny, unexpected ideas and morph them into a different result. This will help you to stand out and to push the boundaries of great work further.

2. Leave things to the audience

Ask your friends, your parents, planners, clients, random people on the street about their opinion. This helps you to create a relationship with your audience and to find out if your ideas work or not. 

3.Change the context how you look at your work. 

When Andy Warhol brought his Brillo boxes into the art galleries he completely changed the perception about how you look at products you use every day. Taking things out of the context and giving it a different meaning creates an interesting way of communication. 

4. Culture changes stuff. Advertising changes culture. 

Good ideas create a conversation but great ideas change the culture. Keep this in mind while you try to come up with the next big idea. 

5. Know who you are talking to.

If you want to work for a specific agency ask yourself why you want to work for this agency. Know their work, people and the agency culture. A great portfolio is just half the way to a job offer. 

6. Have an opinion. 

If you have an opinion about something than stick to it. You are more likely to impress your ECD if you are a leader than a follower. 

7. Ask the right questions

What’s your favorite work? What’s your favorite color? These are shit questions! 

Why don’t you hire me? Do you want to have a look inside my book? These are good questions! 

8. You don’t own ideas. They own you. 

If you try to force yourself you are less likely to come up with a great idea. So try to get yourself into a relaxed state of mind and the big ideas will come much more easily. 

9. Ideas that have been done before

Just because you came up with an idea that another agency did 6 years ago on another continent doesn’t mean you had a shit idea. Simply go and find another one.  

10. Leave everything better than you find it.

If everybody will make the world a bit better than we will create an awesome future planet. 

11. If yo can do it… Do it!

If you want to change the world you have to be crazy enough to think that you can change the world. 

12. Give blood for everything you do. 

13. Don’t put the brief on the page. Put yourself on the page. 

Your are not answering a brief. You are a human talking to humans. 

14. The whole world is your creative department. 

Ideas can come from anyone and anytime, everywhere.

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