DOING strategy

June 26, 2020 § Leave a comment

When I started the strategy course I’ve been doing, I associated the word with complicated diagrams and a vague image of intimidating men in suits.

I had always, ALWAYS got (been given) the feeling that I wasn’t the ‘right’ kind of clever for strategy. Too fluffy, too emotional – too female, basically.

And that kept me back. You see, it turns out I can do strategy like nobody’s business. I’ve been doing it for years.

Strategy is just where you want to get to, along with all the whys, hows and whoms involved in getting there.

Strategy is a one-liner. The rest is the plan of action.

My strategy for the next part of my life is this:

Live in decadent comfort and indecent happiness by being rich and childless.

Making that happen in a measurable way would involve research, problem-solving, insights about happiness, costs, activities, risk mitigation and lots of other planning.

But I’ve got my strategy. I know where I’m going.

Because I do strategy.

Rollergirl

June 22, 2020 § 2 Comments

One of the most perfect vintage pieces I’ve ever had the fortune of stumbling upon is a red 1960s crimplene skater dress with a flowery bib and matching pleated pocket.

60s skater minidress with cowboy boots

I was inspired to wear such a jewel of the 60s today because my new rollerskates are due to arrive soon. Major American Graffiti vibes with that combo.

Although rollerskates have existed for nearly 300 years and been a cyclical craze for the last hundred, the 60s and 70s are when quad skating got good. Not only were rollerskates completely redesigned using modern materials (hello, urethane wheels); skating also became an interesting part of the civil rights movement.

Recognising Black skate culture

Until the late 1960s, rollerskating rinks were segregated like most recreational areas. In 1962, a group of high school students in Illinois staged sit-ins at a local pool and rollerskating rink. The protest resulted in many arrests and 17 kids began a hunger strike.

One year later, a man named Ledger Smith rollerskated to join Martin Luther King’s March on Washington. It was a 685-mile journey and he completed it in 10 days, wearing a placard saying “I’m skating to Washington for Civil Rights” the whole way. Many people cheered him on – but one tried to run him over.

Due to the civil rights movement, most recreational centres were desegregated by the end of the 60s. Rollerskating became a point of pride as Black people were finally able to legally enjoy their communities.

Of course, even now, Black people can be in danger just by daring to exist. I can imagine that any public pleasure or display of skill could feel like a revolutionary act, in a system that still kills Black men and women as they sleep, drive, try to breathe.

The power of rollergirls in 2020

Instagram knows me better than my therapist, so as I looked at skates, I began seeing more and more rollergirl videos. Quad skating in 2020 is very female and beautifully diverse. The joy and power I see in these women as they skim like birds over pavement and tarmac…it thrills me. I want that.

Story Duchess side-by-side skates

So, I now have some Story Duchess side-by-side skates – a bit of an upgrade from my previous kiddie skates. I have a destination in mind for practising. I have a helmet, and pink and mint knee pads. I’m determined that I will get good at this. I skated a lot as a kid and I’ve always danced. All that’s missing is practice and confidence. The confidence comes from the protective wear, I think, at my advanced age.

Something else that excited me about the 2020 quad skating scene is the style, man. It’s like 70s rock ‘n roll meets 80s athleisure meets 90s girl group. Of course, it has to be comfortable and durable. It’s got to roll with the crunches and stretch with the body. But the less you fall, the less you wear – until you’re at skate-yoga-instructor levels of booty-shorted glory, like Coco:

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Freedom comes in infinite forms through countless ways, twisting time unapologetically while never speaking a word. – How does something so big, hide so well that people live a lifetime trying time find it? – In a world that constantly pushes their ideas of freedom on you, I hope some of my freedom helps you find your own💫 -Coco xx . . Want my skate playlist? Join the tribe on my patreon page! – How to skate/yoga Tutorials (link in bio and classes are sent via email after payment). – In person Skate Yoga classes Check details below 💫 – Skate + Yoga Options 🌙 – VEGAS⁠ Date June 19+20+21⁠ SEATTLE ⁠June 26+27+28⁠ CALIFORNIA WORKSHOPS ⁠ ⁠SF|Oakland⁠ July 10th 11th 12th⁠ – Please comment BELOW “interested” with The City you wanna attend and I DM ya with alllllll the details!⁠ . #moxiskatedaily #rollerskating #impalarollerskates #blm #blacklivesmatter #rollerskates #skating #rollerskater #rollergirl #skatergirl #moxirollerskates ⁠ #adultsskatetoo #wanderlust #wildandfree #gypsysoul

A post shared by C𝕆C𝕆 ▴ Skate Yoga Instructor (@gypsetcity) on

Yoga has been part of the skating world since the 70s, when Denis Schufeldt pioneered its use in training for downhill skateboard racing. The balance and form achieved through yoga allowed him to hold exact poses to maintain control of a skateboard hurtling downhill at 50mph. Now, Coco is combining street skating with a ballet-like flow and I’m addicted to it.

Why not?

I’ve changed during lockdown. I row for 45 minutes every day and run every other day. I speak to incredible, supportive women throughout my week and get so much power from them. Having more time means I’m eating better, I’m spending more time being creative and I’m reassessing what I want my life to look like.

Why shouldn’t I take up skating in my thirties? I can do whatever I want.

Where are the female creative directors?

June 18, 2020 § Leave a comment

I’ve been art directing for 10 years: early on, with the words ‘art director’ in my actual job title, and for the rest of that time, organically.

My experience as a copywriter is that we’re exposed to the strategy of a brief so we get the context. You can’t write copy without that understanding, as well as a lot of extra research the briefer hasn’t done. It then makes sense for the design to be guided by the background knowledge and context.

I’ve sat next to designers for my whole career, briefing, sketching wireframes, working on designs back and forth, editing copy to work in the design or changing page hierarchy to fit the copy. That’s how I’ve always worked. For the many designers I’ve known, this was greatly preferred to being handed a brief and told to get on with it. They can and will – but they’ll do it to the letter, without the full context or strategy. I’ve never known a designer who wanted to do that lot by themselves, frankly.

It’s a collaborative process. Now I’m a brand manager (not ‘just’ a copywriter), I 100% see my role as one of creative director, planning and guiding the making process, communicating with stakeholders and then presenting the design – with all the research and context that went into it at the ready. I also feel that I’m a protective barrier between stakeholders and design. It’s tough to be creative under immense pressure, so there needs to be some defence against the noise and stress. Otherwise, you don’t get good stuff out.

No one taught me to do this work and I never studied it. I’ve never worked with a creative director because I’ve never been agency-side. But here’s something: they’re mostly male. All the books about creative direction are by men. The fairly poor reputation that creative directors have in the industry – built by men.

And you know what? They didn’t study it either. They simply reckoned they could do it and they did it, whether they were excellent or mediocre. I think women who want to be creative directors but don’t know how should stop wondering. The men don’t know either, and they’re writing BOOKS about it FFS.

We know how to strategise. We know how to write. We know how to brief. How to art direct, how to present, how to be a creative director. It doesn’t matter what that’s looked like before. This is how it looks now.


Campaign did a feature on female creative directors last year, so at least you can see we DO exist!

A return

June 15, 2020 § 2 Comments

I’m doing a strategy course. Part of that is relearning what an ‘idea’ is. Too often, we confuse thoughts with ideas, or consider linear thinking to be as idea-generating as lateral thinking.

Orderly thoughts – linear – concern related things that go together.

New ideas come at the point where two unrelated things collide. That’s lateral thinking.

This morning, a combination of those ways of thinking generated an old thought for a new reason: I should be blogging.

Here’s my thought process:

What do I love doing? What do I always say I wish was a job?

Journalling and collaging. Finding vintage clothes. Styling. Writing.

OK – those are not difficult to work with. Here’s an idea: how about you go back to writing about the vintage you’re finding, and documenting how you’re styling it with photos and collages from your journal?

Like, obviously.

My why

I write a lot, for money and for myself. But the writing I do for myself isn’t disciplined. It doesn’t develop me; it documents me.

I want more output. I need more creative practice. I desire higher quality than chucking snaps on Instagram.

It’s lockdown, baby. I’m at home all day, I can wear whatever I want and I have the time to help some part of me flourish. My courgettes are thriving – I want that.

Some things are going to change around here

I registered the domain archcopy.co.uk two years ago. I’m Honor Augusta Rose Clement-Hayes and I do everything with a small raise of an eyebrow, so it’s always felt fitting. I seem to remember I actually dreamed the name.

So, today felt like the day to just…use it. Change the Twitter handle, clean up the look of this scruffy little blog and use the service I pay for.

In two weeks’ time, I’ll be 31. I’ll have had this thing for a decade. It’s been a fairly poor representation of who I am throughout the years and now is a good opportunity to right that wrong.

Honor
Arch Copy

Recent Writings

October 3, 2018 § Leave a comment

No, I haven’t been completely buried – posts for Yell are still rolling out a few times a month. Not with the regularity I used to manage but I’m doing my best. Lay off, OK?

I’ve spent a lot of this year learning new stuff, so my articles have reflected what I’m encountering/researching/rejecting at the time. I’m managing and copywriting stuff I’ve never encountered before and keeping up my Yell articles has been brilliant for cementing that knowledge.

A favourite for you:

How to Use Cognitive Biases in Marketing

You can keep up with my other stuff on my Contently.

 

 

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