Jon Hillier
jon hillier

Generation X


“We live small lives on the periphery; we are marginalised and there’s a great deal in which we choose not to participate. We wanted silence and we have that silence now.

We arrived here speckled in sores and zits, our colons so tied in knots that we never thought we’d have a bowel movement again. Our systems had stopped working, jammed with the odour of copy machines, Wite-Out, the smell of bond paper, and the endless stress of pointless jobs done grudgingly to little applause.

We had compulsions that made us confuse shopping with creativity, to take downers and assume that merely renting a video on a Saturday night was enough. But now that we live here in the deserts, things are much, much better.”

Generation X signed Douglas Coupland



Sort it out later.
You are an information gatherer, you are an eye.
Everything you see is interesting. Learn to believe in this and fashion your world towards the recording of that data.

The more you go into this recording mode, the more you will see. So detail becomes important. The glistening lino on the floor of the underground carriage, the colour of the sky at particular times of day, the debris and litter on the streets of your town. All is available and miraculously all is free. Take advantage.

Your work is like a spaceship tethered to Earth, it can take you for a ride around the universe. Be bold, go, but remember to write down all the details.

How to be an Artist, Michael Atavar

Che Fece… Il Gran Rifiuto


To certain people there comes a day
when they must say the great Yes or the great No.
He who has the Yes ready within him
reveals himself at once, and saying it he crosses over

to the path of honour and his own conviction.
He who refuses does not repent. Should he be asked again,
he would say No again. And yet that No -
the right No – crushes him for the rest of his life.

CP Cavafy

Ogilvy Fellowship Reading List


Exciting times at Ogilvy towers – we’re recruiting for a new year of Ogilvy Planning Fellows. Junior roles in planning are few and far between – this is a really coveted route into the ad industry. (You should probably apply.)

So to celebrate, Ogilvy Fellows past and present got together to start you off with a list of recommended reading – whether you’re applying to the Ogilvy Fellowship or not, this is a pretty handy list for young ad-sorts.

You can download the full list here.

Ok, so there are a few on there I wouldn’t leap to read myself, but take a look at the list and see what takes your fancy – print it out and take it to the library. Read.

My really recommended, though hardly groundbreaking, suggestions are:

Ogilvy on Advertising, David Ogilvy
Truth Lies and Advertising, Jon Steel
Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely

But I’d like to give you a tip that wouldn’t make other advertising reading lists:

How to be an Artist by Michael Atavar

How to be an Artist, Michael Atavar

A bit of a hangover from my days in contemporary art, this book is absolutely nothing to do with the business of advertising, but everything to do with the business of ideas and creative thinking. Pretty handy for a wannabe planner, right?

Anonymous Toil


Only gradually do you come to appreciate that the occupation you aspire to is harder than you thought, that the supply of other young, self-anointed apples of their own eyes is inexhaustible, and that you’re not as uniquely gifted as you’d thought,” she says. Far better to spend ten years “fetching lattes” than fall victim to a big break: “It’s surely a fine emotional art – dousing your hollow hauteur without quenching the fire in your belly altogether – but the kids who master it come out the other side both shit-hot at their professions and bearable as human beings”

From Christine Smallwood’s great profile of Lionel Shriver in this week’s (July 22nd 2013) New Yorker.

Older posts →