The Man. The Myth. The Birdwatcher. Ladies and gentlemen, Associate Creative Director over at DDB, Paul Riss.
I’m sure lots of people use this one. It’s kind of an easy out I guess. Plus, when your wife reads the 5+ blog post and she’s not in there, look-out. I’m kidding actually, my wife is a great inspiration to me. She is a super creative person with a seemingly endless supply of interesting ideas. She is also one of the few people that is 100% honest with me. If I have a lame idea, advertising or otherwise, she’s the first to say so. On the flip side, she’s my biggest fan as well. She also created my children. Sure I helped a tiny bit but let’s be honest, she did the lion share of the construction work. They, my twins Georgia and Shepard, represent the other part of my family that inspire me. They are just under 4 years old and they help me see things more clearly and in ways I’d never be dumb enough to on my own. When I say ‘dumb enough’, I mean that they just aren’t educated enough to not ask the questions nobody else will. Does that make sense?
Surprise surprise on this one too. If you know me at all, you know I’m nuts for birds. I spend more time with them than with people. And I like it that way. I never have a bad time with them. It isn’t always so easy finding them but when you do, it’s worth every second spent looking. They are free to roam in a way that we can’t even understand. They are perfect at everything they choose to do and they always look stunning, even when they are terribly ugly. I have been enthralled with them since I was about 10. I never take pictures of them, only memories. Each of the approximately 600 species I’ve seen around the world has a special place in my brain (and usually, I can tell you exactly where I saw them the first time). Special thanks to Mark Peck at the ROM for allowing me to sit among their superb specimen collection for my portrait by George.
I’m feeling awfully predictable with my inspirations here. Hopefully my take on this is unique. Music is a huge part of my life. It has been ever since my parents owned a record store when I was 8 years old. I’d spend all summer there with my mom, playing record after record, day after day. It seems music is the perfect form of creativity. You can be very direct about your message or very indirect. You can say it fast, slow, loud or quiet. Nobody can tell you it’s wrong because you are the only one that knows. I am amazed by musicians on a constant basis. There are literally millions (maybe billions?) of unique songs. All made with a relatively small array of instruments. I’m not sure there’s another form of creativity as pure. I’m unlucky in that I play none of those instruments but lucky that I’m friends with many musicians and that I get to see the process first hand. I also get to do gig posters for them. It’s as close as I can get to their creative freedom.
Who wouldn’t be inspired by change?
Ad people (when they aren’t doing ads)
As an advertising creative, my hands are often bound by legalities, client comfort levels and so many other things. That’s why I do things creatively that are just for me. You may or may not enjoy them but I honestly don’t give a shit (they’re for me anyway). Two such things; I’m trying to make a documentary about birdwatching (what kind of advertising professional would I be if I didn’t use every piece of media to try and get more eyes on my side project). How often have you met an ad person that has a script or a TV show they’re working on? They almost all do, it’s like we are all looking for a way out of advertising; a bigger, more exciting option. I am however inspired by these people that are actually making things happen on the side.