I have accepted as fact that, outside of the small circle of talented people with whom I work,
I am widely regarded by Boston’s fashion and media communities as an opinionated outsider, insufferably disagreeable, brash, critical to a fault, and mercurial, at best. I have been labeled ‘certifiably crazy’ by people who are colleagues in title but little else.
This does not bother me, especially. I have been called worse by better.
What is of greater importance than these territorial tête-à-têtes, most of which dissipate as quickly as they assimilate, is the culture that begets them. A separation, if a slender one, ought to exist between the world in which work is created and critically evaluated, and the one in which our respective work communities booze and gossip with one another. They are fundamentally different endeavors, with dramatically disparate ends, and here they are inextricably convoluted. And it affects the work.
Curious, too, that Boston not only embraces but extols the virtues of the anti-ego. I, to the contrary, encourage the people with whom I work to cultivate their egos. This exercise creates a commitment to the work that is unparalleled, a precision, an obsessive, if inconvenient, preoccupation with a compelling result. You should strive to work only with those whom are equally committed, equally critical, equally vigilant in guarding their vision. Sometimes, you will not be liked. Your insistence on what others may see as minutiae will not make you many friends. Care more about what you produce than your popularity.
It is some small comfort that Paul Arden, author and former Executive Creative Director of one of the world’s largest creative agencies, Saatchi & Saatchi, wrote advice to that very end in his book Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite. It is a brilliantly-illustrated collection of adages that every creative ought to read and critically consider.
In short, avoid of the petty madness and let it be a plague of the lesser lot. Love what you do, if not always those with whom you do it. And if you are forced to choose, take the former.
Until next week,
Much love –
EDITOR AT LARGE
CHIEF FASHION CORRESPONDENT
Anna Paula Goncalves
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