27
Aug

work-until-you-die-ad-agency-life-in-nyc
 Work until you die? Ad Agency life in NYC

This article about ad agencies particularly hit home: IT’S NOT WORTH IT’: Ad exec’s brutal rant before he died of cancer is absolutely chilling

This is why I left Advertising about about a year and specifically state on my LinkedIn “No Ad Agencies, please. Client side only.”

wonderwoman

When I worked in Advertising 80 hours were my minimum work week. I never saw my friends and family and I had started to black out a couple times a day. Once (OK, more than once) It almost had me hitting the floor very hard. My average day was so packed that I’d often need to use the bathroom for 4 hours before finally being able to pull myself away from a meeting to pee.

The worst part? People BRAGGED about how many hours they worked. I only worked at a couple Agencies in NYC and NJ so I can’t comment about how it is anywhere else or at other agencies. From my perspective from where I worked this is ingrained in Ad Agency cultures such that they even have an ‪#‎AgencyLife‬ tag on Twitter that they use to brag about it. You know what is a part of #AgencyLife? This 24 year old died from a 30 hour shift and having to be propped up with Red Bull.

I was also, quite literally, working myself to death. The average employee in my particular Agency had a 6 month shelf life. You couldn’t find many who had been there longer.

I saw in my own company people who slept in their offices for 2 hours and then woke up to do another 22 hour day as THE NORM. This was not “crunch time”. This was not rare. This was all the time.

I ended up leaving because I insisted on not going over 80 hours after almost blacking out twice, having finally worked 12 days straight in addition to my normal 80 hour work week. I had requested comp time so that I could at least get some sleep but they literally laughed in my face.

Soon after, I inexplicably almost started vomiting at work and then the next thing I knew my head was on the table and I couldn’t move. I was so close to being hospitalized that I was frozen at my desk, unable to move my head. It felt like I hadn’t seen my husband for the entire time I had worked there.

I was seen as “not committed enough. How dare I want a weekend?

I don’t regret working in Advertising because I learned a lot and it got me to where I am today, but my body was falling apart and I couldn’t do it ever again.

To a lesser extent, the crushing schedule/treadmill idea is why I also walked away from weekly webcomic production. I’d personally never do that again. I know people who it works for, but that isn’t me. An all in one project? Sure. But never again the treadmill. My family and friends are too important at this stage in my life. This is also why I’ve been a hard ass about getting good staffers who will staff my cons with me. I’ve given too much already. Up until this year Harknell and I literally did 80% of the con work before con. I needed some life back or I’d not make it. Not many people know how close I’ve been to maxing myself out.

I am grateful for those who have helped and thus allowed me to regain a modicum of health.

I still work too much, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel thanks to all of you.



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04
Aug

meet-me-at-interventioncon-in-rockville-md-im-teaching-marketing-for-small-biz-returning-to-art-aug-14-16-2015
 Meet me at InterventionCon in Rockville, MD! I’m teaching Marketing for small biz; returning to art! Aug. 14-16, 2015

Intervention is coming up this August 14-16, 2015 in Rockville, MD. I will be coming out of art retirement. For the first time in 5 years you’ll be able to meet me at a table and check out some of my art! I’ll also be available to give advice on your art and creative projects throughout the weekend.

Intervention is my convention that I am producing. If you like my shit, you should get there because this is a Big Deal.

We have Terry Molloy (Davros from Doctor Who) teaching voice acting, my assistant, Kara will be teaching about how to break into the anime industry, and more. Check out these great guests!

Also check out this kick ass schedule! All of that is included in general admission. It’s a huge value. Not only is it fun, but you’ll leave the event recharged and ready to take over the world with your work.

intervention gaming

Don’t forget to bring the kids because this year we have Spy Camp – a really fun Kid’s Track for the whole family. :D

dargon_baby_slider

Register now because my classes are included with general admission. Here is my schedule. I hope you can come out and we can meet!

Friday, August 14th:

4PM Fri – Large Panel Room: Oni Hartstein’s Real Talk Marketing 1: Setting up Your Business Online: All new content for 2015! Oni will demonstrate how she sets up her online presence so she can manage all aspects of it. She’ll also tell you what’s worth spending time on and what’s not and why. Final 15 minutes will be a Q&A.

5PM Fri – Panel Room 1: We Are The Intervention and (Re)Generation: Meet Oni and Harknell – Open forum to ask any questions about both of their conventions or anything else.

7PM Fri – Board Game Room: Board Gaming Room Dedication

Saturday, August 15th:

3PM Sat – Large Panel Room: Oni Hartstein’s Real Talk Marketing 2: Generating and Dealing with the Press (Magazines//TV/Radio): All new content for 2015! Many people think that press coverage will come to you. That’s mostly a lie. Oni will explain everything she did to get press coverage and how it fits into amplifying your signal. She’ll also demonstrate what a press kit is and how to send it without pissing reporters off. Final 15 minutes will be a Q&A.

6PM Sat – Panel Room 1: Staying Motivated: Any small business owner and/or creative will be often hit with setbacks and rejection. It comes with the territory. Let’s talk a bit about what we have experienced and how we manage to keep going. Panelists: LIz Staley, Oni Hartstein

Sunday, August 16th:

10AM Sun – Panel Room 1: Should I Care About Social Media?
Panelists: Oni Hartstein, Kara Dennison, Mary Ratliff

12PM Sun – Large Panel Room: Blogging For Fun and Profit
Panelists: Matt Blum, Oni Hartstein, Nicole Dieker

1PM Sun – Large Panel Room: Oni Hartstein’s Real Talk Marketing 3: Working your ecosystem: All new content for 2015! If you’ve attended the previous 3 panels you understand how to set your stuff up online and how to generate press. Now Oni will tell you how to conceptualize all of that and talk about what tasks she does weekly to make it all work together and get to the next level. Final 15 minutes will be a Q&A.

I will be at my table as much as possible between these times. I hope to see you there!



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27
Jul

evolution-is-hard
 Evolution is hard

Oh man, I am in one of those interim states where I want to work on a creative project but don’t know exactly what to do.

I’ve always identified as an artist. My first calling was music but I didn’t have the resources to be able to do that. I did comics instead. I did them too long. I became bitter with the politics in that scene and the high amount of work that it takes to produce one.

I spent about 10 years getting only 4 hours of sleep per night because of the labor required. I feel like I never want to draw comics again. Just looking at a sketchbook causes me to get queasy. I’m beyond burnt out right now. The only thing I enjoy is studying my guitar.

So I feel lost because I am not actually producing anything.

Yes, I am producing conventions. BTW, have you registered for Intervention yet? It’s in 2 weeks and going to be a hell of a lot of fun.) That’s something I love but not the same thing as a personal creative project.

I feel like I am at a crossroads, unhappy, and not sure what to do. TL; DR you can have a huge amount of success and still be unhappy.

Oh, and I’m slightly losing my sight until I get an eye surgery so making art also sucks for that reason. I find out on Wednesday what’s going on. More on that later. I hope the doctors can help easily.



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22
Jul

makeup-forever-partners-with-transgender-model-andreja-pejic
 Makeup Forever partners with transgender model Andreja Pejic

There’s been a lot of talk about transgender issues because of Caitlin Jenner and the amazing new campaign by Makeup Forever starring Andreja Pejic. If you haven’t seen the latter, here you go:

In my personal world that I’ve created none of this is an issue because we have a diverse mix of all genders in my organization. More than once I’ve been approached and told that it was very positive and remarkable that any gender issues were a non-issue. What I mean by that is that they were immediately accepted and not negatively questioned no matter who they were or how they identified. We are quite proud of our positive atmosphere.

That’s how I roll. Accept people or GTFO. I’ve been marginalized many times in life due to not fitting in. I sure as hell will not allow any of that to happen to anyone else on my watch.

I have no time for people who define themselves by what they don’t like or reduce themselves to fearing what they don’t understand. There’s a lot of things in life that I personally don’t care for and wouldn’t do myself. For example I’d never tattoo my face. That doesn’t mean someone who does can’t have my full respect.

Even if you don’t understand someone it’s not your business to make it your issue. You accept people as important human beings and that’s the end of it. People are important. I don’t care what race/class/gender they are. You don’t have to be “this tall” to have my unconditional friendship, so to speak. I am pretty sure we all read the Dr. Seuss book about the Star-bellied Sneetches. That’s some first grade shit there.

I had intended to write more here but I will follow up this post later with a more personal post on the topic. In the meantime I think I’m gonna schedule a makeup session with MUFE in advance of my next photo shoot.



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22
Jul

5-things-to-know-about-getting-invisalign-a-review-at-6-months-ish
 5 things to know about getting Invisalign – a review at 6 months (ish)

My readers will know that I do not love the company that makes Invisalign. However I have received many questions about my Invisalign treatment and how it’s working. I’ve had these for almost 6 months so I feel that I know enough about them to speak clearly on it.

Invisalign is an alternative to metal braces. They are clear trays that you wear over your teeth for about a year. Every 2 weeks or so you simply switch to a tighter tray. If you are awesome with it like I was and wear it 21 hours a day or more your dentist may tell you to switch to 10 days instead of 14. I am on the accelerated plan and should be free of these things by November which would be less than a year. I had the awful metal braces as a child and they didn’t work which is why I am back to doing this as an adult. I was breaking teeth and in danger of breaking my own jaw on the daily. It was either do this or probably get jaw surgery.

Invisalign may have it’s flaws and their company may annoy me to no end but it’s far better than the alternatives. I would recommend it to anyone who can afford the +- 4k cost. They really are the only good option. I can’t imagine dealing with metal braces again as an adult. You might say “people shouldn’t judge you by your appearance”, but if you truly believe that this is what happens you are living in a fantasy land. I’m currently going for a VP position in a big company and occasionally do TV and magazine media. I can’t really see a planet where I would be taken seriously for this type of job with metal braces.

When I had the metal ones as a child it was brutal. I was always getting cut or stabbed and I had to go in every week or so for adjustments. Invisalign required 3 adjustments for me total. The dentist basically files down my teeth in the back so they can move to wherever it is they are going without shattering my skull.

I totally made that sound more heavy metal than it is. But that’s how I roll. \(^^)/

I had a few trays that were sharp. I was able to file them down with a nail file. The rest of the trays have actually been fine so far but I also have reports from some of my readers that they got sharp trays as well. I have no idea why it seems random that you’ll get a razor blade in your mouth, but apparently that happens.

At just under 6 months I can see a huge difference in my teeth. It’s definitely doing what it says it does. I’ll have to update on that further when I am done with the treatment.

Without further ado, here are the 5 things you should be aware of before you get these. I don’t think that too many people are posting the Real Talk about what these things are like to live with:

1. Heavy staining: You can’t have curry, red wine, or anything that stains your teeth. They have to install “buttons” on your teeth to hold the trays in place. For some reason, the bonding they use for these buttons absorbs stains like a sponge. One meal of curry will have you looking like a Halloween pirate with the yellowest, nastiest teeth you ever saw. No you can’t remove it at home to my knowledge.

2. Bleaching sort of helps: I gave up curry but I cannot and will not give up coffee. Coffee stains the bonding but far less than the curry. It seems that after about a month I need to bleach. To bleach just use Crest Whitestrips (or whatever it’s called) once every month or as needed. It removes the coffee stains in 30 minutes. The curry stains mentioned above were so bad that it perplexed my dentist and he had to blast me with some high powered baking soda. I’m not testing the whitestrips with curry. That traumatized me too much.

3. You’ll need to carry a toothbrush everywhere: Say goodbye to small purses until this is over. You need to brush, floss, and clean the trays when you eat anything ever.

4. You can drink smoothies and coffee with these in but beware: You can do this, but you run the risk of having epic amounts of blueberry or whatever stuck in the trays. This actually totally happened to me. I try and keep my mouth really closed until I can get to the bathroom upon arriving at work since I like to drink my morning smoothie in the car. If you drink coffee, make sure it’s not hot enough to warp the trays.

5. Wear these shits for at least 21 hours a day or more: Seriously, just do it. Why would you want to lengthen the amount of time you have to have to fuss with this? The 2 week time frame is designed assuming that most people are lazy and won’t wear them. Wear the hell out of these and GTFO in 10 days instead of 14 and on with your life.

TL; DR: At about 6 months in I recommend Invisalign. It’s annoying and I can’t wait to be done with them but it was the right decision for me to get them. They are a lot less awful than the alternatives.



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