YES, YES and THRICE YES!
To coin an old advertising line - “The answer is ‘yes’, now what’s the question?”
That’s what I decided to do at the start of the year, say ‘YES’ to everything.
I had no other choice to be honest:
The missus had been seriously ill.
She recovered, but I was left shell-shocked and agoraphobic.
I wasn’t up to work. And I love work!
I liked it better than me ‘olidays.
Basically I was completely f’d up.
So, (along with a proper bit of therapy) saying, “Yes please!” (when what I actually FELT like saying was: “No! Please, I beg of you, no!”) was my self-prescribed plan to deal with my mental predicament.
Of course my wife thought it was a great idea, and promptly took the opportunity to ask me to do everything she’s been wanting me to do for the past ten years…
I’ve de-fluffed her cardigans,
Painted her toenails (just kidding, she would never let me do that),
Brought her a cup of tea every morning (she doesn’t have to ask, I do this anyway. I know, hero.)
Maybe that’s the wrong way to demonstrate my powers of YESness…
Allow me to update you all on my actual progress.
So far this year I’ve:
Cleaned out my office, lock-up and house (we’re moving).
Said YES to moving house (frankly, I’m terrified).
Donated 90% of my bespoke suits to charity (somewhere out there there’s at least one extremely stylish man with short arms who dresses to the right, feeling super lucky).
Given away: Roughly 1,000,000 books (obvs not my D&AD annuals yet);
My collection of glass clowns (I know what you’re thinking, what a shame);
Glass Clowns - GONE!
My stockpile of fake confederate bank notes (only for reference of course).
Done a comedy improv course (which was funny, cos I absolutely can’t stand improv).
An advanced screen printing course (easy that one, I LOVE screen printing).
Learnt everything there is to know about double-glazing…
Saying "yes" to Print Club was easy (www.printclublondon.com)
Lectured at the Birmingham Design Festival (at v. short notice, pls see prev. post).
Spoken on countless podcasts and online talks (Watch out for one particularly trappy one for Creative Review due out in September, I might get cancelled, exciting!).
Been interviewed by a German socio-linguist with the Missus and featured on ‘A Cockney Conversation’ podcast.
Done a residency at the SCA…
And for a whole month I was the oldest intern in town (on a young intern’s wages)!
After all those “yes’s”, some scary and hard as they were, the cloud finally began to lift and I have to say, I started to get me mojo back.
To be honest, the "yes" thing is working so well that I'm going to keep it going.
I’ve created a brand new art collection and now it’s going to be printed and sold by the Jealous Gallery.
No one would’ve have predicted that when I started this year all shagged out and sad would they?!
On top of that, I’m signed up for a solo exhibition in Feb again at Jealous (just gotta produce all the work now, pls come).
I found myself an exciting new creative partner, and I’m about to relaunch as an eager (part-time) advertising creative.
I’m also forming a partnership with her as a new directing duo (watch this space)
I’m busy with my Missus, Anna finishing off a series of films based on our shared teenage experiences (even though she grew up in North London and I grew up South of the river - bonkers, I know).
Along with that, I’ve pledged to produce a play that Anna has written and is casting-for at the moment (spoiler alert - its all about advertising).
On the fashion front, I’ve designed a bunch of provocative t-shirts and a collection of practical casual-wear.
So, in conclusion…
I feel like I’ve been curled up under a dark cloud for a couple of years… and it’s time to bust out.
“Yes” seems to be the only logical answer to most questions at the moment, within reason (before you ask, no I’m not spreading the news on Reddit).
I’ll give anything a bash. After what we’ve all been through, what is there to lose?
Then again, I know what you’re all thinking: “But Mark! ...are you still available to shoot tv commercials?”
The answer is a resounding YES, YES, YES!
PS: FYI, the aforementioned old advertising line was for Unipart (no prizes this time).
Yes/No Illustration: Seth Watkins, A Large Evil Corp