Creative Circus Alumni Spotlight – Amir Farhang
Director at Hungry Man
#AlumniSpotlight The Creative Circus graduates the most sought after creatives in the industry. Take a moment to read about the lives, careers & personal stories of some of our fantastic alumni.
Advice to the Graduating Class:
First, congratulations. You’ve finished and earned your certificate of graduation. But now the real learning begins. Let’s start by forgetting everything you think you know. No one cares you won the student show, you’re no longer a student. You might have been the best in your class, but now you’re officially the worst creative at whatever agency you work at until you prove otherwise. Be fearless, but respectful. Be curious and ask a lot of questions.
Just because you’re out of school, doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. Take an improv or film class. Go to a screenplay seminar. Seek art. Make art outside the ad world. Go to movies. See live music. Put your phone down. Don’t measure your happiness in “likes.” find a mentor, mentor someone else. Keep your mouth shut and your ears open. Accept you don’t always have the right answer. Don’t blame others or throw people under the bus. Take ownership of your failures and your mistakes. Expect to fail. Expect to win.
Have fun and look for your passion. If making ads fulfills you, make them with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. If they don’t, find what does and use advertising to fuel your art. Don’t complain about any of it. If wearing a hoody to work and making shit up for a living seems like a raw deal, you’re in the wrong business. Be nice. Look people in the eye, and say please and thank you. And finally, for the love of god, if there’s food in the fridge that doesn’t have your name on it, don’t eat it–except on weekends, then all bets are off.
Advice to the Incoming Class:
Welcome to the circus, expect to see some clowns.
Ask yourself why you’re here. What are your goals? What agency do you want to work for? What city do you want to live in? Don’t be afraid to dream and then go after it. Work hard and good things will happen. If you’re here to socialize and treat it like college, you’ll end up exactly where you started, in a ton of debt. Also, and I’ll be real here, you’re going to make some lifelong friends, but right now they are also your competition. You’re going after the same jobs. Have fun with that. Personally, I thrived off being competitive. It can be fun, it can get messy. Be humble in victory and gracious in defeat. There’s an abundance of prosperity to go around for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be ambitious.
What do you wish you knew in school?:
That the peanut m&m machine didn’t actually need quarters.
What does the Circus mean to you?:
For me it represented being all in when I knew I was on the right path and willing to do whatever it took. I was 25 and doing the whole thing on my own with loans. I worked at restaurants to make ends meet. There was frustration, anxiety, late nights, and days I just wanted to give up and be a fireman. It was the first time I felt like I found my people. To quote Rob Siltatenen, writer of the famed “ crazy ones” manifesto for apple, we’re all a bunch of round pegs trying to fit until square holes. The circus was the first circle I felt I fit neatly into. I made some of the best friends in my life that I still keep in touch with today. I look back on being broke and uncertain of where I’d end up and you know what? It was the best time of life.
Describe a monumental, light bulb moment for yourself while you were at The Circus:
In my second quarter I got paired up with a Brazilian art director who barely spoke english. Of course I wanted to get paired with a cool dude I could drink beers with or some hot girl I could try and date. Instead, I got this guy I could hardly communicate with. We were assigned the Oster blender as a product and were instructed to make some print ads, remember those? I remember we were getting nowhere because my ideas all required so much explanation that he didn’t understand any of them. But then something incredible happened, it forced me to think simply and we ended up making an ad that won in the student show and stayed in my book and was the main reason, so I was told, I got hired at BBH at the end of my 6th quarter. By the way, the art director’s name was Sergio Moreno. Great guy.
Favorite project you’ve worked on:
That’s a tough one, as a creative I’ve been lucky enough to work on so many fun projects. From adidas to nike to axe to burger king, I’ve been blessed with some great briefs. Recently I directed this for Ikea and DDB to announce the launch of the new catalogue. That was fun.