TBWA quote

Sometimes I write about things that have nothing to do with food, but are equally as important to me. This is one of those times.

Food is my passion. Advertising is my career. Both are great loves that I’ve dedicated my life to, and help keep me balanced through all the ups and downs I’ve endured. One thing that both food and advertising have in common is creativity. In fact, creativity is something of an obsession in both the advertising and culinary businesses. I enjoy following chefs on Instagram and seeing them prepare food in a way I could never imagine about as much as I love siting down with a client who needs a new marketing plan for their brand.

So here are some of my favorite quotes that I find enlightening, and think you’ll find useful regardless of whether you work in advertising or not. Advertising pioneer Bill Bernbach has said “Creativity is the most practical thing a businessman can employ”, but I think creativity is the most liberating thing any person can employ. It opens minds, which always opens new doors.

I’ve adopted #1 as my personal motto.

1. “Just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean you need to — restraint is something I admire. At the end of the day, it is still a battle between good vs. crap.”  Dave Droga, founder of Droga5

And this is my second favorite.

2. “When you accept that you may fail, you can accomplish anything. Fear can be so debilitating. Every day I’m faced with difficult decisions, but losing the fear helps me make the right choices.”  Linda Kaplan Thaler, chair of Publicis Kaplan Thaler

Here are some other great ones…

3. “Creativity is like washing a pig. It’s messy. It has no rules. No clear beginning, middle or end. It’s kind of a pain in the arse, and when you’re done, you’re not sure if the pig is really clean or even why you were washing a pig in the first place.” — Luke Sullivan, author of “Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This”

George Lois got Roger Clemens to appear in this ad for free.

4. “Nothing comes from nothing. You must continuously feed the inner beast that sparks and inspires.” — George Lois, co-founder of Lois, Holland, Callaway

5. “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.”  Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple

6. “An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it.” Bill Bernbach, co-founder of Doyle Dane Bernbach

7. “Too many people, including the ad industry, believe the future is something that happens and just rolls them over in it’s wake.” Cindy Gallop, former chair of Bartle Bogle Hegarty

8. “Creative ideas flourish best in a shop which preserves some spirit of fun. Nobody is in business for fun, but that does not mean there cannot be fun in business.” — Leo Burnett, the Leo Burnett Company

9. Lee Clow of TBWA/Chiat/Day:

Lee Clow with quotes

10. “If you have anything really valuable to contribute to the world, it will come through the expression of your own personality, that single spark of divinity that sets you off and makes you different from every other living creature.” — Bruce Fairchild Barton, co-founder of Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn

11. Dan Weiden of Weiden + Kennedy:

Dan Wieden with quote


12. “You can’t just be you. You have to double yourself. You have to read books on subjects you know nothing about. You have to travel to places you never thought of travelling. You have to meet every kind of person and endlessly stretch what you know.”  Mary Wells Lawrence, co-founder and former president of Wells Rich Greene

Braniff air strip ad
One of Mary Wells Lawrence’s most famous ads.


13. “Creativity and innovation are about finding unexpected solutions to obvious problems, or finding obvious solutions to unexpected problems. We should use our creativity to provide better businesses and solutions rather than constantly trying to disrupt what people are doing.”  Rei Inamoto, chief creative officer at AKQA

14. “Advertising is not that original. For me, it’s,’ How can I put all the things together, combine and mix it into something that’s unique?”  Elvis Chau, executive creative director and partner, Anomaly Shanghai

Chau won a Cannes Lion award for this Samsonite ad in 2011.

15. “The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.”  David Ogilvy, founder of Ogilvy & Mather