Tag Archives: chiat day

Creative Outlets Outside The Office

Our job titles are “creatives.” We work in a “creative field.” And we work at an office where “creativity” is King with a capital K.

One of the best things about TBWA\Chiat\Day is that they not only support creativity in advertising, but creativity in everything. This place understands that in order to do inspired work, you’ve gotta be inspired. And while a basketball court in the office, cool DJs at lunch, concerts in the parking lot & “creative black tie” holiday parties sure do make for inspiration inside the office, Chiat also supports inspiration outside the office.

They will supplement classes that we take to continue to augment our creative skills. I took them up on that offer.

And just finished my travel photography class at Otis College of Art & Design.

Travel Photography
What makes a great travel photograph? Location, subject, time of day, light, shadow, and color, all play a role in creating a terrific, engaging and memorable image. This course combines location shooting, printing, written documentation, and class critique while covering topics ranging from color to black and white, digital or film, lens focal lengths, composition, and depth of field.

I shot a lot, shared a lot, learned a lot, and was creative outside the office!

Here’s a sampling of work from the class!













And I included a page in my portfolio of Instagram photos (responsible for most of the photos on the lali blog!) because it’s the camera that’s always with me.

Instagram Collage

xo from la the photog :)

PS Stay tuned for li’s post re: what SHE does creatively outside the office! Besides make up songs for her dogs, of course.


1 Comment

Filed under lali

lali supports prostates this Movember!

So… I wasn’t toooootally sure what a prostate was, and I was kind of afraid to google it at work in case something NSFW came up. But I know it has something to do with man parts, and I know Movember has something to do with growing mustaches to help keep prostates healthy. And lali cares about the health of all the awesome men in our lives.

Ergo… we wanted to show our Movember support for mustaches, men, and man parts!!

What do mustaches have to do with prostates, you ask? According to the Movember website:

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.

Hopefully the cute finger staches la has donated to the cause raise much awareness and many donations!!

Click here to see our previous contributions to the movement. Preview: la looks a little dirty and I look like a weird old man.

xo to all our favorite men out there… may your prostates remain healthy and vital!

Leave a comment

Filed under lali

A Spoonful of Music Makes the Work Day Go Down!

In the most delightful way!

So we blog a lot about work perks. And that’s because we’re lucky enough to get them. And yeah, we work hard and all. But the past two days have been a reminder of how lucky we are to work in advertising. And how lucky we are to work at TBWA\Chiat\Day.

Reminder 1

We had a concert on the basketball court on Tuesday. Yup, that’s right. First of all, there’s a basketball court at the office. Second, we had a concert there. Woot woot!


When walking down to the basketball court, you could hear her haunting voice floating up to the third floor stacks. She was quite ethereal, at times operatic, and reminded me of a wood nymph. And her upright bass player wasn’t too shabby either!


That’s her. And here’s her own self description:
“I am a Flower Alchemist with a minor in music.
Born in New York City, raised in Motherland Russia, spent teenage years sequestered in an Italian monastery.

Following a prophecy, arrived in the U.S. incognito and studied opera. The rest is history.

I seek to sing in a manner which would create within your chest a safe, magical, truthful place of power beyond the slow burn of stars.”

Reminder 2:

And then last night, Shane at Hum was kind enough to invite us to a Blitzen Trapper performance.

Blitzen Trapper
Blitzen Trapper

This is pretty exciting to us already, as the last time I saw them was at the Hollywood Bowl. And the time before that at Coachella. And we’re getting to see them with 50 other people in a garage. Seriously, pretty sweet. And I really really love this band.

This song we’ve tried to put in many a commercial… Maybe it’ll still happen! (please ignore my atrocious singing, my goodness, I totally didn’t consider that my voice would get recorded as well, whoops!)


And after the show, li had the awesome idea to get them to sign the set list. Which we did.

Signed Blitzen Trapper Setlist!

But more importantly, we had a really awesome time getting to know the band. They’re all from Oregon (except for Marty, he’s from Washington). Topics discussed included: the soft harem, attempting to sign girl’s boobs with a bic pen, Indiana Jones, the word “hapa,” alcoholism recovery and country music.

Our new friends! Yeah, our flesh had turned to furr and our thoughts, they surely were, turned to instinct and obedience to God :)

We also got lessons in air drumming.

All in all, it’s been a pretty work perky kinda week. And we’re not complaining!

Thanks Elizaveta & Thanks Blitzen Trapper!


PS Listening to their new album now, and it’s like 70’s trucker bar in the lali cube!
PPS Also, Ashley Ford came to visit and brought us some cool necklaces from Savage, their new production company! Keep bringing on the work perks! Good thing we took our bribery training class… (!!!)


Filed under lali

Things Are Lookin’ Up!

We love this spot. And the line at the end, things are lookin’ up, is our slogan for the day!

So regular blog readers may know, li and I have not had a super lucky year in terms of selling work.

However, yesterday we had a pretty good meeting for Kraft. And while we don’t believe anything is REALLY sold until we see it on the television, things are looking good on this one.

So we’re going to celebrate by going to happy hour today!

But first, we had to take care of business. There are a lot of things we’re “supposed” to do, but as creatives, and because we’re allowed to act like children and be irresponsible, we sometimes let those things slip. It’s not that we intentionally ignored the 72 reminder emails. It’s just hard to find time for these things! So in our free hours this morning – because the meeting went well woot woot! – we decided to: do our backlog of timesheets from July, do expense reports dating back to July, complete our “combating bribery in business training” and fill our our health quotient (whatever that is and whatever it’s for, we’re still not clear!)

This was, of course, a source of amusement for both of us.

We answered “honestly” in our health quotient, which for li, meant that she got a super low score, mostly due to “stress at the workplace.”

Picture 86

And just now, while blogging, we had a side chat with some coworkers about their OWN health scores. Li, 36. La, 51. Brandi, 49. Eze… 23. (the average is 53. DANG! Chiat FAIL. Someone FROM Health Quotient even CALLED Eze to make a health plan for him. What is interesting about all of our scores, is that our highest risk factors are based on… STRESS. And mostly stress at the workplace.

Picture 87

Also worth noting that we are all at risk for colon cancer. Because of stress.

Now to combating bribery in business. Of course, bribery is no joking matter. And while li and I are the beneficiaries of some nice work perks, like a concert or two here and there, we do take bribery seriously.

However, parts of this training we found slightly amusing.

When I first started the training, I tried to skip forward too fast (whoops, I skimmed!) and “combating bribery in business” informed me that I need to spend more time on that page. I thought this was hilarious, because IT KNEW I skimmed! I no longer thought it was funny after the seventeenth time it told me the same thing.

combating bribery in business
combating bribery in business

However, my “certificate” made me super happy again. Woot woot!

combating bribery in business

So here’s to a day of busy-work completiong & good news. Things ARE looking up. Take THAT, health quotient! At least for the time being, our stress levels are going down :)


This just in! We’re now eligible to win a prize! Or prizes!!
Picture 88


Filed under lali

Thing La & Thing Li & The Dog as the Cat in the Hat (wish you a happy laliween!)

Thing La & Thing Li


If you didn’t recognize us, here’s the inspiration:


So lali went as Thing La and Thing Li today! And Samson (begrudgingly) went as the Cat in the Hat!

Here’s a bit about Thing 1 and Thing 2, our Dr. Seuss-created-inspiration:

“Thing Two and Thing One!
They ran up! They ran down!
Then those Things ran about
With big bumps, jumps and kicks
And with hops and big thumps
And all kinds of bad tricks.”

Sounds about lali-right!

And if that weren’t enough, we recreated another Thing 1 and Thing 2 shot!

Thing La & Thing Li
thing one and thing two

Some priceless moments from today:

Thing La & Thing Li & The Cat In The Hat
(a bit of a psychotic/bored cat in the hat)

Tired Thing Li
(all that comping making for a tired Thing Li)

Thing Li in the lunchroom
(this one almost made me pee my pants, Thing Li in the lunchline, acting normal around a bunch of normal people paying no attention but looking completely ridiculous!)

Thing La & The Cat In The Hat
(Thing La with a Cat Who’d Rather Not Be Wearing a Hat)

(and this one from the view of the one & only Rob Schwartz as Thing La & Thing Li converse with the Man in Black, from Men in Black, not Princess Bride)

xo from a Thing Whose Head Itches From a Blue Wig,
Thing La


Filed under lali

“writing” and “art directing” in the land of advertising…

The last couple of weeks have (for la) involved writing about 20 scripts plus rounds and rounds of revisions, and (for me) more than one 50+ page deck of layouts looking for that perfect design to help Kraft sell more salad dressing.

True, our job descriptions are “copywriter” and “art director” respectively, but we spend so much time sitting on couches thinking and brainstorming ideas that when it comes time to really do our disciplines it often feels like a chore! We can only write and design for SO many consecutive hours before our muscles become unbearably cramped and our faces shiny and our hair knotted.

It’s fun to wallow in the specific woes of our job descriptions! This infographic sums it up pretty well:

Picture 53
anatomy of an agency
anatomy of an agency
anatomy of an agency

Borrowed from bigorangeslide.com

Some LOL truisms:

  • “asian man bicycle carnival royalty free” – Yep, that sounds about right. Sometimes it seems like image searching takes up about 85% of my day.
  • “master final logos revised copy 6 updated v4.ai” – never put the word “final” in your filename, it will never ever be true.
  • finance asking people if they did their timesheets (I believe lali is about three months behind on that one…)
  • finance asking them again (yeah, we’re on probably every timesheet-related email blast.)
  • photoshop crashing – yep
  • judging other peoples’ writing – yep
  • art director [insert dramatic crying] – I think I cry at the office at least twice a month. Does that sound accurate, la?
  • copywriter – actually, la takes offense, she has 193!!

I can relate more to this infographic than la can because she doesn’t actually have an unfinished novel or screenplay in her desk, but a few months ago we found out that Glenn Sanders did, when he quit Chiat to become a screenwriter. Go Glenn Go!

If you want to see another funny infographic JUST about copywriters, click here.

Well, I’ve burned enough precious comping minutes sharing my feelings with you lovely people, so I should probably get back to Photoshop. My current task? “What would this design style look like for the brand in a year? Two years? On holidays?” Yes, for real.

xo, li


Filed under lali

An Email From Lee Clow.

Please watch this whole thing.

That’s Lee Clow. Rebel. Ad God. Sharp-shooter. No-bullshitter. Icon. Surfer. Bearded Mad Man in Flip-Flops.

Whenever I see him walking the halls of Chiat Day, or barking something in that gruff, nonchalant voice of his, I get a few flip flops in my stomach to match the ones on his feet.

He’s been at Chiat for 30 years. We’ve been here (as you know from last week’s blog posts!) for two. He’s kind of a legend, and we’re kind of not. So when you have a Lee Clow meeting, you bring your dog (yes, I do actually believe it may put him in a better mood) and you shut up and listen. Because you’re almost always bound to learn something.

This is a quote from an interview with him:

“Listen real hard to the smartest guy in the room before you go trying to prove how smart you are.”

Well, Lee, we’re listening. You’re probably the smartest guy in any room at this agency.

He doesn’t say much, but what he does say means a lot. And when it means a lot, being a man of few words is more like a man of words that matter.

Which all leads us to the most EXCITING part of yesterday. If the above hasn’t already indicated, Lee isn’t much of a complimenter. Because he doesn’t have to be. Which means that the five words in this email, about our upcoming presentation tomorrow, were enough to boost the lali spirit tenfold.

Really smart. Really good. Lee.

Five words that mean a lot. Thank you Lee Clow, for making our day. Maybe even our week. That depends on whether or not the client thinks it’s smart too (and whether or not our work sells in this meeting tomorrow)!

xo, keep your fingers crossed,


Filed under lali