When we first arrived in Oklahoma, I excitedly took in my surroundings with the sort of vim and vigor rivaled only by terrier puppies. I researched local tattoo parlors. I wrote to Sooner design firms. I joyously yipped each time I saw a bar, pharmacy, or Church proudly use its signage to congratulate Sam Bradford on winning the Heisman. I was ready to call this flat stretch of dried brown grass home.
“Um, sure. Later,” he answered in the tone of meh.
When I used to live in New York I announced it with audible pride. I was from New York. I was a secretary in New York. I got drunk and tossed my cookies on the streets of New York. Even in this past week the answer to the question, “Where did you grow up?” was met with a kind of awe. There has always been reason to boast if you’re from the same turf as CBGBs, the Yankees, and Sinatra.
When I told people that I was living in Portland they judged me as being a white hipster who had tattoos and a bicycle, a college graduate with an affinity for thrift stores, vinyl, whining, and coffee. They were right. Where you’re originally from is rendered somewhat moot in comparison to where you currently reside. In a way, where you live represents who you are. Especially professionally.
There have been many who recently commented on the fact that we moved to Norman. Oklahoma is a red state. A football area. Okies are hard drinkin’, truck drivin’, gun totin’ kind of ‘mericans who don’t ‘preciate city folk. Tattooed hipsters who enjoy books more than beer are supposed to get their asses kicked. That’s what most people (who are not from Norman) think anyway.
All of this is hilarious blog fodder and an interesting dinner conversation. But it doesn’t translate into something worthy of being announced in the annals of Ministry of Imagery‘s greatest assets.
Design is sleek, sophisticated, smart. It thinks, it arrives. At its best, it overachieves. Design is the foundation for all great ideas, for all successful advertising campaigns, for every Next Great Thing. To be a copywriter requires a certain amount of savvy. We scoff at the Comic Sans typeface. Animated avatars make us want to throw up. Simon is more likely to purchase something — anything, really — if it appeals to his aesthetic sensibilities, and he is the embodiment of what has become known as “the cult of Mac.” For our work we add words that match the visual and graphic expertise of exquisitely designed websites and products. We do not go cow chipping, we go word processing. Professional copywriters who work with elite design firms are from New York, San Francisco, or London. Not from Cleveland County, Oklahoma. It’s safe to say that right now we don’t quite fit in. Personally and financially the move East may have been wise, but professionally it now seems a trifle counterintuitive.
Sometimes companies keep their area of operations a secret because they enjoy having an aura of mystery, or because they have a revolving roster of employees, or ’cause they’re outsourcing jobs to Bangalore, whatever. Just as with trying to keep your superhero identity a secret in order to continue to save Gotham, sometimes its best if the cyber-public didn’t know everything about the goings-on behind closed conference room doors. (For example, we don’t even have a conference room.) We don’t want to be judged as hicks. Not only ’cause we’re not hicks, but also ’cause hicks aren’t often regarded as the most articulate writers.
So if we announce that we’re here, while it may lead to more Twitter posts about hay bales and mime sex, it probably won’t lead to more nibbles from clients. After all, we don’t even know what sort of a client base we will have here, if any. This move was done for purely financial reasons, but it remains to be seen if we can cultivate any sort of following out here on the plain. For now, it’s probably best to just leave the location section on any social or professional networking sites blank. After all, we’ve never written copy for a tractor company, and we’d much rather people judge us on our portfolio rather than by where our desks rest.
Shout out your coordinates: AinsleyDrew at gmail dot calm. And thank you for donating! It helps to keep us on the map.
Give us directions, hire us.