Everyone's path may look different, but one thing remains the same: taking the time for self-care is essential. Chandler Carroll, Senior Copywriter at Laundry Service, gives us some advice on how to manage stress and delineates his tools for getting the creative juices flowing.
Can you give us a brief overview of your role and creative process?
On the day-to-day, I often manage younger copywriters on assignments. I try to foster a relationship with them to assist in their growth, while working on day-to-day creative projects myself.
My goal in this work is to create a flow state, and my creative process to reach said state is fairly simple. I protect my mornings. I create a sense of stillness, whether that’s by looking out the window at East LA, listening to BadBadNotGood, or people-watching with an espresso martini – depending on the time of day.
I allow my subconscious to do all the heavy lifting while being open to the universe's message; nine times out of 10 this leads to an idea.
How do you manage stress levels in a healthy way? What resources or tools does your agency offer to alleviate stress?
As a former collegiate athlete, I manage my stress by spending a lot of time playing basketball.
Outside of that, listening to your body, sleeping, and being still is a recipe for success. To correct a misconception: being still doesn't mean do nothing.
It means doing something passively, like listening to music, digesting culture at large and observing cultures outside my own. That may mean going to a speakeasy or lounge instead of the club that weekend, but nothing hyper-stimulating.
The three essential tools my agency offers me that most alleviate stress are: the privilege of unlimited PTO; the flexibility to WFH if needed; and our access to the Calm App for meditation.
In what ways does your agency support you creatively?
My agency supports me by allowing me to be myself. I bring myself to work every day. Code-switching has never been a part of the plan and being myself – regardless of the environment – allows me to be my best. In short, treating everyone as a human first instead of a co-worker / client.
How has access to mental health resources evolved over time? Do you feel as though there is adequate support in times of high-stress or when creative motivation is low?
I mean, depending on what kind of content you like on TikTok, your whole fyp right now may be self-help and development from different doctors and so-called therapists.
I think the access to mental health resources at a ground level has exploded due to the internet, but actual access to effective care still isn't accessible to everyone. It's all about what you choose to digest and hold close. Good ideas can come from anywhere, and so does advice.
In our society, adequate support during high stress is somewhat an easy “yes;” meanwhile support to remedy low creative motivation is “eh.” That's a funny one.
In times of high stress, stepping away is easy and, most times, helpful. But stepping away may not be enough when you're burnt out.
What advice would you give to the next generation coming into the ad industry?
Three pieces of advice still stick out to me to this day from across my experiences, which make managing expectations and stress easy for me:
First, you don't have to hit a home run every time.
A senior creative told me while I was interning: “This industry (creatively) is a lot like baseball. Sometimes you hit a home run, most times you hit singles.”
I always remind myself singles win games too. Batting above .200 in baseball is a great percentage. That's two out of every 10 pitches. Think about that. Just make contact and the homers will come.
Second,” We work in a service industry.”
Another senior creative, during my internship tenure in the industry, metaphorically spoke about advertising as a waiter/waitress.
“If the client orders a hamburger with everything on it, you bring them a burger with everything on it. Every now and then, they may order the special, but they're like regulars. They like what they like.” To that I say, when they order the special, put your sauce on it.
Third, but most importantly: As a creative when you feel you have space to take time off, TAKE IT. It's okay to be selfish sometimes. But keep the main thing, the main thing.