What's on the Wall of David T. Jones' Office at Third Street
In my office, the wall I directly face is conspicuously absent any advertising stuff. No ad comps, ad trophies, ad certificates or ad anything. It is instead a little curated cluster of random things. Artifacts, doodles and nonsense.
There are photos and images of people I admire. Elvis Costello, my late father, David Bowie, and an imposing bust of Emperor Constantine. Recently I met someone named Constantine, and when I told him "Oh, that's my favorite emperor, I have a photo of him on my wall," I was taken aback by his total lack of surprise with this information. That someone would actually have a favorite emperor, complete with a hanging photo to back it up. But hey, if you know anything about the original Constantine, that's a very on-brand reaction.
My collection features some fine art, such as work from graffiti artist Ray Noland, cartoonist Matt Groening, some Japanese comic book pages and abstract sketch expressions from my twin daughters.
I have un-punched tickets to the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and the long-gone Riverview Amusement Park, for the "Bump 'Em" attraction, which you could apparently enjoy a ride on for a mere 15 cents.
Additionally, there is a photo I took with an old light-leaking camera of an old rusted radio tower. Two media vehicles past their prime, complimenting one another.
Near the middle of this cluster is a photo of a sign, taken in the Fulton Market district of Chicago, directing one to an alleged spiritual vortex just around the corner in an alley. Despite plenty of people claiming this vortex to be real, the sign is as suspicious as if it said "Free Candy" and led to a small box held up on one side with a stick tied to a rope.
Dead center is the 2nd place ribbon I received at the Frisbee Toss contest held at my elementary school. This kind of glorious recognition for something that seemed so simple likely set me up for a lifetime of pursuing ad awards.
Top right is an antique wheel of fortune from some vintage carnival of sorts, complete with wiring in the back that makes it appear the whole thing was fixed.
It is, as I said, absent any typical ad stuff. Yet it is ALL advertising.
Dominant personalities. Hustlers. Rebels.
Big ideas. Tickets to something special, priced to move.
The audacity to proclaim something as art.
The promise of enlightenment just around the corner.
The reminders of fickle tastes and changing media landscapes.
The power of persuasion. A carnival wheel that allows people the illusion of influence while all along rigged for the house.
That's the long version.
The short version is it's stuff on a wall.
But again, isn't that also advertising?
The long version is the thinking, the strategizing, the designing, the hours, the hope, the fighting, the collaboration, the competition, the poetry and the art.
The short version is "Hey you. Look here. Buy this."