San Francisco is everybody’s favourite city in the United States of America. At least, it is for me!
Today, I was invited by Nick Klinkert. He is an creative director at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (GS&P). GS&P has been honoured several times as the Agency of the Year by numerous advertising organizations, magazines, and blogs. Additionally, their staff and work have been awarded several times a year. GS&P is also part of the Omnicom Group.
I met Nick Klinkert four years ago online when he appear in an article of the Adformatie, which is a Dutch-based magazine for the creative minds and marketing people. After reading the article, I was really curious about Nick and I decided to email him. In his response, the first thing I noticed about him was his inquiry about my portfolio. Ever since, we kept in touch. Years later, when I was planning my round the world trip, he was really enthusiastic about my plans and he invited me to visit him.
In Chinatown, I walked through the district and up the hill towards the former Store house on California Street. The area alone, just like the rest of San Francisco, is inspiring. After my check-in and waiting for a bit, I noticed a famous candy dish that was in front of me. Yet, it was likely one of the most touched things by all the creative people around here. Or, at the very least, it was an item that tempted many people because I saw people looking at the candies and their faces as they were thinking whether or not they should have a candy.
Finally we meet!
After years of not ever seeing his face, I finally met Nick Klinkert in person. He has been spending a long time in the U.S., but he still knows the Dutch language. Because of that, it was easier to discuss about advertising. Nick is like a lot of Dutch people: ‘doe maar normaal dan doe je al gek genoeg’ (just stay normal you’re be funny enough). Yet, he has done this while being proud of his career. He started in Amsterdam, worked for the Euro RSCG in London, and, later, moved to the States. Here, Nick has worked for BBH NY and BBDO NY. As of 2012, he relocated to San Francisco and started working at the Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. Throughout his career, he has been awarded a lot of times.
First, we had a chat about my trip because he did a similar trip almost ten years ago. Nick told me that he will be a father for his second time because his second child was due in two weeks. During the next two weeks, he will be working at GS&P for many campaigns and he was also busy with a photo shoot. The topic of our conversation changed rather suddenly. I shared my question with Nick: are all of the stories about the American way of working a lot of over time and during weekends are true? Well, according to Nick, it happens sometimes, but they are not staying late at the office, but they do work at their home.
Creating ideas and concepts is in the heart of the advertising industry in the USA, just like how it is in The Netherlands and elsewhere. Also, the fights and the arguments for defending your work with the client and your superiors can be exhausting and, simultaneously, frustrating. I’ve had my share of them several times during my career.
Nick did ask me what I wanted to do after my round the world trip. I’m still uncertain what my answer is; however, I have one ambitious goal to work for the bigger boys like GS&P, BBDO or DDB. Additionally, I hope to meet with a lot of people to expand my network.
Portfolio and doing some work
I also showed my portfolio to him. After reviewing it, he shared an interesting conclusion: my work is awesome, some changes must be made, and, most interesting of all, the two portfolios I have for design work and advertising work can be merged together. Never before has anyone suggested that. What a great eye-opening idea that is. So he decided to give me some small assignments to when I’m on the move. It is not much like a logo or design something. But at least I can prove worthy doing something for such an agency.
After our chat, he show me around the building where the creative, digital, and account areas are. Soon after that, our visit ended because Nick had to return to his work and I with mine work. Thank you, Nick and the Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, for giving me the change to stop by! GS&P feels like it is a very warm and welcoming advertising agency that can make awesome things and magic happens. Furthermore, of course, for Nick, I wish him and his family a specially good fortunate life with your second child.
I ain’t over yet…
Before I wrap up I must share a small story: Just a few months before I went to the USA, I met Maddie during a trekking trip through Thailand. She is a student and want to become an art director as well. So, when I posted a message on Twitter and Instagram saying that I had a great time at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, she send me a message she saw the posts and she is in the midst of the final rounds going for an internship at – you guess it – the Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. Well, the world is very small. Maddie, I hope you will end up there because it’s a great company with a nice atmosphere and you probably learn a lot from these people.
More information about Nick Klinkert and Goodbye, Silverstein & Partners: goodbysilverstein.com