Occupy Lotus. Welcome to Mope Night.

I feel uniquely qualified to comment on the upcoming everybody-should-get-a-ribbon sulkfest at Commodore Lanes.

You see, I’ve been going to the Lotus Awards since it proudly held the record for the single biggest alcohol consumption night of the year at the Hyatt Ballroom. Back then Wasserman and Cousins were the Staples and Grais of what was a pun and budget showcase of 80’s advertising brilliance. They were my heroes.

Before long international judges were invited to deliberate on the city’s talent pool and we were amazed by the work of our local girls and boys. During both eras I never won so much as a door prize. Why?

This is why. It was the big agencies and their category blanketing. It was the cozy relationships with the snob elite judging community. It was fake clients and fake ads. It was pornographic spots run at midnight in William’s Lake. It was pro-bono that smaller competitors couldn’t afford to get in the game with. It was calling in favours from well-paid suppliers. It was teams assigned to win awards while cash cow clients footed the bill.

Then (finally!) one year I won something. And my theories went down the crapper. This is what I learned. Like rock and roll, oil painting, filmmaking and all corners of art both commercial and non, you win when you get good. And you only get good when you work your guts out and fail repeatedly. The people who win at Lotus bloody well deserve it because they work very hard and have total commitment to their craft. Yes they have training, mentoring, education and support – so do ballet dancers. But like them, they have the hours of dedication and the long lists of failures and disappointments to show for it.

But as for you Lotus occupiers, you’re not just hurting yourselves, you are undermining what those dedicated talents are working hard for. It’s like organizing a second Olympics for those who didn’t train hard enough or I’m sorry, didn’t have the talent to make

the big show. But what’s worse, you’re creating a false truth; that earned recognition is worthless.

For a little shop, Spring has had some good Lotus years. I haven’t the foggiest how we did this year but I do know one thing. If we didn’t win, it’s my fault.

For those of you “occupying Lotus” I suggest you give yourselves a very frank self-examination of the disciplines catalogued a few paragraphs above. Once you’ve done so, if you feel you’ve truly laboured at all of those things, then hold your head high while you occupy. If not, when winners win, losers should learn.

Love

Rob Schlyecher

Creative Director

SPRING

PS: No Spring is NOT represented on the Lotus committee.

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