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Yes, about Russ...


I had wanted to be a priest or an architect. The priest phase passed quickly as it was all about my fascination with the pomp and circumstance of the Roman Catholic rite. It all seemed so fantastic from an altar boy's point-of-view. Then I saw "Lawrence of Arabia" and I wanted to be a camel jockey. Architecture however has remained in my life as a secret avocation of sorts. Perhaps it was being born in Oak Park, Illinois where they spelled "right" with a "W". Or maybe it was my endless wonder at how buildings both great and small could be constructed with equal success either on the side of a hill in rural Wisconsin or on Fifth Avenue in New York. It all came down to an idea and a plan.


Advertising. Brand Development. Sales Promotion. Marketing. Whatever you call it, for me, it's on a parallel plane with architecture. An idea--a concept--comes to mind and then it's up to you to shape it, polish it, present it, execute it and hope that it doesn't slide down the side of that hill or crumble to the street below. And I have had lots and lots of ideas. Even the occasional epiphany.


What matters to me now, as always is "the work." It sounds a bit lofty but that's where I've always lived. Politics. Drama. Subterfuge. All of the office antics that can occupy so much of any person's time--is a waste of that time. I've come and gone from places simply because the atmosphere was or became poisonous. It's made my resume look a bit jumpy--but I don't regret any of my decisions. 

As I look at my career today--several decades in--I'm proud of "the work". And this work was achieved through a fastidious attention to detail, collaboration with the right people and a conscious desire to just do my best for my employer or client. I figured out a long time ago--that's why they hired me.


A wonderful Creative Director I worked with briefly, Helen Serfling once said I should always try to, "Give people what they should want--not what they want." That has been both my curse and my reason for any success I've ever had.

Russ Hardin© 2020

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