True Craftsmen.

Or craftspeople, if you prefer.

No fancy tools, no fancy techniques. Working from a blueprint that was lost hundreds of years ago. It's people like this who do awe-inspiring things. Even when the path they choose to take is unwise, or unpopular.

Korehira Watanabe has worked for 40 years to try to make his dream, and it's only in the past 5 that he's gotten close. That's dedication.

There's also something to be said for the sense of tradition Master Watanabe is trying to instill through his craft. Enriching society by eschewing trends or modern technique.

Watch and learn. There's tons of lessons in here for everyone.

All of my family members opposed the idea because they didn't think I could make a living. They told me, 'don't ever come back home if you want to be a sword maker.'


Awards, feh.

Ours is an industry consumed with awards. We have show after show after show devoted to them. But there has to be something more than that. This is something I wrestle with as I work on producing something for the One Show student awards. Which makes me a bit of a hypocrite.

Pretty much like everyone else.

Although awards can be out path to fame and fortune that's not what drives me to do what I do. An award is a recognition by your peers that you have done something great creatively. But those are peers, that is mere congratulations on a job well done.

For me it's about having an impact on culture. A lofty goal, yes. But a goal that matters so much more than shelves full of metal. It's a recognition that your work is soemthing that makes a real difference. I want to have something I write, or produce get noticed. Noticed on a scale that no one can ignore it.

Sitting in a bar, or a cafe, or on a train and hearing your work mentioned as "that funny ad" or that "awesome ad" has to be the greatest accomplishment anyone can wish for. Because you've done it. You've touched people in a way that millions of messages didn't.

When you make pleasing the people your goal—not your peers, not your agency, not your client—the thinking changes fundamentally. The work becomes something that is going to resonate with people, make them buy product.

And that's the real reason we spend all day slaving to find The Idea.

So is the end goal the award? Or can it be something so much more? And who knows. Maybe when you start pleasing people the awards will start rolling in. Wouldn't that be nice?