Is it important for children to be creative? In this episode Don and Rob talk about their first creative endeavors growing up, and how they pass on creativity to their children.
Rob Broadfoot 0:20
Alright, everybody, Don, we’re back. It’s episode 43. If you can believe it.
Don Mock 0:24
I can believe it.
Rob Broadfoot 0:25
You better believe it.
Yeah, it feels like we’ve been doing this forever. Does it actually? I feel like we’ve done this like 42 times.
Good answer. I thought it might be interesting today. We’ve talked a lot about in our other episodes about creativity as it relates to our industry and the work that we do with design and advertising and all these things. I thought it might be interesting to have a little tangent and talk about creative endeavors. Or hobbies or otherwise that we’d like to do that don’t relate to advertising. Or maybe they do, I don’t know, but in our personal lives, things that we like to do outside of that. Just as a general topic. So I’m gonna start by asking you a question.
Oh, boy, I’m on the hot seat.
you’re in the hot seat. Okay. I love it. Growing up, yes. What do you what was your first creative endeavor? What was the hobby or thing or creative activity that you did that first sort of resonated with you? That you enjoyed?
Don Mock 1:29
Hands down? Don’t even have to think about it whatsoever! immediate answer is drawing, drawing drawing. Yes. Call me Harold. And the Purple Crayon, right. No, I couldn’t tell you when I started drawing, because I’ve always been drawing, if that makes sense. Yeah. Right. I mean, Just drawing, drawing, drawing, drawing drawing.
Rob Broadfoot 1:48
You’re good at it.
Don Mock 1:47
And then always had kind of an ability to draw what I saw, right. And I will say, I did have loving parents that really nurtured the artistic side of my life. And I would do art classes at school, obviously. But then I’d also do like, Oh, I’m at the community center, or I’m taking a drawing class at the YMCA or I always had extracurricular activities outside of sports that revolved around drawing, and then that sort of grew into painting.
And it was that something that your parents sort of steered you into, and then you found a love of it? Or was that something you went to them and went, Hey, I really want to try this.
No. I loved as I’ve mentioned before, in previous podcasts, I love comics. As a kid, I think, you know, I mean, I’ve got pictures of my six year old birthday, and I’m wearing full Amazing Spider Man. Pajamas. I’ve got the Amazing Spider Man cake, all that kind of crazy stuff. So I’ve always had a love of superheroes and comic books, and that sort of sequential storytelling aspect. And so definitely, there was, oh, I’m tracing out of comics to learn how to do things, I’m drawing. I also loved the movie. So the weird tangent, the original- Rankin Bass, I think is who made it- the original Hobbit, cartoon movie. Do remember that? Like the old one.
Rob Broadfoot 3:07
I do not.
Don Mock 3:08
Rob Broadfoot 3:08
I’m not the person to ask.
Don Mock 3:09
Well, yeah, there’s a there’s a there’s an old book. I mean, I want to say it’s like from the 70s. Man, like, that is The Art of The Hobbit. And for whatever reason, okay, we had that book in my house. And I used to, I mean, I would put I’d bring that book everywhere. It’s a big hardback book and keep it in my backpack, schlep it to school, and I would draw out of that thing all the time. I was I was infatuated.
Rob Broadfoot 3:28
Did you just copy the drawings, or trace them, or both?
Don Mock 3:31
Yeah, so drawing all the Orcs, Gollum, dwarves, you know, all sorts of fantasy, interesting fantasy illustrations. So drawing is definitely something that’s Just kind of the fiber of of who I am. And I think it was independent of my parental participation. Right. But I think they did support it. Like it didn’t start because they pushed it on me.
Rob Broadfoot 3:55
Don Mock 3:55
But it was definitely support.
Rob Broadfoot 3:56
they nurtured that.
Don Mock 3:57
Yeah, they nurtured it. Right. You know, and I’ve mentioned my father is a photographer, right? So he has definitely a creative vibe.
Rob Broadfoot 4:05
Okay, now, quick question. Did you ever send in one of those? Can I draw- remember this? 80s test, it was the pirate and the turtle or whatever.
Don Mock 4:14
Yeah. Okay. It was a TV commercial wasn’t it?
Rob Broadfoot 4:23
Don Mock 4:12
No, I never did that. But as I got older, I did mail in drawings to competitions. So it was certain magazines and it was like, “Oh, you draw this character or draw this whatever-it-was. Draw it mail it in and maybe it’ll be next month’s issue of this, that, and whatever.” Right?
Rob Broadfoot 4:23
Don Mock 4:24
I don’t think I ever got anything.
What was that? What was that draw thing? What was that for?
I don’t remember. It was just do you have the-
Do you have the talent?
Yeah. Here’s what we should do. We should try to dig up that commercial. 100% It’s on YouTube. We need to put that on our socials Or something. You know what I mean? Do it link to that one. It was a classic commercial. Yeah. I mean, I remember I have vivid memories of being in my grandmother’s den in Danville, California. Shout out, right there by Walnut Creek. And seeing that on TV. No doubt about it. And did I do it? Absolutely. I did draw it. I Just never mailed it out. Sure. Yeah, that’s everything. So yeah. How about you? I guess the same question sort of flows back.
Rob Broadfoot 5:30
I am the opposite of an illustrator. You’ve seen my drawing.
Don Mock 5:36
I have. They’re effective, though.
Rob Broadfoot 5:36
Quick little industry explanation. Or insider idea. When we concept stuff, I think I’m notorious at least here… all I do is stick drawings. I’ll put the idea down with a headline or whatever, and then draw the world’s worst stick figure drawing to try and explain the idea. And maybe we’ve been working together so long that you can, basically, interpret exactly what I’m trying to do.
Honestly, though, Rob, the best drawings you do is when you try to draw hands.
Don Mock 6:01
Cause when we were working on- I mentioned it with Carrie, actually, on a previous podcast- We were working on a wings campaign, for chicken wings. And there was something that involved hands and it was pretty awesome.
Rob Broadfoot 6:25
I’ve always been envious of people who can draw. That’s always been a skill set. I wish I could do and I Just can’t do it. But in my defense, good ideas come across with only a stick figure drawing. And if it works, then you can do it. But I do wish I could draw. I can’t draw.
Don Mock 6:44
The classic example I’ve said for I mean, gosh, 20 years, even since when I was teaching and what not, was the Nike, the Air Jordan stick figure of a guy dunking a basketball. And it’s Jordan one, gravity zero, right? That is an effective ad and an amazing idea, whether it’s a stick figure on a cocktail napkin, or whether it’s the most amazing photograph of Michael Jordan dunking a basket. The idea is great.
Rob Broadfoot 7:12
Right. My first, I think creative endeavor was was building models. And so I really got into-
Don Mock 7:24
Now you had the old snap ones with a didn’t need glue. And then you had the ones where you needed the testers.
Rob Broadfoot 7:29
Testers. gaps are for amateurs.
Don Mock 7:32
Yes, I 100% agree.
Rob Broadfoot 7:34
Snaps are for amateurs.
Don Mock 7:35
How did you feel when it was a birthday? And you opened up a president got a model-
Rob Broadfoot 7:39
It was an F 14 A Tomcat.
Don Mock 7:41
Hold on, but that was a snap?
Rob Broadfoot 7:43
Don Mock 7:44
I mean, just immediate disappointment?
Rob Broadfoot 7:46
Yeah, I mean, I would feign excited and be secretly dying inside. But what I would do is, and me and me and my good buddy, Jason-
Don Mock 7:55
Who made those? Revell?
Rob Broadfoot 7:58
Yeah, yeah. But then there was a bunch of them. There was one classic one and there’s a red logo…
Don Mock 8:06
Okay, I think it’ll come to you.
Rob Broadfoot 8:07
Anyway, I used to love models. I used to love to build models. Testers shout out. And I loved to go to the hobby shop and- Just the wall of paint. It was so good.
Don Mock 8:21
And each one of those little teeny bottles, like three bucks or four buck. Oh, so expensive.
Rob Broadfoot 8:26
But you’d finally convince your parents to take drive you all the way out to the bottle shop, which was nowhere close. But you got there. And yeah, you’d have your I’m going to do an F 14 A Tomcat but then I’ve also got a tank. And I’ve got this and that. And my buddy Jason and I we were also into, I think as you were as a kid, we were way into heavy metal. Yes. So we would listen to, it was always Ozzy Osbourne. We’d always listen to Bark at the Moon or Diary of a Madman and stay up until like four o’clock in the morning.
Don Mock 8:56
Rob Broadfoot 8:57
Don Mock 8:58
Dude, that’s awesome.
Rob Broadfoot 8:58
So we would have a sleepover at my house or his house and we would Just build models and the painting and the brushes and the thing. I loved all that.
Don Mock 9:09
Well they have those crazy labels. They didn’t have stickers, to. remember you have to cut out the labels.
Rob Broadfoot 9:13
With the water! You had to cut out the sticker in the shape. Put the water on it. And then transfer.
Don Mock 9:20
It was a transfer, which was always so delicate and you can’t let it tear.
Rob Broadfoot 9:24
No, no. And then you rip one and they don’t give you extras.
Don Mock 9:27
Yeah, no. So this isn’t like Legos. You don’t get an extra piece.
Rob Broadfoot 9:31
You’re one and done. But then you build the model. So then what we would do is we would stay up literally all night randomly listening to Ozzy Osbourne and building models.
Don Mock 9:40
Nothing wrong with this story at all.
Rob Broadfoot 9:41
Then what I would do is hang them from my ceiling with fishing lines.
Don Mock 9:46
Yes, I did that as well.
Rob Broadfoot 9:47
So you would take a thumbtack and twist the line around and hang it to the ceiling. So then by the time I was 12, 13 , whatever, my entire room-
Don Mock 9:56
Where there photos of this?
Rob Broadfoot 9:58
I’m sure, we gotta figure that out. But there were fighter jets just hanging at all different levels. So my room, when you walked into my room, it’s like, the walls were all cheesy metal posters. And there were just airplanes hanging from-
Don Mock 10:15
Dude, I had cheesy metal posters on the ceiling of my room. My parents were just aghast with what I had done in there. It was like, oh, we’ll deal with it when he moves out.
Rob Broadfoot 10:24
But that was that was probably my first creative-
Don Mock 10:28
Now, here’s the extra tidbit. Did you ever like burn the models at all? And did you make a diorama in your room.
Rob Broadfoot 10:40
No I didn’t do. I know what you’re talking about. But I didn’t do that.
Don Mock 10:44
I tried to do that.
Rob Broadfoot 10:44
But there were absolutely ones that as I got better and better. I was like crappy ones? Let’s get a couple of M80’s and blow this thing up.
Don Mock 10:52
Go hit it with a cherry bomb. Right?
Rob Broadfoot 10:54
Yeah, so we did we did a little bit of that. But then that graduated to- and I think you had the same path as well- that thing graduated to remote control cars. I don’t know if that’s really creative. But it became a hobby. The building of the car and the putting on the decals and the designing of the car and the whole thing.
Don Mock 11:12
Oh, yeah. To me, the Grasshopper as the entryway into RC cars was incredible. So I kind of rekindled that a few years back with my son.
Rob Broadfoot 11:22
With the RC 10.
Don Mock 11:23
Yeah, we got an RC 10. It’s broken. I’ve never fixed the slipper-
Rob Broadfoot 11:27
Mine’s broken, too. We got two, remember?
Don Mock 11:30
Yeah, I ordered one and we got two.
Rob Broadfoot 11:31
Yeah, exactly. So there’s that but no, but now I’ve got the Traxxas. We’ve got the Traxxas X Maxx.
Don Mock 11:36
You’ve leveled up.
Rob Broadfoot 11:37
Oh, yeah. Dude, this thing is an RC car that goes like 50 miles per hour. It ‘s incredible. It’s a great it is a magnet at the playground or at the park. Kids are like, What is going on with that?
Don Mock 11:48
Alright, so that’s kind of a trip down memory lane of creative endeavors. What about now? What about creative endeavors outside of advertising now? Should we talk about that?
Rob Broadfoot 11:57
Yeah. Yeah. Let’s talk about that. I need to think about it.
Don Mock 12:01
Okay, I’ll go first. I think this either may surprise you or it may not surprise you at all. I’m not sure where this is gonna go. But obviously, I still love comics, I still love all sorts of creative things. But I will say that my creative endeavors now, that I love to do outside of work, is like construction projects. Like working on the house, fixing things, making things.
Rob Broadfoot 12:28
Don Mock 12:26
Yeah, the truck. I bought an old 1967 Ford truck and working on that. Doing things like that. And it’s interesting. I mean, we flex our brain all day, advertising design, coming up with concepts and talking to clients and doing all sorts of stuff, right? There’s something really, really satisfying- as long as you’re not on a deadline- of working with your hands and making something. Woodworking, fixing, creating metal shop, the truck, things like that, right? And just kind of turning your brain off. You know what I mean? And you’re just being totally present in the project at hand. You’ve joked with me in the past that like, I’m the big painter. I paint all the houses, I don’t hire painters. I paint my own house. I paint the walls. I do all the whatever. And I absolutely love it. Because I’m just totally present in the moment, only concerned about what’s happening with the painting. I’m not thinking about other things. So it’s interesting that, in my creative endeavors outside, I get a sense of satisfaction, of completion. And still doing something creative and handy. But it’s not a requirement to have like intense thinking. I know that sounds weird. Because I was working on the truck and I wanted to put a beautiful wood bed in the back of this old classic truck. And that took a long time. And yes, you are using your brain, it’s not like I’m totally off. I’ve got all these compound curves, I gotta go around wheel wells. I got the metal rail. I got all this crazy stuff going on right? But that’s kind of part of the fun is the problem solving and stuff like that. But it’s using your brain in a totally different creative manner. Right?
Rob Broadfoot 14:09
I think that is true and a lot of ways and I think that for me… this is gonna sound like a lame answer, but I’m gonna say it anyway. I try, in the different things that I enjoy doing and in the hobbies that I enjoy doing outside of work, bringing creativity to that. Whatever it happens to be. So think about.. fishing is something I really enjoy. So fishing to me… it’s like okay, we go out and we go fishing. I have a tackle box that’s embarrassingly large. And has an embarrassingly large amount and variety-
Don Mock 14:40
Does it have wheels on the bottom of that? With with like one of those telescoping handles?
Rob Broadfoot 14:45
One of them does.
Don Mock 14:48
It’s a piece of luggage.
Rob Broadfoot 14:49
But to me when we go out fishing, I need to be creative in what I’m deciding to throw and I’m deciding to do. Is that creativity? I don’t know. I think so. Maybe. But it’s also when I go skiing, like, Alright, I’m skiing, but I need to pick a line that I really enjoy. So I think it’s just weaving a little bit of creativity in a lot of the different things that I that I do. Versus, you know, like work. It’s like, oh, no, I have to be creative all day long. That’s it. It’s Just creative, creative, creative. So I think it’s Just sprinkling creativity in the different things, everyday activities and hobbies and things that I enjoy. An I think you would agree that with our kids, helping them with creativity. So helping foster creativity in our kids and whatever they happen to be working on, is a nice outlet, too, for for creativity.
Don Mock 15:42
Yeah, I mean, I started off this conversation saying hands down drawing. I mean, that was the thing that lit the fire, and kind of made me who I am, to a certain extent. It’s interesting, if I think about it. Now, the only time I do drawing is with my kids. Like, I don’t really independently draw on my own for my own personal projects, or anything anymore. Maybe I should, but I don’t. But I do enjoy the satisfaction of drawing with my kids. And I’ve done that with all of my children. Right. So my youngest now… being in the industry, we have the luxury of knowing a lot of printers, and we get gigantic sheets of paper. I mean humongous pieces of paper, drawing on the floor. I mean, bigger than your table. And it’ll be “alright, dude, you draw this half of the drawing and I’ll draw this half of the drawing.” And we’re both working on the drawing at the same time, and we kind of just meet in the middle. So it’s “Hey, what do you want to draw?” It’s like, “oh, I want to draw a dragon.” “All right. Awesome.” Like, “I’ll draw this, you draw the head,” that type of stuff.
Rob Broadfoot 16:37
Well, on that same thing, too, writing with my kids, my daughters went through college and college applications and concepting ideas for essays and things. And helping with that. She did all of it, by the way.
Don Mock 16:51
That sounds stressful. For me, that sounds stressful.
Rob Broadfoot 16:54
Oh I love that. I love having her come to me and pitching me ideas on what she’s gonna write the essay about, things like that. So I think it’s the same thing, taking a little bit of drawing and illustration and what you do in your professional life and teaching that to our kids is a super awesome thing. And I love that.
Don Mock 17:16
Well, we use it all day long, but you also kind of can’t turn it off sometimes. Yeah. Which is a blessing. I don’t consider that a curse by any stretch. I mean, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Rob Broadfoot 17:26
When I’m gonna bring this all the way back to what we talked about on an earlier podcast, which is what Rick Rubin said in the book, which is that we’re all creative. Every human is inherently creative. And it’s Just how do you entertain that? How do you expose that to the world? Whatever, whatever that is.
Don Mock 17:48
Have you read more of the book?
Rob Broadfoot 17:49
Yeah, I flipped through it. And it’s great. I love it. I love that it’s just sort of anecdotal. You can kind of pick it up wherever. Yes, yes. That he also has a more linear just sort of biography of his life. But I find that I think to be a little more interesting, Just because you can kind of pick it up and it’s a nice, you know, I’ve got 10 minutes here and there. Yeah, for sure. For sure, anecdotally, but we will come back and visit that I think again,
Don Mock 18:14
I think we should do another one on that. All right.
Rob Broadfoot 18:17
That’s a little bit of what we do outside of work and creativity in general.
Don Mock 18:21
Rob Broadfoot 18:23
You are beautiful audience to be creative, and all of your endeavors. And the people can find us of course, on the interwebs at mocktheagency.com and then on any of the socials @mocktheagency as well. Yes, we always encourage feedback, ideas, thoughts, suggestions, comments, concerns, no concerns, calls to the police, whatever you deem necessary. And thanks for tuning in and we will talk with you next time.
Don Mock 18:48
Rob Broadfoot 19:03