New Year's Resolutions

by Jake Pollard

Resolutions. Why do we make them? Why do we break them? Webster's, the dictionary, not the TV character, defines resolution as, "the passing of a voice part from the dissonant to a consonant tone or the division of a prosodic element into its component parts." Huh! Or, "the separating of a chemical compound or mixture into its constituents, if not the analysis of a vector into two or more vectors of which it is the sum." Thank you, Mr. Wizard. Or, "the subsidence of inflammation especially in the lungs." Yuck!

Resolutions probably began as prayers. In Roman mythology, which was not considered mythology to the Romans but rather their religion, Janus was the doorkeeper of heaven and the god of beginnings and endings. He was also the mediator of prayers and petitions to the other gods.

His blessing was asked at the beginning of every day, month and year. That's why the first month of the year, January (Latin, Januarius), was named for him. He also presided over the sowing of crops, which I guess makes him the god of seamstresses and farmers. Janus was represented in art with two faces, looking in opposite directions, which symbolized his knowledge of the past and the future. Today being two-faced carries a completely different meaning.

In primitive cultures ranging from Abyssinian to Wotyak, from Hindu to Hottentot, New Year's Day was a day of chasing away the devils of the past year with bonfires and an occasional sacrifice. Many people reveled in drunken debauchery as they were possessed one last time by the demons before the evil ones were driven off with the death of the old year, not too unlike New Year's Eve today.

With little to no regard for this historical perspective, we supposed Atlanta creative people would be those most likely possessed by some sort of inner demon, so we asked them to tell us their resolutions for 1998. Some, like Janus, were of two minds, citing both personal and business resolutions. Some used both sides of their brain which is often known to cause headaches. And some couldn't make up their mind(s).

To advance the corporation's acquisition growth strategy forward to tactical implementation, without losing our collective ass.
To regain control of the sleeping accommodations in the Master bedroom from the two Labrador Retrievers.
Rick Anwyl, Principal, Executive Arts

My New Year's resolution is to keep swimming with the sharks without looking like Charlie Tuna.
John Kab, Director/Producer, Sun Moon Stars

I think what I need to do is to truly live in the moment so that I can totally commit my mind and body to whatever I'm doing. Hopefully this will result in a year filled with new creative and personal discoveries.
Sarah Baker, Actress, Whole World Theater

To stop mothering creatives. God knows they need it.
Leslie Blair, Account Executive, McCann Erickson

Draw more. Talk less.
Jerry Burns, Jerry Burns Photography

Help the Atlanta advertising community gain the respect it deserves:
By being more involved in the Ad Community.
By raising the creative bar at The Morrison Agency which will force others to raise the bar.
By attracting big clients to the market and convincing homegrown clients to use local agencies.
By helping educate the creative community on how to do better work.
By swaying talented creatives to stay in this market and drawing great talent to Atlanta.
We can be as great or greater than other markets. We say at the Morrison Agency "How bad do you want to be great?" We want it bad. And we will be great.
Bill Shirk, Creative Director, Morrison Agency

I resolve to make every effort possible to continue in my quest to overthrow the oppressive use of pantyhose.
BA Albert, Principal, MATCH, Inc.

Spend more time with my kids and husband.
Stay organized.
Make more art.
Oh yeah, and finish building my house.
Eileen Tantillo, Painter

A few months ago I was crossing the street in front of my studio during rush hour carrying a camera with a long lens. A car ran through the crosswalk at about forty miles per hour knocking the lens out of my hand and nearly running me over.
This incident really put things into perspective for me. For the coming year, I resolve to remind myself not to take life for granted and to appreciate the small things life has to offer.
Parish Kohanim, Parish Kohanim Photography

To meet less and write more.
To stop using the word "the"- it has become a terrible crutch.
To finally win the Miss America Pageant (a little boy's dreams die hard).
To improve my posture through dental hygiene.
To not just argue with but actually defy gravity.
To speak more better English.
To mumble more (I'm sorry, I didn't hear what I said).
Patrick Scullin, Creative Director, Ames Scullin O'Haire

To create more passionately.
To challenge more openly.
To juggle more skillfully.
To dance more effortlessly.
To forgive more freely.
To live more fully.
Maxey Andress, Creative Director, Chris Martin, Managing Director, EM2

Make WHOA! a household name.
Teach a chicken to spell WHOA!
Notice how !AOHW is WHOA! backwards.
More World Wide WHOA! censorship.
Explore light & sound wave frequencies beyond sensory perception.
Make a human clone and name it WHOA!
WHOA! Wetnaps (naptime that is...).
Bill Orisich, Director/DP/Editor/Founder, WHOA! Films

My New Year's resolution for 1998 is to increase my clients' "quote quotient." We're helping them to most effectively convey their messages, so they get maximum coverage and benefit from the media interviews we arrange for them.
Patty Tucker, The Headline Group

At my age, my resolution is to live long enough to make another resolution next year. God willing, I won't break mine.
Norm Grey, President, Creative Circus

From a business perspective, I'd like to see myself working in a virtual office this year; I already have the technology in place. Creatively, I'd love to see my pottery available in stores and galleries.
Melanie Bass Pollard, Designer/Potter

I'm making a renewed commitment to pursue my personal writing. By improving my craft there, I'll be able to offer my clients better work, not to mention a happier face.
Dianna Thorington Heany, Words and Ideas

Well, let's see: buy a Boxter, a self adhesive macho chest wig and learn to disco, or find a color palette printers won't complain about, or get out of the business altogether and join a door to door pyramid glass eye sales group, or buy a computer.
Bill Mayer, Illustrator, sKiTzo ArtiSTe

In 1998 I resolve to resurrect my drawing board, sharpen a few pencils and spend as much time away from my computer as possibleŠexcept to answer email of course, and maybe work on an occasional photoshop file, finish playing Riven, edit a little video, surf the web, make a few purchases online at Amazon BooksŠ
Mike Melia, Principal, Melia Design

I resolve to try and give someone an opportunity for a great career, much the same way Ted Turner gave me a chance to become who I am today.
Ron Sutton, Studio Manager, Turner Productions

You can't enjoy work all the time so try not to work all the time.
And when you do have to work, have fun.
Stacy Jarrell, Designer, Corporate Reports, Inc.

To read something interesting every day.
To write something interesting every week.
To seek relevance in all things.
To continue the quest "convincing clients to speak from their audience's point of view."
John Carr, Principal, Brain Surgery

I resolve to never overestimate the ethics of others, never assume that class and wealth are synonymous, and never forget even within a sea of hypocrisy, there are still people whose integrity outshines us all.
Ted Fabella, Designer, The Office of Ted Fabella

After spending a good part of 1997 establishing an iXL presence in New York City, I resolve that 1998 will establish iXL-NYC as the leading Web & Multimedia Developer in Silicon Alley. We are in the final stages of two acquisitions, have identified great management and have an excellent spaceŠit's on to London.
Jim Rocco, President, iXL

This is the year that we promise to stay true to our on-going vows. To work smarter, not harder. To continue to seek out great clients that respect designers and appreciate our desire to work with them, not for them. And finally, we make a commitment to show our joy because we are blessed to work in an industry that allows us to play.
Charly Palmer, Illustrator, T.P. Designs

To tell the truth: To tell a client, "That's not what we do."
To empower the people who work for me. Give them more and better tools and knowledge so they can fly.
Morgan Shorey, Morgan Shorey

When I opened my company at my home in January, 1997, Graphic Press printed 5,000 letterheads, 8,000 second sheets, 10,000 envelopes and 15,000 mailing labels with my home address.
Therefore, I have two resolutions: to purchase a house of my own and second, before I move, to post every human being I have ever met at least one memo and three two-page letters.
Matthew Porter, Porter Write

Enhance and expand my internet web site;
Become more efficient by utilizing my computer's full potential;
Publicize my company locally, nationally and worldwide through multimedia;
Succeed in having at least one of my inventions mass produced and sold in great volume;
Finish and publish my instructional manual/book;
Make my video, CD-ROM and audio cassette;
Participate more often in business/social functions and community activities;
Continue to honor my "gut feeling" and
Have more fun business-wise than I did last year and the year before!
Rhonda Barrymore, Makeup Artist, "Help Me Rhonda"

I will no longer read scripts while driving on 285.
I will no longer stand at I-75 and North Avenue with a sign that says "Voice Overs for Food."
I will no longer run home in-between voice over sessions to transfer a load of laundry.
I will no longer refuse sessions that interfere with my "Free Wax" Tuesdays at the car wash.
I will no longer stand up on Delta flights and lip sync with my in-flight video narration.
I will no longer make my clients buy wrapping paper, chocolate and discount books from my son's school.
Last but not least, I will no longer watch or hear another actor do something and say, "I could do that better."
Robin Bittman, Actress

My New Year's resolution for 1998 is to work with more 'live' musicians creating soundtracks instead of synthesizers and samplers, especially in orchestral scores.
Although I use at least one live music track in everything I do, there is a tonal quality that is impossible to reproduce singularly. It has to do with the way musicians interact when they are performing and falling in the groove.
Unfortunately, budgets do not always support this, but there is a large collection of talented musicians in Atlanta and I think the end result is definitely worth the extra cost.
Patrick Belden, Belden Music and Sound

My New Year's resolution is to continue to blur the line between my work and my play. To bring more heart to the office, and more strategy to how I use my free time. My hope is to get to a point where I'm nourished from both sides.
Steve Martin, Partner, Young & Martin Design

I simply don't have anything to say about New Year's resolutions that doesn't sound self serving or too flip or too damn serious. In fact, I'm starting to think that a really dull job is what I need. Know of any?
Jeff Stafford, Web Site Director, TNT

As for me, I usually wait till the end of the year and make my resolution something I've already accomplished so as not to have to break any, but this year I'll make an exception. I resolve to: finish writing my book on the metaphysical aspects of Beatles' songs, find an attic that contains a near mint copy of Spiderman #1, and finally get my fingers to play that elusive Eb chord.

Finally, why do we break our resolutions? Is it because we set our goals too high? Do we thrive on stress and deadlines to be creative? Is it because, as John Lennon said, "Life is what happens while we're busy making other plans?" Or is it because Janus is displeased that he, who was second only to Jupiter in godly status, has been relegated over the last couple of millennia to being little more than a figurehead(s).

Whatever your resolution for 1998, whether you want to pass your voice from dissonant to consonant, divide your prosodic elements or analyze your vectors, we hope each and every one of you meets your goals for this year and none of you get that nasty subsidence of inflammation in the lungs.