The great Stan Lee died almost a month ago − the renowned comic book writer, creator of Marvel super heroes, and late in his life, actor in television and movies featuring his creations. Stan Lee hated to see an idle artist. He (like me and many others) felt that idle talent was bored talent and bored talent was easy to lose to the competition or to the client side.
Keeping agency talent busy was just one of the lessons I took from Lee’s example. A second, but equally important, lesson was don’t censor talent. Lee felt that if you hired an artist to do a job, you let them do the job. Lee was known to have expressed: “It seems to me that if a person is doing something creatively, and he or she feels that’s the way it ought to be done, you’ve gotta let them do it.”
We’ve been in business for over 35 years and one of things I am most proud of is all the firms and talents that have spun off from us. Spotting, nurturing and developing talent is painful, as many of them leave for greener pastures or greater freedom.
Lee enjoyed being fairly hands off as a boss. But he strongly felt the best example for his people was a reminder to dream big. There’s no better way to motivate the best people.