Tom Daley is the senior copywriter at Quigley, a fully-integrated brand performance agency uniting brand and demand-based in Los Angeles, California.
Tom> Silly. Curious. Very literal. More interested in questions than explanations.
Tom> I like to approach the world with an open mind, find out what other people think, and then try to figure out why they think that.
Tom> Creativity is innate because it’s of the body and of the unconscious.
Tom> Outgoing Introvert. I like being by myself, I like small groups, and I like big crowds where I can be anonymous.
Tom> Routine is very important to me. It builds discipline. It’s how I get myself to do the little things I don’t want to do in order to achieve the big things I want to accomplish.
Tom> If I see something I feel like I could have come up with, I generally avoid it. It would be a waste of time. I prefer to expose myself to new ideas or learn something.
Creative work should feel like it’s opened a new room in your brain. My criteria: Is it unexpected? Is it true? Creativity lives in the tension between those two.
Tom> No. In the same way that creativity is innate, the ability to recognise it is too. I’ve just gotten better at describing why something is or isn’t.
Tom> I’m proudest of the campaign I’m working on right now because it incorporates something I’m passionate about (surfing), while also showcasing and supporting a powerful collaboration for our client.
Tom> I start by writing taglines, a bunch of them. I write until I find something interesting, something with a twist in it. Then figure out what it means. That’s my concept.
Tom> Pen and paper. Getting my hand moving gets my brain moving.
Tom> I don’t think anybody starts anything as a blank sheet, you’re always going to draw from what you’ve been exposed to. That said, I don’t keep a folder of inspiration. I trust that if there’s something relevant worth remembering I’ll remember it.
Tom> It’s always a combination of both for me. I prefer to think and write alone, but I need to see another’s reaction to gauge what’s working or not. Likewise, many of my best ideas come from responding to other people’s thinking.
Tom> I make up my mind to figure it out, then go for a walk. It’s all about taking my hands off the wheel and trusting my brain to sort things.
Tom> Nothing is ever done, you just run out of time. The trick is knowing when you’re out of time, which is not the same thing as a deadline, and being able to step back.
Tom> I grew up in the burbs of Richmond, VA, and was fortunate to have two witty parents who instilled in me a love of language and got me watching Jeopardy! at an early age.
Tom> Pre-pandemic I got into doing stand up and I credit that with making me better at writing, receiving criticism, and trusting my creative instincts.
Tom> I do my best work when I know I’ll be presenting it to an audience. If I can think of something like a performance then I’m able to completely commit.
Tom> To facilitate creativity agencies should embrace the idea that time spent away from your computer is not necessarily unproductive time.