MEET #2592 NATE ABLE
Art Director • New York, NY
Nate Able recently left his role as Creative Director at BBH NY to try his hand at freelancing and take majestic selfies on top of mountains. His "Susan Glenn" campaign for Axe (watch below) took home top honors at every awards show this year, including a Gold Lion at Cannes.
1. How long have you been freelancing?
Just a few months.
2. Is there a time or place that you feel most creative/have the best ideas?
No specific place but it's rarely in front of a computer. Whenever possible I like to work outside. The best ideas always seem to hit when you're giving your head a little break from staring at a notebook or computer screen.
3. What's your ideal Working:Not Working ratio?
Are we talking about real life or dream life? Honestly, either way I would be busy. Ideas don't stop when I'm not working. They just aren't about advertising.
That's the main thing I like about freelance actually. A greater percentage of your time is spent coming up with ideas instead of going to meetings and dealing with all the agency bureaucracy.
Number-wise let's say 70/30.
4. Do your parents understand what you do?
Kinda. They understand the process in a very general way but it always makes me laugh when I show my mom some dark, weird commercial I've done and she says, "Oh I love it! That's really cute."
5. What scene from a movie makes you laugh just thinking about it?
Hmmm. Just about all the scenes from "This is the End" were pretty funny.
And the whole thing makes me laugh because you can just picture that group of friends sitting around stoned coming up with that shit. The fact that they were able to sell it to a studio is the best part about the movie.
6. If you were stranded on a desert island, with your computer, what 3 websites would you take with you?
The internet is for shopping. Plus there's this.
7. What do you do when Not Working?
After working nights and weekends for a dozen plus years I really love hanging around the house with my wife Michelle and my dog Kid. But we like to travel too. Often to warm tropical places.
Other than that I really like building things. Furniture mostly. At some point I plan to go to a woodworking school and get more serious about it.
8. Do you have a hidden talent?
I hope so. So far it's very hidden.
Oh, almost all dogs like me immediately. Maybe that's something.
9. Any tips or advice for fellow freelancers?
I'm not sure I've been doing it long enough to have any sage advice. Based on the experiences of my wife and friends I'd say it's important to know what you want to get out of it and make sure that you do.
If it's more money, fine.
If it's more time to travel or work on personal projects, cool.
If it's trying out new agencies for your next full time gig, great.
Just set your priorities and make it work that way.
It might be the only time in your career where you have full control over what you're getting out of it and how much time you spend doing it.