A friend of mine died of a heart attack last night. Andy Cameron was my Creative Director when I worked at Wieden + Kennedy. But more than that, he was a mentor, a collaborator, and fellow joker. I was already in awe of the man as he'd worked at the Italian art school Fabrica, who also put out Colors magazine, which was the magazine that made me want to get into magazines.
The first time I met Andy he told me he needed to get out of the office, so we went for a walk around Weaver's Fields. It was a sunny day and lots of people were sitting on the grass in the park, including a group of Somali women in burkas. As we walked by, we were both surprised to see that these women were drinking cans of Special Brew. Ordinarily silent and veiled, these ladies were shouting and spitting, pissed out of their covered-up heads. We were both so thrilled and inspired by this tiny act of rebellion that we bunked off to the pub and took the rest of the day off. Best boss I ever had.
I don't know why I'm writing this. I just can't quite believe he's gone. I last saw him a couple of weeks ago, when I teased him for having awful dress sense, despite the many years he lived in Milan. Bad jeans and sideburns notwithstanding, Andy's youthful spirit, his artistic vision, his enthusiasm for innovation, his intelligence and his warmth are the lasting impression he left on everyone he met. I'll miss the old Scouser.
Hold on to the ones you love.