NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, YES , Insights From a Creative Journey
By Gideon Amichay; Introduction by Keith Reinhard; Foreword by Richard Wilde
Available at McNally Jackson Books – 52 Prince St, Soho – New York
Was available at The MoMA store – The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2014-2017)
Available on: https://nononononoyes.com/book
Hebrew books are available here: https://nononononoyes.com/hebrew-books
Reviews & Endorsements
Coming up with the concept, writing the content, talking to publishers, finding a book designer, finalizing the details – this book has been a lot of work. This is why I’m so happy to be posting today’s article. Keith Reinhard is Chairman Emeritus of DDB Worldwide and a legendary adman. I’m honored to have his introduction for my book. Thank you Keith.
Intro / Keith Reinhard
Gideon Amichay defies easy characterization. In appearance he is elegant and soft-spoken. His gentle manner gives no clue to the imagination that rages inside. His mind is a seemingly continuous eruption of original observations and surprising ideas – often brilliant and always provocative.
Though Gideon is a native of Israel now residing in New York, he travels the world, and when asked where he lives, he answers: “I live on Earth.” He is a storyteller, an artist, an entrepreneur and a teacher. But most of all, Gideon Amichay is a keen observer who sees the world differently, then arrives at insightful conclusions for us to consider, or imaginative solutions to vexing problems.
I admire Gideon’s ability with both pencil and camera and his obvious belief that a touch of whimsy not only engages our attention but also helps us understand and remember. And as someone who has spent a lifetime trying to bring creative ideas to life in advertising, I can personally (and painfully!) identify with Gideon’s assertion that the cost of creativity, as he puts it, is that we are never truly satisfied.
I like Gideon Amichay because he always makes me think. Readers of this book will be made to think as well. My suggestion is that the book be kept handy as a touchstone for creative people who need a quick and ready dose of inspiration. Open any page of No, No, No, No, No, Yes! It will open your mind.
The Boston Globe // Opinion Sunday //
By Stephanie Fairyington // March 30
…”New Yorker cartoonist Gideon Amichay, a native of Israel, also had a toughie for a mom. “The composition is, well, so-so,” he quotes her saying of his childhood drawings in his new illustrated book, “No, No, No, No, No, Yes: Insights from a Creative Journey.” But he goes on to argue that her critiques helped him flourish into the successful artist and ad man he is today.
Amichay identifies three types of “no”: The one that makes us try harder; the one that inspires us to rethink our visions; and finally, the one that moves us into a different direction. In my career, I’ve accumulated more “nos” than an out-of-work actor. But amid this stream of rejection are the editors who have said “no” with the kind of encouragement and feedback that Amichay applauds, pushing my idea to the next evolution, challenging me to think with more nuance, and, ultimately, facilitating my growth as a writer.” …
“A must read”
Communication Arts //
Illustration Annual 55 //
By Stephanie Orma
“Gideon Amichay’s amusing, poignant and refreshingly relatable tales challenge our relationship with the loaded word”
“One of the best kick-in-the-butt pep talks ever.”
“The new book NO, NO, NO, NO, NO YES is an inspiring must read for every creative.”
‘How Creatives Should View ‘NO’
As The First Step To Getting A ‘YES’
Design // Advertising // Digital //
By Sara Roncero Menedez
// March 17
“Amichay’s tale and philosophy [are] an inspiration to creatives in all businesses and industries.”
“… Like Amichay’s advertising, the book is set up in an unconventional way that ends up emphasizing the message better than the standard format would have.”
Weekend Heller //
By Steven Heller //
“Taking NO for an answer” By Steven Heller
By Michael Weinzetti
Vol. 1 2014
“Gideon Amichay is the man who pretty much singlehandedly put Israel on the world map in terms of creative advertising. … This beautifully produced volume…tells us how to embrace the rejections creatives are bound to encounter in their lives.”
Richard Wild is Chair of Advertising and Design Departments at School of Visual Arts New York. I’m honored to have his foreword for my book. Thank you Richard.
Foreword / Richard Wilde
No, No, No, No, No, Yes is an amazing story that chronicles Gideon Amichay’s rise as a force in the rarefied domain of critical thinking.
In the world of visual communications, Gideon is one of the few individuals who has mastered the art of problem solving, an unteachable discipline. His accomplishments have expanded to include author, entrepreneurialist and teacher.
I’ve pondered for some time trying to understand how Gideon was able to achieve such success, and the one possible explanation I’ve come up with to unravel this enigma is a combination of various factors that have resulted in this achievement. By undertaking the seemingly impossible task of creating hundreds and hundreds of conceptual illustrations with the intent of being accepted into, arguably the most difficult venue, The NEW YORKER magazine, fostered the emergence of persistence, perseverance and endurance. These qualities were coupled with an essential inner sense of confidence, which can be traced back to what Gideon refers to as his first creative director, his mother, Rachel.
By focusing on illustration and by developing a voice based on conceptual ingenuity, this unique conceptual ability aided Gideon when he undertook the task of being an art director in the world of advertising. He entered this field without any of the dogma that is inherent in advertising education. This gave him the opportunity to embark on projects in the world of advertising with a new and untainted vision. His innovative ideas were challenged again and again, which met with every conceivable “NO”, which he took as an opportunity, a challenge that enlivened him and gave meaning to his life. He understood that one must embrace the roadblocks, not react to them, and it is at this very place where his genius emerged and flourished
Gideon mastered the art of storytelling, which is the foundation of all successful social media. Of course, there are other significant tactics such as growth tools (find out here). that people use to grow their channels. But without storytelling, one will find it hard to create compelling content. This has become a tool in his arsenal where today, his concepts are so provocative that the media extends his work tenfold.
Gideon has now undertaken the task of educator at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The courses that he teaches set the stage for others to enter the world of risk taking, love of process, coupled with a spirit to embrace new challenges.
Gideon Amichay understands the pathway toward creativity where he does not have to knock down walls, which is time consuming and unproductive; he knows the secret of how to simply walk around them.
Teaching the intricacies of his journey to others will be Gideon Amichay’s legacy.
Chair of the Advertising Department at School of Visual Arts New York
Chair of the Design Department at School of Visual Arts New York
Thomas Manss & Company
“This book will make you think “No, No, No, No, No, Yes” is the title of Gideon Amichay’s latest book, and the name of his agency (imagine answering the phone…amazing). The book made us think… a lot. As creatives, what do we do when people say “no”? Do we keep trying until they say “yes”? How much do we believe in what we do? How confident are we? You can buy the book or watch the TED talk. There is a lot to learn…”
YES MEN January 27
INK SPILL // By Michael Maslin // February 23
“This delightful book … Most anyone who’s had the dream of contributing art to the magazine will relate to Mr. Amichay’s story. The evolution of his New Yorker rejections is well chronicled and novel.”
“DB: please can you tell about your background and what lead you to the job you have today?
GA: I stared as a cartoonist and a writer. my first cartoon was published when I was fourteen. at fifteen I became the sports cartoonist for ma’ariv, which was one of the two leading newspapers in the israel. I loved sports so it was a perfect combination. there were several cartoonists who influenced me, but most of all I admired saul steinberg because of his sophisticated thinking.
when I was twenty-two I went to bezalel art and design academy in jerusalem where I studied design (there was no class for cartooning). in 1989 I was sent on an exchange student program to the school of visual arts in new york where I was taught by paul peter porges and the great guy billout who, for me, is probably the cleverest illustrator I know of. both definitely had a big influence on me.” Full article
Graphic Design USA
Agency SPY // By Erik Oster // December 3, 2013
… Amichay’s book is really about the importance of hearing “no,” something often forgotten in the era of instant gratification. “No” doesn’t have to be spirit-breaking, “No usually comes with a comma,” Amichay says. He makes a point of distinguishing between the automatic “no” that comes from fear of the unknown, the skeptics, those who would like to play it safe, and the constructive “no” that makes you reconsider an idea or take a new direction. He urges his readers to develop their personal relationship with the word. Amichay explores all the times you’ll hear “no” in advertising: from creative collaborators, from bosses, from clients. Behind the “no” schtick is a great look at Amichay’s career in advertising and some of the interesting campaigns he’s been involved with, from the beginning of his career at Grey Tel Aviv up until his 2010 resignation after spending nearly two decades as CCO/joint managing partner of Shalmor Avnon Amichay Y&R.
… The book is a pleasant, easy read, and you could do a lot worse if looking for an inspirational text, especially one dealing with advertising… Full article
“My mother was a Jewish mother.
Naturally, my Jewish mother, like all Jewish mothers, wanted me to be a doctor, or a lawyer… or as she used to say, “Be something!”…” Full article
“In No, No, No, No, No, Yes. Insights From A Creative Journey, award winning creator of visionary ad campaigns (Cannes Lions, Clios); ad exec (the Shalmor Avnon Amichay/Y&R agency); cartoonist (The New Yorker); speaker (TEDx); and teacher (School of Visual Arts) Gideon Amichay demonstrates that “No” is not a barrier to success – it’s a facilitator. “No” is not the end, but rather an essential tool for direction, motivation and innovation.” …
UNDER-CONSIDRATION // December 2013 // “An Encouraging Read”
Issue 30 //
March 2014 //
A fundamentally optimistic approach
Even more than that, it is, as he explains in the interview below, a fundamentally optimistic approach to life.
For 18 years he was the creative partner at Shalmor Avnon Amichay Y&R, where he put not just the agency but Israel on the international map of creativity, with 19 Cannes Lions among hundreds of other international awards.
In 2012 he was President of the Cannes Lions jury for Direct. (For the Directory interview with him at this time, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lard49Brfhs)
Patience, persistence and stubbornness are qualities to be found in most creative people. Amichay has an abundance of all three as well as an ability to reinvent himself regularly. Cartoonist, writer, art director, teacher, designer, thinker, author, businessman, he is all of the above.
Directory is proud to be able to reproduce a part of his book, with thanks to the author and publisher, but first wanted to talk to Gideon himself about his past, his present and his future as a creative person.