High atop his perch in Yellow Springs, he sits with a keyboard and a monitor. He stares at it with his dancing, spry eyes and starts to type something out, evaluates it with a practiced eye, then beings to mold it. Fingers dance over the keyboard with the ease of a master pianist, selecting the right words out of the ether and weaving them into a tapestry of wonders. An outside observer would marvel at how simply it appears to flow, never knowing how much practice it took, how much blood was shed, and how much coffee and alcohol was consumed to get the right blend to deliver the right message. This man knows. He understands how it all works together, and he can use it to help his clients.
This is the type of person the subject of our interview, Alex Culpepper, hopes to be someday.
What’s your superpower, or what’s your spirit animal?
My spirit animal must be a hawk. I see a lot of hawks.
Where do you find peace?
Well, I often find her at a hipster bar out for some girl time with tolerance and sanity. Once in a while, though, I’ll find her with decadence and hedonism. That’s always a wild time.
What is your favorite campaign?
I usually don’t drink the bubbly, except on New Years, but I have been known to down some Veuve Clicquot once in a pink moon.
What superhero would you be and why?
Probably Batman because he would be hands down the best copywriter. Other superheros just have a bunch of stupid superhuman powers or come from another planet.
How does the Internet work?
I’m still trying to figure it out—but I know how to use it! Fortunately, the chaps at L + P seem to know what’s going on.
What advice would you give to anyone trying to make it in the ad world?
Please don’t overcompensate and try to be zany and kooky and wear clown clothes or have toys in your office to show that you are creative. Just be creative. Some of the most clever, creative folks I’ve known actually get mistaken for accountants or librarians. Sometimes they even tuck their shirts in. And they don’t act like circus performers or amateur band members.
How did you get to this interview?
I heard a knock at the door, and when I opened it, three chaps wearing knickers and sport coats stood before me. They told me they were from Lion + Panda and wanted to ask me some questions. They said they had heard on the street that I always yearned to be interviewed. They gave me some questions to answer and then walked away.
Tell me in no more than 5 words what you think Lion + Panda does?
They make dreams come true.
What did you play with as a child?
Other children, a Wiffle ball bat, a unisex mannequin, binoculars, and a small electric dragster
If you were a kitchen appliance, what would you be?
An oven because I like to be turned on, and I get hot pretty quickly even in winter.
What motivates you and what doesn’t?
I suppose what motivates me is having a clever idea and also knowing that what I’m working on will change something for the better. Oh, and being yelled at motivates me too.
What is your hidden talent, and how did you discover it?
I’m really good at aggrandizing. No one can match my skill at making something much more than what it is. I didn’t discover it; it discovered me.