Some days are just sad and today has been made so for me by the news that Graham Rust died in Prague yesterday. You may have read the piece I posted here a few months back when Graham announced that he’d had enough of chemotherapy and was instead taking a trip … around Europe. My feelings then were a combination of anger at the injustice and delight at the way he responded. I think those of us who knew him realised the inevitabilty of his all too early exit, but it nonethless leaves a hole in your life when someone you respect dies.
Tributes are already emerging from people who knew him longer and better than I, but at the risk of being as unoriginal as many of us look alongside Graham I just want to add my tuppence-worth.
I am sure there are many people around who met Graham without realising just how impressive his life has been, such was his humility. A genuine mould-breaker he seemed to love what he did and did what he loved and it showed in the great ideas he has left us.
The agency he founded in Prague is a reflection of his personality and approach to life and work. He achieved balance in most things that I particularly respect, tough and sympathetic, creative and organised – I loved the way he made work lists like an engineer, but tackled the problems they represented like the most liberated creative and he never lost his absolute glee for a neat solution.
We were the same age, but Graham taught me things that I am grateful for as he did the people who he took on and mentored at his agency. There are many ad. people in Prague and elsewhere who owe their place in the business and their understanding of the work to this truly good bloke.
Aplogies to Richard Laurence Baron from whose blog I stole this great photo. My only excuse being that I’m in Saudi Arabia at the moment and don’t have a shot of my own to use.
October 25, 2011