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Copywriters on the rack #5: André Spiteri

Hello and welcome to Copywriters on the Rack.
Please step this way, don’t worry about the skeletons and the smell, it was a big one last night. So, to get things started:

Who are you and what do you do to pay the bills?

André Spiteri, Copywriter.  I make s*** up for the Internet, which is a pretty cool way to pay the bills. If I’m honest, five years into the game it still blows my mind that this is how my mortgage gets paid.

What was your career path to get where you are now?

Shop attendant > EFL teacher > Solicitor > Bartender > Copywriter

Not exactly the most logical career progression, but it got me where I was supposed to be in the end, so I’ll take it.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Making something from nothing. I love the creative act.

Glowing feedback is pretty nice too. So dear clients, if you’re reading, this by all means keep it coming.

What’s the worst?

An unclear brief. I hate not knowing where I’m going, especially if it means major edits down the line.

How do you fill the gaps when you’re not doing the day job?

I binge-watch TV shows, cook (sometimes spectacularly well, sometimes with ghastly results, but mostly mediocrely), read voraciously, and change lots of nappies.

Now we’ve got the formalities out of the way, let’s go rogue:

Who’d win in a fight, The Dalai Lama or a Llama?

The Dalai Lama, no contest. Mind over matter.

Favourite smell?

A three-way tie between tobacco, freshly ground coffee beans and petrol. Am I weird?

Of course you are, you’re a Copywriter. Now, what’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?

Iron Maiden, Virtual XI tour, May 1998. It was my first ever major gig and it still counts as one of the best days of my life.

What’s the worst?

A local gig circa 2003 or 2004. The openers were probably the worst band I’ve ever listened to in my life. I couldn’t make out where one song ended and the other began.

What’s your first childhood memory?

Me in a baby walker, crashing into the kitchen cupboards at my parents’ house. Grace and subtlety have never been my strong suits.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Bus driver / musician (never got good enough to go pro) / novelist / actor (fun fact, I once starred in a chip commercial) / solicitor (did it, was pretty bad at it TBH) / therapist (s***, I’d have been f****** terrible)

So all in all, I guess the correct answer is: I never really had much of an idea, until I fell into copywriting aged 33. Then it all clicked and I found my purpose. Life’s funny like that.

What would you like to come back as, if there’s a next time?

A better, more disciplined musician. Or maybe a cat. Yeah, probably better come back as a cat. Cats have life sussed.

Draw me a picture of a heavy metal hamster (yes I know you’re a writer, but do it anyway).

My drawing skills are terrible, don’t say you haven’t been warned…

Love it. Let’s call him Keith.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?

Visiting Bhutan, writing a novel, and err…  paying off my mortgage?

What is love?

Unconditional acceptance.

Pick a random pic from your camera roll and tell us about it.

Most of my pics are of my infant daughter (yeah, I’m one of those people now), but here’s one of my cat Jenny.

My phone says I took this on the 8th June… 2 days before she passed away. She was my constant companion for 11 years, 5 of which I worked from home full-time, and I miss her terribly.

Is there anyone you’d like to say thank you to?

The #ContentClubUK crew. I haven’t met most of you in person but I love you dearly. There isn’t a more supportive community. When my daughter was born earlier this year, many even sent cards and gifts, which was incredible.

Anyone you’d like to say sorry to?

Not that I can think of. I don’t like letting disagreements fester so I usually try to address them immediately.

Let’s play word association:

Inside mind
Jelly tots
Mashed potatoes

Favourite comic character?

I’ve never been big into comics but I grew up on Japanese manga, particularly Saint Seiya. I loved the show growing up and I can quote whole bits of it by heart (the dubbed dialogue of course, not the Japanese).

Make up your own question and tell us whatever you want to get off your chest.

What’s the right way to wear a mask?

Why, thanks for asking, Jonathan. What a great question!

When you put on your mask, you should make sure it covers both your mouth AND YOUR F****** NOSE. It’s a respiratory disease, you nitwit.

Where would you rather be and why?

There’s nowhere I’d rather be right now. Honest.

What will they play at your funeral?

Something suitably tear-jerking. Let’s say Placebo — Song to Say Goodbye

And before I remove the shackles, tell us where we can find you online.

You can see my work and enquire about working with me here:

For gifs and random musings about my vacuum cleaner, toilet habits, and other mundane stuff, hit me up on Twitter: @Andre_Spiteri

I’m also on LinkedIn here — but I’m afraid I don’t have any uplifting stories about waking up at 4:00am, sorry.

If you enjoyed that, here’s Freelance Copywriter,Tom Albrighton on my rack.