As this article will explain, I will soon be joining the School of Communication Arts 2.0, the world's leading advertising school. Whilst in attendance there, I will be expected to write SCABs (not as gross as it sounds - SCA Blogs), to reflect on my journey and what I'm learning/discovering about myself and the creative industry. I've been challenged with creating 3 SCABs before I join in mid-September, so here's my first - SCAB001:
It all started with a little shift. A very last minute decision to work late into the night to bring an idea to life. This particular idea, ironically entitled ‘Shift’, won me my first D&AD New Blood Pencil, and seemed to trigger a chain reaction.
Since then, I’ve been riding through an exciting flurry of projects and opportunities, from painting 6ft fibreglass bears to attending an intense 2 week boot camp at D&AD HQ, and of course, being offered a D&AD scholarship to join SCA 2.0.
I have not taken what some people would term as the “traditional route” – I have no formal education beyond college; a mixture of hard graft and a sprinkling of good fortune landed me where I am today – a Designer and Illustrator with 3 years industry experience under my belt.
Initially from a Fine Art background, I decided to switch it up and pursued an apprenticeship in Interactive Media and Design, which led me to a small design agency in Leamington Spa called Imaginate. Life can be funny really, I never imagined living in a big city like Birmingham and having a job that required me to commute to little Leamington, it all felt a bit backwards. Regardless of that, Imaginate turned out to be the most perfect fit for me – they had an impressive roster of clients and the company was small enough for me to make an impact and work across a variety of disciplines. It was also an incredibly nurturing environment, which allowed me to grow in confidence as a creative.
With that in mind, today was a big day. Today I handed in my resignation – August will be my last month at Imaginate. I’m bidding farewell to my lovely Leamington design family to leap into the scary black hole that is Advertising.
What can I say? My 2 weeks at the D&AD New Blood Academy were the most challenging of my life, and yet, I want more! The excitement, the arguments, the absolute elation when you stumble across “THE IDEA” – I want that a million times over. That’s why I’m joining SCA.
The biggest thing the D&AD Academy taught me was… I’m not ready for the advertising industry yet. While choosing an apprenticeship over a degree was a fantastic way for me to learn industry skills without the debt, I feel like I may have missed out some of the “ideas phase” part of my development. From day one, I’ve had corporate guidelines drummed into me; working on controlled briefs and text heavy documents all day can be quite a burden on the creative soul within. I hope SCA will get me back in touch with the crazy creative inside me (because let’s be honest, you’d have to be a bit crazy to work in this industry!)
Excited, scared and slightly overwhelmed are the themes of my emotional rollercoaster – and I’ve been riding through these peaks and troughs several times a day. I have so much to do before I join SCA, not least find somewhere to live. I find making lists helps, so that’s where I’ll start:
- Resign from work – DONE
- Write 3 SCA Blogs – Partly done
- Read 8 books (waiting for payday on that one)
- Find somewhere to live (eek!)
- Pack (inevitably last minute)
- *The list goes on
I have a few more weeks working in Leamington, and then I can fully prepare for my SCA journey. I really hope it offers the shift in creative thinking that I’m looking for.
See you soon SCA!
Designer, Illustrator & Determined Creative Soul