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April 19, 2018 - Comments Off on Stacey Dennis: Champion Northern Creatives: Part 4

Stacey Dennis: Champion Northern Creatives: Part 4

Best known for her cheeky cards, Leeds born, Stacey Dennis provides us with her hugely inspirational story of her creative start-up and now award-winning business Love Layla. We talk about how she quite literally used her 'skills to pay the bills' and turned 30 quid into a million and why carving out your own path might lead to even bigger and better things.

Excited to introduce the fabulous Stacey Dennis!
Let's get right to it, what University did you got to and to do what?

Leeds Art College & Leeds Met University, studying Design

After finishing formal education what did you do next?
Shortly after graduating, I began my first role within Graphic Design at a Musical
Instrument company based in Leeds. My job was to edit photographs of instruments
and design layouts for the in-house magazine.

How has your career path been shaped over the years?
Amongst various Graphic Design jobs, they were mainly all office based positions. I did break off after a redundancy to travel Australia. This led me to various job roles while backpacking around, but then I landed a position in Sydney working at a Design & Print shop - this was really where I came into more print production, understanding colour process and more technical design.

It was a local business and I became close to the owner who guided me through 9 months of training and development within my skills. Still working as a junior, my Manager was an amazing Illustrator and taught me how to really control design skills throughout the Adobe suite software. On my return to the UK, with my now Australian Husband, I then landed a Managerial position within a similar type of business back in Leeds.

Wow, what a journey!
What have been some of your most difficult obstacles in the workplace?

I think the most difficult obstacles within my career are being a Director of Love Layla. While I still love my job as a Designer, running a business involves job roles that I have zero interest in - such as Accounts. It takes me a long time to understand the sums!

Thankfully, I am super organised so can handle the workload but understanding and throwing yourself into duties that you really have no idea (or interest!) about...

What has been your favourite project to work on?
My favourite projects have always been logo design - throughout my career and having various tasks, I still and always will love designing logos! Simply because they are the “emblem” of someone’s business - there’s a lot riding on that. It’s the pressure I love then...

I did feel really proud and loved designing a sign for our offices -the sign is huge and I have never had to design a sign for myself, that was special.

Starting out, how did you create opportunities for yourself?
I always tried to put myself into everything - I always kept up with trends and found my own style. I was fortunate to gain experience within both print and design - this gave me a better understanding of a finished product when I was designing to send to print.

You have a very family orientated brand and business, who would you thank for helping get where you are?
It's true! The biggest input to my career started with my parents - they would drive me crazy places for crazy equipment/tools/materials to create my designs while at Uni. After them, I would say my boss from my job in Sydney. I was only supposed to be a temp for 3 weeks - 9 months later, I left the country and the job along with the support and advice of a professional who had grown her business from scratch.

So, from Leeds to Sydney to Leeds again, what was it that made you create Love Layla?
Love Layla came about because I was made redundant (again) as I left for maternity leave to have my baby, Layla. I was working as a freelance designer when my husband had a back injury. We were left with £30 and a one year old so I used my skills to pay the bills!

I designed 11 cards for Valentine’s Day and pushed them through Social Media. 3 years later, we stand in a warehouse with 4 members of staff (who are all family) with my husband, Jay, also as a Director. Layla is now 4 years old and we have a huge social media following generating repeat and new custom.

  

Amazing! What would you say has been your biggest achievement to date?
While not to sound too cocksure, my biggest achievement is managing Motherhood and building a successful business turning over £1million in our first year of trading. That was a big year and a proud achievement.

Absolutely, that's incredible. Why do you think the North of England is so special?
Yorkshire Puddings - My Dad is the king of them!

I was born and bred in Leeds and I love being in the North because it’s home! With great cities, we have lots to offer - chips and gravy for one!

What is great about Northern creatives?
There are lots of opportunities worldwide for Creatives, but sometimes they aren’t plausible or practical - so Northern Creatives are able to reach out to the North to assure you that you don’t need to be in the capital to have good ideas - nor do you need to have the skyline backdrop for inspiration.

If you have the eye, determination and drive, it will take you where you want to be.

What does the future hold for 2018?
Continue building our business, generate more designs and products to add to our collection and in general, keep enjoying my work and designing.

What advice would you give to anyone entering the creative industry?
Keep going, it’s not easy. I do find sometimes what looks great to you, isn’t always to someone else - but stick with your gut. Believe in what you do and keep practicing. I have gained a lot of skills through watching and practising video tutorials since I left University and through running my business.

Always think outside of the box, sorry for being cliché - It’s not my usual style, but always look for the not so obvious things in life, they might just lead you to a good thing.

One final thing, who is Twat Cat?
(Laughing) That's our cat and he is Twat Cat.

--

Got a birthday, anniversary, wedding to go to? You know where you're going now.
Discover more of our amazing Champion Northern Creatives here.

April 12, 2018 - Comments Off on Stephen Drummond: Champion Northern Creatives: Part 3

Stephen Drummond: Champion Northern Creatives: Part 3

Stop what you're doing. We went knocking on number 70 for a blog with more amazing things than you can shake a stick at. From Samuel L Jackson to puddles - we've got it all. Neatly wrapped into piece for you to love with all your might.

Meet Owner and Creative Director of Drummond Central, a marketing and communications agency based in Newcastle with clients worldwide. They're one of the top 20 largest agencies outside of London and recognised globally for their creative work.

"We love nothing better than raising the profile of cutting-edge, non-traditional and creatively-minded clients through a considered approach."

You might also know them from...

Let's get cracking, what's you're name and where do you come from (proper Cilla intro!)

I'm Stephen, I'm the Creative Director of Drummond Central, I'm from Newcastle (loud cheering from the crowd) and I started my design life out at Newcastle School of Art and design and followed with a HND in Advertising.

After you finished education, what were your next steps?
Went to London for a year or so, starting as a Junior Art Director to now, CD of my own agency.

That's pretty awesome.
What has been some of your most difficult obstacles in the workplace?

Managing a creative department is the most complex part of my day job.

What has been your favourite project to work on?
There's been loads. We made a horse racing TV commercial recently. We duplicated one horse, numerous times to create a pack. That turned out much better than I thought it would. Amazing actually.

How did you create opportunities for yourself?
Hard work and persistance. Make sure you work harder than everyone in the room. Then make sure work you work harder than everyone in the building etc...

How did you get your first job in the industry?
It was Christmas time and we sent our portfolio in wrapping paper to the CD of Saatchi and Saatchi in London. He called us back within 15 minutes.

Amazing! What has been your biggest achievement to date at work?
Filming commercials with Samuel L Jackson at Universal Studios, Hollywood.

WOW! I'm not quite sure how to follow that?
What do you think is special about the North of England?
Everything you could ever need; history, the coast, great nightlife etc... is on the doorstep. Plus, Northern creatives have a good work ethic, they're witty and grounded.

What's your next big goal?
Keep getting better. Have more fun!

What advice would you give to anyone entering the industry?
Work harder than everyone else. Listen!

--

Check out more of Drummond Central's work here.
Read more about our Champion Northern Creatives, here.

April 10, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei

sensei

se. xvi

if you squat and squint real well, you'll see that 'puma' is an anagram of 'faux pas', either that or that's the name of their next line of creps that with 78% likelihood will not sell out

SEE

In total effing awe of this emoji art page - damn these yung kids got skills. There’s not much on this earth that will make you as happy as seeing Kendrick’s cheek made of cookies and Eric Andre’s hair recreated with motorbikes and spiders. For more visual animated wonders available OFF the sociomediosphere and in the big L-D-N instead, check out Frances Stark over at the ICA and a screening of her interpretation of Mozart’s famous opera ‘The Magic Flute’. The behind-the-scenes vid of her work makes for worthwhile watching as she explains how obscure art doesn’t alllllways have to be poncey and inaccessible. (But it sure does help).

TOUCH

MORE THRIFT MAKES THE HEART GROW SCHWIFTY. Poplar Union is starting a monthly sewing class and in the process discards all that ‘make-do-and-mend’ preconceptions you had about the needle-and-thread, and shows you that new skills taste just as good as new clothes. Ones you’ve made yourself, obviously, not sold your soul to the high street (and their questionable exploits) for.

 

HEAR

The sweet sound of drums’n’laughter that you’ve been direly missing since all that endless Easter joy came to an abrupt halt last Tuesday. Hideaway in Streatham not only puts on live jazz, soul and funk nights - laying the aural nectar on so thick they could sell it as manuka - they host comedy nights on Fridays too. Getcho giggle on, forget it’s Friday 13th, shed the week’s sorrows, all that jazz. Literally, jazz. Monday nights sees a jazz workshop and jam session for all abilities, so you with the deaf tones can finally make it to deftones (the Def Jam version).

SMELL

Dance but NOT as you’ve known it before. Which is quite possibly you stepping on your own toes feeling like the physical embodiment of awkwardness, being squashed against a club wall wet with the condensation of fifty gurning 19-year-olds, and not being able to get the stink of said late teenagers out of your nostrils. Check out IDENTITY at Shoreditch Town Hall from the 12th - 14th April; contemporary artists will be exploring identity through voguing, hip hop, krump and generally shaking thangs that should be shook.

TASTE

Ever get caught in that weird conveyor belt-esque hole of Facebook videos that are a satisfying medley of relatable meme lols, the best moments from The Thick of It and unending #FOOD? Well you and me both, brother, we’re like pole and line tuna - reeled in af. Anyway I was doing this recently and somehow through the glaze of “I’ve now watched 25 minutes of disembodied hands prepare meals so swiftly it’s superhuman” that had crystallised over my eyeballs, I paid attention to someone telling me what to order at a Korean BBQ. So, naturally, Korean BBQ has now permeated my every waking thought. Which means I bring you GOGI in Edgware Road (WEST!!!), Asadal in Holborn and Dotori in Finsbury Park. Thx FB, for once.

@larabaxter 

March 26, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei

sensei

se. xv

bunny says as bunny does. make sure you don’t confuse your e’s and w’s by making this a Waster weekend, and check out how to keep yourself busy in london with these gems

 

TASTE

Wines curated by the Noble Rot (nobrot, lol) gang, a “lightly seasoned” whole turbot that has instantly become the only thing I can think about and rhuuuuuubarb. Rhubarb is so lit rhubarb needs to have its own Drag Race. This is all from Brat, a new Welsh/Basque mash-up opening on Redchurch Street, with a website that’ll make independent design studios wet their pants and a refreshingly straightforward menu that redefines the entire genre of minimalism. Sort of.

 

SEE

The long weekend means one thing. It means there’s more time to put off going to see exhibitions you’d been meaning to see but was so wrapped up in telling people how much you’d been meaning to see them that you forgot to actually do it. So this fin de semana, fight back against your procrastinatory self who would always choose another pint over leaving the house at 10am to catch some of dat sweet A.R.T. relief and check out expressive paintings from Rose Wylie’s late hubby Roy Oxlade, visceral grime from Pakui Hardware, nocturnal woodcuts from Tom Hammick and a big fat new show from Saatchi Gallery called Known Unknowns.

Roy Oxlade @ Alison Jacques Gallery

Pakui Hardware @ Tenderpixel

 

HEAR
Kkkkk this one’s not in London, fine, you caught me, I secretly believe there is life outside the M25, so what. You xenophobe. Unfortunately, I’m not 100% convinced Palmbomen II’s new alby ‘Memories of Cindy’ matches up to the Dutch wreckhead’s excellent eponymous album, released back in 2015 on Tim Sweeney’s Beats in Space label, but fuk it. I’m young, dumb and ready for some Palmbo-mun. And from your enthused reaction to my poor rhymes, I can tell you are too. ‘Av a trip down to Bristol on 7th April for a pounding live show by the friendly Dutchman, followed by more sonic spasms by electronic duo The Golden Filter.

SMELL

Smells like you, but better. Like your veins upgraded to fibre optic broadband or your name now rhymes with orange. London is lucky to host General Assembly - an organisation that runs short technology courses and workshops on things you know you should really know about, like UI/UX design, data science and Python. Sign up today and get HD ready.

 

TOUCH

You’ve already forgotten about all those art shows I told you to see, haven’t you. I know you too well, sensei pumpkin. Talking of pumpkins, the Turner Prize nominee Anthea Hamilton has teamed up with Jonathan Anderson of Loewe - the home of the sexily-cut handbag - to create a bunch of vegetable-inspired costumes. Yes, really. The commission is called 'The Squash'. The nutritional outfits are proudly worn by performers who will skulk around the area of Tate Britain that’s been transformed into an asylum-esque, white tiled space halfway between Ex Machina and that episode of the Simpsons where Homer falls into 3D-land. I'm getting hungry for aubergine parmigiana just thinking about it.

@larabaxter

March 21, 2018 - Comments Off on Sir John Hegarty in conversation

Sir John Hegarty in conversation

If you don't know who Sir John Hegarty is then you are in the wrong place.

And if you don't know, but are too lazy to google him, he's the co-founder of global ad agency BBH.

To paint a picture of how popular this particular talk was at Advertising Week Europe, I couldn't actually get in and had to sit in a cinema screen listening over headphones. Which had a mouse in it.

This discussion was lead by Jonathan Akwue, chair of the Ideas Foundation, a charity working to drive diversity which I highly recommend you check out here: http://ideasfoundation.org.uk/

And asking the questions were young leaders at the start of their creative careers keen to get practical tips on how to zig-zag their way to creative success.

If you've ever heard a Hegarty talk before you'll know what a treat it is to get insight from the man who has played such a massive part in advertising.

When asked about how he arrived at the decision to enter the world of advertising he described his journey to art school, in an attempt to be the next Picasso – and to get the ladies. Turns out this was not for him and he decided to attend the London College of Printing, though you may know it by its current name, London College of Communication. He says it was here that realised that the world could not be changed with a shade of blue but by ideas.

On the topic of diversity, he was not shy to declare that he detests the phrase ethnic minority and chooses to use ethnic essentials instead. "Creativity thrives on diversity". He believes that the more culture and different ways of thinking that can be shared the better, and the diversity you put into an agency comes out in its work. He also shared that this is why he is against 'Brexshit', that Britain's choice to cut itself off from other cultures is sad and foolish.

The next trend? Better ideas. Honestly, he says stop worrying about the trends and start refining your ideas. Tech will come and go but a great idea won't need it. And his thoughts on data are pretty much the same. "Big data is bullshit". The greatest story about data is the story of the birth of Christ – they went for the census and got more then they bargained for. The knowledge aquired by big data might be useful but using it is better. "Have an idea that influences the future."

How does one become inspired? Well, look around, there's inspiration everywhere. Take off your headphones, read more, read different and surround yourself with people who inspire you (basically, sack off all the people weighing you down.) Great creatives are optimists, they do interesting things with passion and in return are rewarded with interesting things happening to them. Yes, there's still such a thing as being too optimistic but it's encouraged. Optimists can be brought down but you'll struggle to bring a pessimist up.

And finally, he preached the death of the brainstorm. There's no proof that any truly wonderful idea was born in a brainstorm but there is plenty of evidence to prove that it's actually the work of great individuals. In a brainstorm you're working as fast as the slowest person in the room - rushing towards average - will more people in the room really help? Or, will creativity strike when you aren't even trying?

March 20, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei

sensei

se. xiv

beast from the east reloaded was like going through puberty for the second time but it’s all sound now folks, huddle up to springtime with some of these LDN ‘appnings

 

SEE

I wouldn’t really consider myself a theatre bunny, and the narrative of the one play I went to see at The Yard theatre in Hackney Wick was about as easy to follow as the Golden Snitch - whilst suffering from cataracts, on foot, in Selfridges’ Christmas department amongst stacks and stacks of gold baubles. BUT, I’m an open-minded person and it’s nearly Easter, so let’s try reinvent that theatre bunny in me. New beginnings n that. Buggy Baby has just two weeks left at The Yard, and features an adult woman playing an eight-month-old baby, which is exactly the sort of premise that should have you booking tickets at lightning speed. Plus, the play has got loads of stars from loads of established publications, so that must mean something.

SMELL

Ever since hanging out on the plant-laden terraced stretch of restaurants outside Westfield White City, I have become mildly obsessed with shrubbery you can sit on. So I’m overjoyed to find the CityTree installed in Piccadilly - a creation of Dresden-based Green City Solutions who are doing some wicked environmental work using modern tech like the Internet of Things. CityTree not only does the pollution-processing work of 275 trees in 1% of the space, is solar-powered AND waters itself, it’s also a comfy place to cotch. Too many times now I’ve said that London needs more benches. And it’s come at just the right time, as New Scientist point out that air pollution can actually destroy the communication systems of plants, which could have devastating effects on entire ecosystems. So pls follow Amsterdam’s example and respect the green.

 

TASTE

Raw yellowfin to the tunes of Peru. Morcilla croquettes that are like biting into the soft soul of a sea urchin. Andina in Soho provides the rhubarb negroni (my seasonal mind is blown) and damn fresh sea bass ceviche worth every penny. There’s a branch in Shoreditch, because everyone has to sell out someday, and they also offer masterclasses so you too can shimmy on down the enlightened Peruvian road. Pissed-co sours, pls.

 

HEAR

After watching some YouTube vids of BADBADNOTGOOD, suspecting there was something gratingly arrogant about them, concluding they were probably just four over-privileged, self-indulgent males, listening to their album III and agreeing with myself, then listening to album IV and Ghostface Killah collab Sour Soul and cutting them some slack, researching them a bit more thoroughly, forgiving their terrible name, considering buying a ticket to their live show in Lithuania in July, and now I’ve happily arrived at the stage where I’m comfortable recommending them to other people. So yeah. Onwards.

TOUCH

Get in touch with your womanly side. Cos everyone knows that’s really in right now. DIY Space for London is a top venue and this weekend (23 - 25th March) they’re running a 3-day even called AWOMENfest. There are collage workshops, live performances, tarot readings, screenings, jazz DJ sets. Mixed bag = YES. Get the full deets here and get yo tix here.


@larabaxter

March 17, 2018 - Comments Off on Michelle Pegg: Champion Northern Creatives: Part 1

Michelle Pegg: Champion Northern Creatives: Part 1

After recent expansion the YCC are proud operate in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, New York and Newcastle. My part in the YCC is reppin' the North of England and Scotland and I'm extremely proud of my Northern roots. I want to share with you not only why we're canny mint* but also share the stories and highlights of some of the region's most talented, brilliant and all-round awesome dudes and dudettes at the top of their creative game.

Without further ado please enjoy Part 1 of our Champion Northern Creatives, starting with a woman who I'm sure I've seen manifest another set of arms to complete deadlines, she's actually squeezed the 25th hour into a day and was responsible for chucking me my first permanent design role... some years ago. Meet Michelle Pegg, Founder and Creative Director of Curate Creative in Newcastle.

Michelle! Thanks for agreeing to meet with me today in the uber-cool, Pink Lane Coffee in Newcastle.

No problems, Adele!

Tell me a little more about how you got into the creative industry.

I went to Newcastle College to study Graphic Design and when I finished I went to Edinburgh for work experience, which eventually led to a Junior Graphic Designer position. So I accidentally ended up staying there for 5-years working as a Graphic Designer within ad agencies as well as interior design companies which gave me a massive range of skills.

Ahh yes, working across different sectors can give you different perspectives and disciplines which you might not find if you stick to one particular niche.

Exactly, if you don't know what to do, just give it a go and figure it out. Say yes to everything. I believe having flexible skills and a give-it-a-go attitude has kept me in work all these years.

What was the most difficult hurdle you had to overcome to become a creative/get into the creative industry?

Probably getting that first placement. My first one was working in a really small company with small businesses and charity organisations for clients, which was good because it taught me how to work with smaller/tighter budgets.

Would you say that forced you to be more creative?

Well yes, you need to think about where the creative could best have impact and stand out without the huge budgets of TV, radio or print ads.

What has been one of your favourite or most fun projects across the board? Regardless of budget?

Recently I got to work on a campaign for Virgin Active, which meant we could work on radio, online TV, press, social, events, snapchat, Instagram, Facebook - so many avenues to get the message across and to create something really fun but effective for our client. We worked with a media agency which meant the channels we worked with could have the best impact and we had great fun working with the production company and radio team too. Seeing the idea through from the start to the finish was really important. As well as ultimately helping to increasing sales and awareness. It was the most successful campaign they've ran in 6 years which we’re pretty proud of!

Amazing, design however pretty needs function - something you've always drilled into me.

Exactly, it needs to get a message across, have a purpose, provoke a reaction. Whether that’s to help drive sales, get people in the door, to read something or to sign up with their data, and when you get pulled in different directions it's good to go back to that core idea/goal. If it doesn't do that, we haven't done our jobs properly.

What was your experience with working collaboratively with other agencies like that?

When everyone's working towards the same end goal it's great - you're obviously working for the client but also as an agency and individuals you want to shine with the ideas and results you create.

After leaving agencies you went out on your own - what was the build up to that like?

After several years at various agencies as well as in-house experience, when I left my last post, I just felt it was the time for me to try and make a go of it on my own. Even though it was pretty scary. I started by testing the water with the contacts I had built up over the years and went from there. The thing I found was the freedom was great but you also might find it restrictive too as you're only one person with a set amount of hours in the day. I wanted to build on this and work on all sorts of projects of all sizes, which is why I founded Curate with my business partner David - to build a great team and grow and not feel restricted. We’ve found collaborating and bringing in key people on specific projects really works too as no two projects are the same, we make sure we bring in the right skills to get the best results for the job in hand.

Combining forces, nice! What did you learn from being on your own?

Being quite frank, being on your own means you can make your own decisions. There's no one to have to compromise with, but on the flip side there's no one to bounce ideas off either. Your'e always in the driving seat running your own business or as a freelancer and that can be scary... but in a good way! Pushing you on to the next job because you need to know you have work coming in and also maintain what you have. Working with David and founding our business means any problems are shared as well as having more time to utilise and work on even more cool things!

So, now you need more people and more desks?

Yes! We have a heaps of Scandinavian boxes needing unpacked back at the office. Now we're looking for people to join the team.

One thing I will say is I’ve had the privilege throughout my career so far to work with some amazing, determined and very talented people so far. Whatever stage of their careers they’ve been, working with a team that just click and support each other so well is a lucky position to be in. For which I’ll always be thankful for and we all know we’re always here for each other wherever we are. You never lose that. I’d love to have that same camaraderie, that special something that just works in this new team.

*Touching moment, Adele is holding back the tears*
We have discussed in the past the importance of having your own creative outlets. You were a massive part of the Northern Correspondent (Northern based magazine) weren't you?

Yes, I don’t like to pigeon hole myself! Even now I consult and get involved in projects that I feel are important or excite me. I joined the Northern Correspondent team a few years ago simply because I wanted to get involved with something outside of my day to day work that wasn’t as commercially driven, but was creative and inspiring. I love magazines, and the Northern Correspondent was a great way of telling stories about the North in a long-form journalism magazine.

I joined early on as Art Director/Designer of the magazine and worked with Ian Wylie (leader of the project) and Chris Stokel Walker producing several issues that involved local writers, journalists, artists, illustrators, photographers and poets. And we distributed issues for sale via a launch event for each issue which was in the form of a discussion on various topics, one of which was part of the Northern Design Festival where we held an event with talks and discussions entitled People and Print - Where ideas create communities.

We also distributed via a fantastic network of local bookshops, coffee shops, and art galleries across the north. Co-ordinating all of this was an excellent way of meeting a whole range of very talented individuals who all kindly contributed their skills to help get those stories out there. It was a not for profit project so no one made money from it, but it was valuable in so many ways and I’m very glad I was able to be a part of it.

Amazing, as a creative if you find something you love you need to pursue it!

It’s so true that you have to find ways of doing the things that you love and enjoy, they don’t just land at your feet. And once you start doing these things and getting involved, and just trying things, you never know where it will lead.

Published by: Adele in Ad-vice, Opinion, Outside Of London

March 16, 2018 - Comments Off on Because not everyone’s a Friends fan

Because not everyone’s a Friends fan

I grew up in a small Cornish market town.

At school the only subjects I enjoyed (and was any good at) were the creative ones.

Y’kno the subjects other kids did for ‘fun’ or to avoid written exams.

Well art was my thing.

And I had no idea what kind of job it would get me.

To be honest, I don’t think my school did either.

If anything, it seemed like creative jobs didn’t exist... unless you wanted to be an artist or the next Mrs Schooling (my art teacher) ...

...which I did not, (sorry Miss).

BUT

one day, whilst watching Friends.

Season 9, episode 11 to be exact – thanks google.

I was introduced to a world beyond artist, or art teacher.

Chandler Bing had given up his job in whatever he did (who knows) to give copywriting a go.

Cheese – it’s milk that you chew.

And

A grape, because who can get a watermelon in your mouth.

Became my first real-ish insight into the ad-world.

Yeah, I’d seen ads on TV but the idea of advertising being one of those real-life job things – well, this was a first.

A quick google of ‘advertising degree courses’ and fast forward 4 years I’m graduating with a 2:1 in Advertising and Brand Communication from UCA, Farnham.

Fast forward another 8 years and I’m now a copywriter at a global advertising agency.

BUT

I can’t help thinking what if 16 year-old-me hated Friends? – I mean, some people do...

...some very strange people

And what about those 16-year-olds now – they’re not watching Friends.

So how are they meant to find out about the creative industry?

Yeah, we’re spending a lot of time visiting universities, myself included.

We’re talking to students who have already decided advertising is for them – great.

But no one is talking to school kids.

The ones that have absolutely no idea what they want to do.

Who have no idea of the possibilities that exist within the creative industry.

And if they are, I can’t imagine they’re talking to people like 16-year-old-me 254 miles away from London, in a town where creativity is seen as a hobby, not a career.

There’s a lot of talk right now about diversity, and rightly so.

Our industry is still dominated by white, privileged males. Although, I must caveat my art director falls into that category, and he’s f**king brilliant, so this isn’t a man hating exercise at all.

But

How are we meant to create change if we’re still hiring from the same places.

And talking to the same people.

Even the universities we’re visiting are usually the same ones within an hour train journey outside of London.

Why aren’t we casting the net further?

We should be talking to other courses, not just advertising ones.

We should be visiting schools and colleges, and not just ones near our office.

We should be supporting initiatives like D&AD New Blood Shift, Jolt Academy, The Ideas Foundation, A New Direction, Rare London, Creative Equals and The Creative Circle Foundation.

This year we, the YCC, have made it our mission to step outside the bubble that is London and get on the road to speak to students across the country about how incredible the creative industry is, and the opportunities that exist within it.

So far, this year we’ve spoken at universities in Leeds, Lincoln, & Essex.

We’re starting up conversations with schools, colleges and more universities outside of London.

And I’ll be heading back to my old art college in Plymouth and my secondary school in Cornwall, in hope to inspire someone like 16-year-old-me.

Because not everyone’s a Friends fan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 15, 2018 - Comments Off on New ideas for a new academy

New ideas for a new academy

Can you help our friends at Created? They'd love to pick your brains...

Created is a brand new academy, and they're looking for new creatives to take part in research and help build a new kind of learning programme that will accelerate creative careers.

Here's a bit more about them, in their own words:

"At Created, we believe anyone who wants to work in the creative industry needs the right mindset to do well, not just the right skillset. That’s why we work with real industry people to develop learning experiences true to the real world. Actual briefs, proper feedback, zero fluff.

We bring together mentorship from the pros, personal development and portfolio support to form a unique 9-month programme, built around what you need, that happens both online and face-to-face. We’ve been in the business, so we know how important it is that whoever’s hiring you can see the whole creative person, not just the parts that look good.

We’ll get you there, then it’s up to you…"

Created are conducting research interviews throughout March and April, offering a chance to make some more connections in the industry, whilst giving them valuable feedback about what you think of their product. You'll also get rewarded for your time too.

So if you've had an interesting uni experience (good or bad), feel like your course needed more of something (and less of other stuff) or felt your three years of graft didn't quite result in the dream you were sold. They want to hear how you'd improve it.

Interested in taking part?

Get involved

Published by: Andy in Opinion
Tags: , , , , ,

March 8, 2018 - Comments Off on Badass.gal

Badass.gal

As part of the Young Creative Council I’m incredibly lucky to work with, and meet some amazing young women. So, for International Women’s Day 2018 we’ve launched badass.gal a platform with the ambition to celebrate a different female rising star every day for a year. (and beyond, I hope)

In a world where only 11% of creative directors are female, what chance do young female creatives have?

As a regular visitor to colleges and universities I see lecture theatres, classrooms and studios full of talented, ambitious young females (and more often than not, it’s the males that are the minority) yet when it comes to the industry the numbers just don’t add up. Something isn’t quite right here.

The dropout rate for young females in the creative industries is frightening. With a lack of role models, mentoring and funding it’s no surprise young women are turning their back on ad land.

Badass.gal is part of our plan to change the stats.

We’ve created a platform for student, intern and junior creatives to be recognised for the awesome job they’re already doing...with the ambition that, by International Women’s Day 2019 we’ll have 365 incredible women who are STILL in the industry and are smashing it.

Help us change the stats by nominating a #BadassGal you know, and sharing badass.gal with your networks.

Here's a sneak peak at some of the Badass Gals we have coming in the next few days...

 

#1 Pip & Lib 
A Welsh-Scandi furniture designer, and one of London's Young Poets. Pip and Lib are a creative team at Anomaly and co-founders of Phlegm Collective. The pair are on a mission to destroy society's unrealistic idea of 'perfection' and are already making waves, after their work was picked up by The Metro and Huffington Post. 

#2 Robyn Frost
Winning a yellow pencil at the D&AD New Blood Awards for her work on The British Army, and being one of the 2017 Creative Conscience finalists Robyn has already taken the industry by storm. But it's not just her work that we think makes her a Badass Gal. Robyn has written articles for both Campaign and D&AD, as well as speaking at events like Glug and Silicon Beach.

#3 Shanice Mears 
From intern at an agency to co-founder of an agency. Shanice is co-founder and chief talent scout of The Elephant Room, a new breed of agency who are committed to changing advertising. Shanice is living proof that titles, levels and experience mean nothing. It's your ambition, determination and passion that will create the change you want to see.

 

Head to badass.gal to see more