June 2, 2017

CS Presents: How to be brave

Call me narrow minded but ‘How To Be Brave’ wouldn’t normally be a line that I would put hand in hand with creativity. That said… This talk was a huge eye opener and it was exhilarating to see the line-up of speakers and what being brave meant to them.

Plus it was in the basement of DigitasLBI. With free booze. And a room full of rad people.
You can’t get better than that.

To start the talk, everyone was asked to stand up then sit down in response to a question of how brave we thought advertising is right now on a scale of 1 to 10. The majority sat down between 4 & 5... An honourable way to clarify what many wouldn't want to voice in room full of respectable people in the industry. It was a nice kick-starter to the evening.

Caroline Pay - Joint CCO - Grey London
Twitter: @ladypay

“Scare the shit out of yourself.” 

Caroline gave a relentlessly captivating talk about what being brave meant to her. The most memorable piece of advice was “Know when to ‘jump ship”. Knowing when to jump ship when you’re comfortable, know when to jump ship when you’re not being pushed. A last moment of bravery was “Have a massive fuck-off fund.” Have at least three months pay in your bank to look after yourself if you decide to jump ship. It wouldn’t surprise me if this made someone in the audience quit their job the next day and turn up on Grey’s doorstep with ‘a massive fuck off fund’ and pursue their dream in ad land.

Iain Tait - ECD - W+K
Twitter: @iaintait

“Not everyone likes your brave.” 

What we as creatives consider brave, and what the client considers to be brave are two very different things. The client has more at risk; they could jeopardize their career, job, family and more. We creatives, only really jeopardise our ideas, however long we spend on crafting them. So are the ideas really brave? If nothing’s on the line? Some serious food for thought from Ian.

(Although, if the idea could potentially save lives, then I personally think it’s worth being brave and standing up for your idea)

Sophia Tassew couldn’t make it to the talk due to not being able to talk from a throat infection, Get better soon and see you at the next talk!

Special Guest - Sam Ball - Utter Fucking Legend
Twitter: @samuelball

“Bravery is listening to the pessimist and telling them to fuck off.”

Sam didn’t have much time to prepare for this as he was asked last minute, in fact he presented his talk on two sheets of paper, proper old school, fucking brilliant. He spoke of what being brave meant to him, how he began writing this up and how anything can be better than silence. His talk taps into everything along the lines of optimism, making the world better, living longer and that we’re becoming more educated. Wrapping up what bravery means to him in a single quote.

Nils Leonard - Founder - Leonard Associates - Halo Coffee
Twitter: @nilsleonard

“Bravery?!? Fuck off, firemen get to talk about bravery. You don't!”.

Nils goes straight into a thought provoking line on what bravery means to him.

We creatives have to be more brave with our ideas, we need to come up with ideas that liberates us and the brands we work with from the massive landfill of shit we’ve all made, this is what a brave idea is for Nils and what should feel like for everyone else.

“What are you more scared of? A. Change or B. What you’ll become if you don't change.” Bravery is a poor word for worrying what someone else thinks, we shouldn’t feel scared of throwing out fresh ideas that could change, you’re gonna have haters but those are the motherfuckers we’ll want to prove wrong, the people that call us an idiot, or a fool but after realising the potential start to call us a leader or a hero. This talk from Nils was like opening a can of red-fucking-brave-bull that left everyone feeling super charged and brave at the end of it.

L.A. Ronayne - Creative Director - Havas
Twitter: @Ronayne

“If you can hold down a bar..You can be a good leader.”

L.A. gave an inspiring talk of what it means to be brave from her perspective, with examples of people outside of advertising who inspire her from the likes of Bad Brains to Ralph Steadman.

These are the people who are brave enough to do their own thing and not care  what others think. Side projects give you this freedom to be brave in your work, a total freedom for any ideas that you want to do and how you think the world should be or what it needs. This is reflected in her work; L.A’s created this side project that got published, that can be found here, check it out now... Like now..seriously: www.the-dots.com/projects/riposte-153838

Sulaiman Khan - Creative Collaborator & Adventurer – Kinectricity

Although Sulaiman wasn’t a speaker at the talk, he did attend and I asked for his opinion to get a more rounded view of it:

“As someone who happens to have a severe physical disability but often struggles to find my place in the creative industries despite never let it stop me to always push myself out of my comfort zone, it was nice to hear that you can be brave your way.”
It was a super insightful, educational, and hilarious evening where we got to hear the top industry leaders perspectives on what being brave means to them. Probably, if not, one of the best talks I've been to ever, especially getting Nils perspective on how to be brave.

This event was one you had to attend, thought-provokingly great. Bringing so many people to step up and be brave beside our work.

Over and out.

Alex & Matt

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