This is probably my favourite part of the series. It’s about getting creative brain power in exchange for not much effort. Physical effort that is, you will need to think, but the fact you’re wandering through the YCC means you probably love this shit anyway, so it shouldn’t feel like too hard work. Get savvy from the comfort of your own bed. And just FYI, when I say creative I don’t just mean copywriters and art directors, I literally mean anyone who focusses on thinking differently, or uses art to solve problems, it could be anyone you admire.
Books & Talks
It happens to me all the time. I’m sure it does you too. You see a post on twitter advertising that your favourite creatives are hosting a talk! Yes! I’m guna go. How much are tickets? Okay, I can afford that. It’s worth it. But then. Where’s it at? What! Are you fucking kidding me? London? Great. Can’t go. Ugh. C**ts! Talks are of course great, because you also get to network, ask the speakers questions etc. But sometimes it just ain’t possible to go.
So if there are talks on with top creatives but it’s out of your way/too expensive… GET. THEIR. BOOK. They almost always say the same things here as they do in their published work. Think of their talk as almost an ad for their book. And if you don’t want to buy them get down to the library obvs! They’re free. And most creative thinking books are easy readers so you should finish them in no time.
Or even better, if you’re not a fan of reading, raid their name on YouTube. A lot of these talks get filmed, so you’ll basically get to watch them for free sat at home. My faves so far are Dave Trott (obvs), Adam Ferrier, Es Devlin, John Hegarty and Cindy Gallop. Check them out if you haven’t already.
Also definitely check out the playlists on It’s Nice That, Glug and Thinking Digital. They host the coolest events, but fear not! They film pretty much all their talks too. And they tend to invite really interesting speakers, often people not many have heard of, and from all walks of life, not just advertising creatives.
Another freebie. No brainer. Some great ones include, Good Life Project, The It’s Nice That Podcast, Lecture In Progress and The Guardians Token. Again, not specific to adland, and more about opening the mind, broadening perspectives and basically learning how to become a great fucking all-rounder.
GET ALL COMMUNITY
It can be via anything, Google Hangouts, Linkedin, Chatroulette (jokes). But once you start surrounding yourself with other like-minded people, even online, you’ll start to see a lot more opportunities storm towards you. And learning about other people and their creative trade really pushes ideas too. Not to get all illuminati, but filling your head with lots of the right knowledge really is power when it comes to idea generation. Be the biggest fucking sponge you can be. Here’s some ‘community’ examples for ya…
Get yourself signed up to Future Learn. They host so many free online courses under pretty much any category you can think of. I did one last year curated by D&AD. They gathered loads of ad and film pro’s to teach creatives how to effectively apply storytelling within a campaign. And lucky for you it’s still going. So get yourself on it now! It’s free…
And for bigger courses, it’s all about Open University. There’s some seriously brilliant courses to be taken on here, no matter where you are.
One Minute Briefs
I’m sure you’re already aware of OneMinuteBriefs, but they’re offering even better prizes as well as huge exposure these days. Take a look at these ads in The Guardian. These ads literally started as an OMB on twitter one day. Then they got awarded the winning prize of running in one of the biggest newspapers in the country. Just like that. In work world that could take months to happen.
And if you’re nervous to start, check out this post by the founder, spilling advice on how to succeed at OMB. F**k it, the worst that can happen is you don’t win that day. And even so, you’ve still made an ad that will probably come in handy later down the line.
So if you can’t be there physically, big deal. The big boys keep telling us to “simplify the problem”, so do it. Practice what they preach. Change the question from ‘how can I get to London?’ to ‘how can I learn this lot without trekking half the length of the country?’ And you’ll soon see the possibilities.