This picture was a gift from my career changing placement.
The only time I’ve ever worked as part of a team was at university. I was an art director and did the pictures and my copywriter, Ross did the words. While this was a great creative team we split in 2011, graduated and went on our separate paths. (Embarrassing shots attached!)
I never tried to couple together with another creative after that not because a) I’m unable to work as a team b) I don’t like other humans or c) I am socially awkward and no one wants to work with me. (I am quite awkward so I’ll retract half of C) but instead, because it didn’t feel right to me. It felt, old-fashioned and outdated.
The first thing I did when I left university was to take a placement in London as a single creative. I spent a month working with artists and illustrators as well as industry gems – single creatives themselves – and they showed me the ropes as well as schooling me in the diverse and sometimes unsettling nature of being single.
During this short time I had the most career-reaffirming moments I’d have as a creative in my early years. In the weeks to follow I took the wrong train home (personal development), gave solo presentations (professional development), I found comfort in working alone and a strange excited-nervousness from working with new people.
Placements are about finding the places you want to work and the people whom you’d like to work for/with. They can mould you into the creative you want to be as well has have an exploratory process where you get to discover the creative you are. If I hadn’t followed my gut, if I hadn’t flocked towards what was right for me, I would have remained complacent with doing the pictures. Them doing the words.
This placement shaped my career and I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunities it gave me. Surprising myself that I was enough. I was good single. It made me work harder, catapulted me out of my comfort zone and taught me how to read a train timetable.