If you had said to me 4 months ago that I would be sitting on a train writing this, after having sat in an Advertising Legend’s house for several hours and being offered a room there, I would have told you “you're dreamin’ son!” And yet, here I am, having done exactly that.
It’s no secret that this year has been one of the hardest of my life. It’s been so draining, and yet so amazing. My D&AD New Blood Pencil could not have come at a better time - a time where the world looked so bleak. Ever since then, it’s been up, up and up!
I’m so overwhelmed by how many people want to help me, and how many people believe in me. The latest chapter in my adventures has been offered up by Creative Equals, an amazing charity who aim to get more females into the advertising industry. I applied for their bursary for people wanting to move to London to take up placements. Last week, I received a phone call from D&AD:
“You’re on the shortlist! How would you feel about living with a ‘Heavyweight Advertising Legend’ for a year?”
“I’m sorry, what?!”
That is one of the strangest questions I’ve ever been asked. I didn’t really know what to make of it, and now it’s happening, and I couldn’t be more excited!
It feels like there’s something pulling me to London; from the day I dropped out of university after the first year, I feel every step I’ve taken has been leading me here.
Firstly, my apprenticeship at Imaginate. The two and a half years I spent there learning the tricks of the trade, from kerning and leading to typefaces, brand messaging, content hierarchy and everything in between, gave me the skills I needed to answer a D&AD brief.
I’d never heard of D&AD before, yet alone New Blood, and then, on the night of the final extended deadline, after working late on a tight client deadline, something in the back of my head urged me to enter. I worked through the night bringing an idea to life, and still can’t believe it actually won me a pencil! (See what I mean about lucky?!)
Then came the New Blood Academy, my first taste of advertising. I was so humbled and ecstatic to be one of the 50 young creatives selected to take part in this intensive bootcamp at D&AD HQ. Before this, I had no idea there were copywriters and art directors, I just thought everyone was a designer.
It was the hardest 2 weeks of my life, I nearly quit twice. I discovered that I despise group work, and that I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. I also realised that I want to be an Art Director. Despite the arguments, the tearing-out-hair moments, the tears, the excessive alcohol consumption (sorry Mum), and the mental exhaustion, that feeling I got when we finally stumbled upon the idea made it all worth it, and I want that feeling a million times over.
It’s fair to say I’ve caught the Advertising bug, which is why I was absolutely ecstatic to be offered a full D&AD scholarship to study Advertising and Art Direction for a year the School of Communications Arts 2.0 in Brixton. Yippee! What an amazing springboard into the industry!
So there you have it - I’m off to London to follow my dreams and see if I can really crack this industry, and I’m going to be updating this blog with my journey the whole way!
Check back soon, won’t you?