Creative Confidence @_helenasmith

By Helena Smith

Two days into term two and as one would hope the Christmas break has served me well. Not only in the sense that I was able to catch up on sleep and line myself with the extra layer of cushioning for the final winter months, but also in that everything we had been taught in term one had a chance to properly sink in.


I am probably going to regret saying this in a few weeks time when we are deep in strategy for the New Blood Awards, but things seem a little clearer. And when I say ‘things’ I mainly mean the difference between a proposition and north star but also in the way my mind has naturally started to work in reaction to briefs.


For example, after being set the brief to extend out one of your Christmas poster campaigns my first thought was “right ok, what are the problems this audience is facing and how can we solve it with the brand”. I can honestly say that is the first time that’s happened so immediately. It usually takes a much more scenic route before directly asking myself these questions. So as we ease back into the work I am going to take every subtle change I notice like that as a big encouragement. Hopefully, this means I am starting to get it, slowly but surely.


This week our reflection slide needs to be ‘what feels different about this term’ and whilst things starting to make sense is one element there is also another for me. Over the holiday’s I started to read a book called ‘Creative Confidence’ by Tom and David Kelley. For me, this was a great investment and I can highly recommend it.


Last term I was playing safe, working it all out, taking my time and going by the book. If I’m completely honest I am not sure how much of the work I produced showed much about my character and well, was all really quite average. I know that is somewhat expected when you’re learning a new craft but I really do feel like I could have let myself have more fun with it.


Within the first few pages of Creative Confidence, it hit me just how many barriers I put in front of my creativity. The main one being self-doubt. Up until Christmas though I told myself that I believed I could change the world and being fully pumped by all our great mentors both in and out of school I don’t think I actually did believe it. I didn’t feel it. And this is what Dan and Tom describe as the essence of creative energy. I feel it more this term. I know I still have a little way to go but I am fully determined to exercise my creative confidence which they also describe as a muscle that can be strengthened. I know to get where I want to be it needs to be my strongest muscle.


And though you do have to fully believe in your own ability, whilst interviewing the incredible Laura Jordan-Bambach this evening I realised it’s not all on your own shoulders. There are so many other great creative energies to take advantage of, especially within our industry which make the possibilities of bettering the world totally infinite. So no matter how stressed or under pressure I start to feel, this term I will not let myself down and doubt in my ability to be part of the changes that will leave our world a better place.

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