By Owen Hunter Jenkins
I can’t lie, it’s been a tough week.
My partner and I decided to go our separate ways.
It was an amicable break – nice, considered and mature. Nothing like the creative divorce stories I’ve been told about.
We decided we wanted different things. We both wanted to be Art Directors for a start. And for seconds, we both were aiming for different agencies.
Although difficult, it was for the best.
So this week was my first as a solo. It’s difficult on your own. There’s no-one to bounce off. No-one to listen to. No-one to crack something with.
Not the good type of panic where you’re pushed to produce as much work as possible.
The bad panic. The type that paralyses you.
I spent a couple of days, pushing through it – writing bad proposition after bad proposition. Each one topping up my worry a little bit more.
Can I do this on my own?
Was I the weak link in the partnership?
I spent more time second guessing myself than actually working.
By the end, I’d dug myself into such a hole that it seemed pretty impossible to get out of.
Marc tells us about the ‘positive/negative’ change curve, but it’s hard to see it when you’re in it.
Instead of doing the same thing over and over again, I stopped.
I stopped writing propositions and started to look at how I’d approached the work.
Instead of proposition combing, I started problem finding –
- What’s the problem for the brand?
- What keeps the CEO up at night?
- What are some of the problems for the target audience?
- How can this product/brand help these problems?
- Can I develop solutions through the brand?
- Where do my target audience spend there time?
- What do they currently think of the brand?
and so on.
Then, as if a switch had been turned back on, ideas started coming. Ideas that were solutions to these problems. Idea that could be explored, and made bigger.
With each new thought came more confidence.
We were told at the start of the year that SCA won’t teach us ‘how to do advertising’, but will let us find how ‘we do advertising’.
I think I’m finally working out what they meant.