It’s Hard Out Here for a Creative

Not to brag, but I have friends.

And I know this makes me sound even cockier, but they have jobs.

The thing about my friends’ jobs is that they’re not in advertising. Nor are they in any creative fields. There are some lawyers, accountants, a podcast producer, a construction worker, to name a few. In these jobs there are usually right and wrong answers. Of course there will be some gray area mixed in, but not nearly to the same degree as creative jobs.

It’s an odd thing working in creativity. When everything is determined by subjectivity, it can be difficult to know if the path you’re taking is the right one. We don’t have excel spreadsheets to guide us or the parameters of the law to help determine what is the right decision to make. SCA has been instilling strategic processes to follow, but ultimately it falls on our own instincts to make decisions. After finishing our fifth week, I’ve become extremely familiar with this uncertainty.

The last SCAB I wrote was about having to make quick decisions under the pressure of one-day briefs, and I wrote that before we did a week straight of them. But as I wrote, those assignments didn’t give you time to ruminate; you had to make your decisions and roll with them. The more time you spent thinking, the less time for drawing scamps. And I can’t draw for my life, so I really needed that time.

This past week we did our first week-long briefs with partners, a complete contrast from the week prior. The silver lining of one-day briefs is that once they’re submitted at 4pm that day, you can let go of them. With one-week briefs, you take it home with you for the five days you’re working on it. That’s a lot of time for rumination.

My partner and I came up with our idea on the first day. We liked it, but the uncertainty in us found some holes in the logic and we decided to table it and work on a different idea we liked. We became very confident in this new idea after a (hardly) five-minute meeting with a mentor who liked the basis of it. This energised us so we ran with it full steam ahead.

But time took its toll. 

We were working out the logistics of the idea, getting slightly lost in it, and after two much less positive meetings with other mentors, the idea started to lose its sheen. All the confidence we had faded away. The mentor in the second of those meetings particularly couldn’t see what we were trying to do. With a minute to spare, we quickly pitched the first idea that we’d tabled. It immediately clicked with him and again we had a jolt of confidence.

I can’t say that the rest of the week went smoothly. Our confidence definitely ebbed and flowed. We still had some meetings with mentors that weren’t as positive as we would have liked them to be. But I think deep down we knew that there was value to our idea. And after receiving positive feedback from the mentors upon finishing our presentation, it helped me to realise that I belong in this field.

Plus I’d be a shit accountant.


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