By Sam Beaumont
Learning to do
Before our break for ‘design your studio’ week, Marc gave one of his customary speeches to reflect on a term well done. But while, as ever, his session left me suitably inspired and eager to crack on, the part that stuck with me the most was when he asked us all the question, ’How much do you think you’ve learned so far?’. It made me stop and think, because while I feel like I’ve been taught a lot, the bemused expressions that I continue to get from mentors when I show them my ideas suggest that it’s not yet translating into my work. So despite the whole heap of knowledge that’s been dropped on me over these past few weeks, have I really learnt anything?
On reflection, I’ve realised that the reason it might not be translating is that all the knowledge in the world can’t make me a great creative. I might know the theories (I’ve got pages and pages worth of written up notes to prove that I understand what we’ve been taught), but if I don’t apply them properly it means diddly squat.
For example, from a number of great masterclasses we’ve had, I now know that you can’t work efficiently without taking breaks and throwing in the odd bit of meditation, but has that stopped me from eating lunch at my desk and skipping frantically from task to task in order to get everything done? God no. I’ve also been taught that half the battle in reaching a creative solution to a problem is properly defining that problem, but still, two days ago when I was struggling on a brief, the first thing Marc asked was, ‘have you written up a brief?’. Sheepishly, I had to admit that I’d rushed to execution without putting in that vital groundwork.
So, as we move on to some serious work, it’s important to remember that taking in the theories of how you should go about a piece of work is the easy bit. The real learning comes in having the self-discipline to actually do it.