My North Star

My first week at SCA has been like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. In a great way.

One week here and I already feel at home, surrounded by the friendliest and most talented bunch of people. If I have learnt this much in a week, I can’t even imagine how intelligent I’ll be when I leave…I’ll be giving the ad wizard (Marc) some competition. 

Staying true to yourself is at the heart of SCA. Marc asked us to define our ‘North Star’ which is essentially a personal mission statement. In his words, “a clear North Star makes it easier to create powerful, authentic ideas.” It’s something that has to be consistent, because “consistency is crucial to remaining authentic.” Marc encouraged us to try and get our statement down to one word because if “you say three things, you don’t say anything.”(Dan & Chip Heath). My North Star is ‘Open’. 

At University, I had roughly five weeks to complete each brief. Marc couldn’t believe it when I told him I had this long to work on my D&AD entry. After this week, that feels like a luxury. Being given just a few hours to complete each brief is a scary prospect. But, I can assure you that you will pleasantly surprise yourself, as I did this week. As the wise Dan and Chip say, “the longer you work on a story, the more you find yourself losing direction.” Sometimes, time pressure is a great thing.

When I applied for SCA, I was certain that Art Direction was my thing. Having come from a graphic and illustration background, it only made sense. However, I am quickly realizing that being a hybrid is the route to success. Mr. Cee brought me out my comfort zone with some stand-up comedy, and Deanna with a poetry masterclass. It’s crazy what happens when you shift your mindset from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I will be able to’. Keep an open mind and take the leap!

I’ll admit, sometimes I am a culprit for sticking to what I know, especially when it comes to Adobe. I tend to choose a certain graphic style that I know I can execute with no assistance. Especially under time pressure, when I don’t have a spare minute to sit in front of an American waffling on YouTube. However, if you are not experimenting, you are not learning and if you are not learning, you are certainly not winning. Experimentation leads to happy accidents and varied approaches. After all, no one likes a one-trick pony.

This year, I will endeavour to be true to my North Star. I will keep an open mind every day, be willing to embrace new ideas and approach everything with curiosity. 

Thanks to Friday’s brief, which was all about making our own bottle labels, I will be reminded of North Star with every sip. Below is the label I designed for my bottle. I hope you like it. 


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