Pace yourself – By @AlekLewin
So I’ve recently started running again. Partly to rid myself of the jiggling mound appearing on my stomach but mostly to keep my head from exploding during the rush to hit deadlines while simultaneously making a portfolio worthy to send so some of the creative I admire.
There’s something soothing about finding your rhythm, one foot in front of the other. Breathe in breathe out. Admire the dogs playing with reckless abandon in the mud while the owners watch on in horror. Theres a certain parallel with SCA here. When you find your rhythm you don’t even need to think about your energy levels, or catching your breathe, or that stitch right as you reach hardest part of the hill.
Since we came back for term 2, I’ve found it really hard to get my pace right. Rushing ahead early on, tackling two portfolio briefs for the same deadline, winning the first book crit (not that it matters), working insanely hard with a partner who is both immensely talented and has a tireless work ethic. But now I find myself struggling to find that gem of an idea, my brain feels a little foggy and my enthusiasm for exploring new territory has dwindled a little. These are things I have to change.
I’m taking more of the weekend for myself, doing the things I enjoy. Recovering from a 5 day sprint where zoom calls dominate and notebooks get filled. That doesn’t mean to say I switch off completely, there’s no time for that at SCA. Just take your time. It’s okay to have a weekend where you absorb D&AD and Chip Shop work. Burying the winners in your brain to digest their process and see how you can apply their winning formula to your own ideas. You don’t need to force yourself to crack a brief over the weekend. In fact, by switching off a little, you may just crack it sooner.
I’m realising it doesn’t really matter where you are right now. Sure it’s nice to be doing well and getting good feedback. But wouldn’t it be better to be the aforementioned dog throwing itself into the mud, hunting for a stick, no care in the world. Marc told me last week when he first met me I scared him, gesturing at my hand
tattoos and wild beard, and that he wants to see me create work that embodies that energy. I’m not sure I’m a particularly scary person, but I know exactly what he means. Sometimes you’ve got to run off the path, go join the dogs in the mud and go hunting for that elusive idea that absolutely smashes the sticky test out the park. Get dirty, you won’t regret it.