‘Playground’ by @HFoenander



By Henry Foenander


Yesterday we had a masterclass from Ann Wixley.


A little later, Peter Souter mentored around the school. When he didn’t have enough time to see us all, he invited some teams to TBWA so that he can make sure he speaks to us all.


Today, Steve Henry has been chatting to us. A little later, we’ll been mentored by lovely people from Adam and Eve, 20.20, and WCRS.


It’s only Tuesday.


Later in the week, Caitlin Breeze will blow our minds again with another unforgettable masterclass, M&C Saatchi will pop over for a showcase and we’ll have a host of Creative Directors, Strategists and teams mentoring us.


This is what our calendar looks like. It doesn’t even mention the regular mentors who have dedicated countless hours to us.


When you take a step back, forget about the briefs and the pressure for a minute and look at that with some perspective, it’s unbelievable.


It got me thinking, why do they come? These people aren’t just busy, they’re  titans of the industry, people who events and industry talks are desperately scrambling to get for a 10-minute presentation, and we get them in and out of our tiny crumbly church, month-in month-out.


The question of why they come to SCA kept running through my head, so I decided to grab Ann Wixley for a chat (as if that’s not a big deal), and ask for her thoughts.


She described SCA as being “purely about the creative work”.


Students don’t have to worry about the bureaucracy and politics of an agency, they don’t have to worry about whether they think they’re earning enough wages, or whether the client is going to be brave or not. Students have the freedom to work without budgets and barriers, without restrictions and without constraints.


It is pure creative freedom.


If we don’t like a brand’s current direction, damn right we can change it, we’re encouraged to. Why not have a go at redesigning that logo? Screw it, let’s pretend we can afford to write on the moon, who’s going to stop us.


So maybe that’s it, these brilliant people get to come to Brixton and be involved in pure, innocent, chaotic imagination. It doesn’t matter that the work will never win an award, hell, it’s not even going to get to the client. Maybe they come because it’s what they love doing, and maybe it’s a little reminder of why they love it.


For the record, the mentors and guests are what make this school what it is, and grateful isn’t a strong enough word to describe how we feel about them. How perfect that it works so symbiotically. They get to come and enjoy shackle free creativity, and we get to learn from their every move.


I might be very wrong, maybe we get visitors because they are forced to come by their bosses… I doubt it. Maybe it’s about reciprocity and giving back…probably. Or maybe they just find Brixton gorgeous and want an excuse to check out the scenery…definitely not.


I’d really appreciate if any mentors, visitors or anyone involved with the school at any level, dropped a comment on this SCAB. Let us know what keeps you coming back for more, and please, please do.

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