Side Hustles

Last week was Mark Denton week. Last year’s intake unanimously decided this week as the best of the course, so expectations were high. Regardless, the week delivered. Wearing his custom printed tracksuits and Beano-styled hat, we started every morning with a talk from the man the myth, the legend. His enthusiasm is contagious and he just makes you want to create as much as possible, all the time. To begin the week, he didn’t focus on advertising but creativity in general, emphasising the importance of using all avenues available. One of the things that stuck with me was Mark’s gift for making things happen out of seemingly nothing. On a wing, a prayer, his sheer determination and love of fun he’s put together shoots that have landed him in the most amazing places from the Royal Academy to Japanese television. He’d tell us about one of his projects and stop mid-way saying “and I thought that was that” and by the end he’d be saying ”I had no idea it would turn into that”. His advice on how to follow in his footsteps was two fold:

1) Always answer the phone.

2) Just ask. 

For the phone one, he made the point that you never know who could be on the other end, what they wanted and how you might be able to collaborate. Serendipity calling. Once the phone had been answered, he was adamant that you have to make time for everyone. Something that sounds idealistic but Mark makes a reality. The second ‘just ask’ was because you can never know. More people say yes than you think, more people want to be involved in your projects than you think, creativity seems to be contagious. 

As well as his fashion sense, Mark’s passion for creating in general is something I want to bottle and take away with me. Following that line of thought, there have been two projects I’ve wanted to take on since starting SCA. The first is a SCA magazine titled SCANK, thought of with another course mate, Lara. The idea is to show all the unseen art work created by our cohort that has very little or nothing to do with advertising. Originally, we wanted to make it all ‘analogue’ or scrap-book style, making the master copy then photocopying 5 editions to have round the school. Might still keep that, we’ll see. The second project, also made with a course mate, Jamaal, is a fashion brand, with the working title “Humble Punk’. Started in the first week when we had to make t-shirts for each other, combined with a love for Jamaal’s fashion sense – I think it has potential. Does it matter that I have 0 business knowledge? I don’t think so.

I suppose what I’m trying to say- following on from Mark’s advice- is that if you would like to help me with any of these projects, if you have any knowledge about setting up a fashion brand or a magazine, or know someone who does or would just like to see me struggle, get in contact! my email is


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