T-Shaped – By @MadStandish

By Maddy Standish



Collecting culture dots really has really come into play for me recently. I’ve noticed more and more that the things I’ve consumed lately have popped into my brain when in seek of inspiration. Instead of turning to the internet, various nuggets have been floating into my brain. All from simply looking up on the tube to skimming through books. One of my new favourites being The Circus: 1870s-1950s a beautiful behemoth full of visually striking and completely unexpected images. A truly wondrous record that excites you with every page turn. I would recommend it if you want something seemingly random that will give you pure joy.


I’m a copywriter but I care about how things look, as we all should. I really want everything to be excellent. Unfortunately, I think I may have copped out a bit since I started school. In the beginning, I had no adobe skills and was a terrible artist. Now, I have slightly better Adobe skills but am still a terrible artist. By being partnered with art directors, I’ve allowed myself to not really progress much in terms of visual communication. A good idea is a good idea and a bad idea that looks nice is just putting lipstick on a pig. To communicate new ideas clearly with good craft is the ideal. However, I’ve been somewhat limited with my lack of practice.


I can see how my scamping has improved just be doing it more regularly in the last week and now it’s time to really understand and push my art direction.


Here’s how it’s going to happen at first. I have a New Year’s challenge for myself that I’m going to make harder as I become more competent:


  • Make at least two topicals a week
  • Ideate my reflections in the beginning of the week and push the craft
  • Consume something that I wouldn’t usually watch, read or listen to each week
  • Work my way through the Design books on my boyfriend’s bookshelf
  • Create or design something for fun each week
  • Study a D&AD annual each week


There are many more ways I can be better. We’re in the business of constantly improving, taking in and getting better. Art direction is something I know I’ve neglected in favour of copy but there needs to be synergy. It can only improve my clarity and expression.


As creatives, we need to be making constantly. There is no excuse for creating. The more confident you feel doing something, the more it will feed that hunger. And I want to be hungry to make. By learning what I can do, it will unlock what I know I have the potential to. While the most important lesson to came to learn is how to have brilliant ideas, I cannot leave some things unlearnt. We must be ’T-shaped’ not ‘I-shaped’ and it times to branch out.

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