The garms they are a-wavey – By @charlesfare

By Charles Olafare


The garms they are a-wavey


I work at a clothes shop on the weekends. Between doing long days at SCA and spending all weekend at the shop, I don’t get much free time.


While other people are in bed, reading, scamping or otherwise enjoying their freedom, I’m at a shop in the middle of nowhere selling expensive Japanese streetwear to the insanely rich. We sell a plain striped t-shirt for just shy of £200. It’s a bit of a head fuck.


Thankfully, the people I work for are very understanding and have managed to get some time off just as Term 3 kicks ramps up to high gear.


For the first time in what feels like an age, I’ll have Saturdays off. How wonderful. The tricky part is figuring out what to do with that free time. I mean, it’s hardly truly free is it?


Top of my list is reading more. I’ve got a stack of copywriting books I’ve hardly cracked the spines on. They need to get seen to. Then there’s the D&AD annuals. I want to fully interrogate the work inside each of them, what makes them work and who exactly made what really, really works.


When I’m not reading, I need to be doing. Photography was starting to become a serious passion of mine just before I’d started SCA. I wonder if these newly available 24 hours will be enough time to jump back into that hobby?


Saturdays off means I get more time to reflect. That means going back over old work, refining old lines and rethinking propositions. Scamping out things I’d struggled to make sense of during the week.


Music’s another thing I’ve missed during my working hours. I used to be a fiend for digging out old tunes and tapping in to new ones. I’ve totally lost track of, it’d be nice to try and get some of that back.


Writing is one of those flames that my time at the garms factory has all but snuffed out. Pretty bad considering I’m trying to make a career out of it. Recently I’ve started to develop a growing insecurity about my copywriting ability. It’ll be nice to have the time to write for pleasure and for study. To work out those muscles I’ve let get a bit flabby.


Most of all, I’m going to use this time to relax. Work and school have taken up so much bandwidth, I’ve barely had any time to think about anything else. Next weekend I’ll wake up and have nowhere to be.


That’s really quite liberating.


Top of the Chip Shops


This week, Josie and I got to judge the Chip Shop awards. It was a rare peek into how people in the industry judge work and how we may all be judged in the future. Here’s a few things I learned from the experience.


  1. Brevity is wit


Anything that took too long to work out or needed an explanation didn’t really get a look in. The work that people liked best was “gettable” in a matter of seconds.


  1. Beware of the low bar


It’s easy to come up with a “clever” knob joke if the brand you’ve chosen is Viagra. The whole point of the Chip Shops (and advertising in general)  is to make work that’s unexpected. If it feels like it’s been done before, it probably has. We saw a lot of knob jokes. A lot.


  1. Everything is subjective…


…but some things are just objectively good. There were a few bits of work people disagreed on, but the room knew collectively when something was shit hot.


All in all, a good day.


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