The Unfinished Article, by @AdamTaylorSmith

Adam Taylor-Smith

By Adam Taylor Smith


The Unfinished Article

I remember thinking that producing a portfolio of six to eight ideas in nine months sounded pretty achievable. Naively, I might have even thought it would be easy. 


I also thought that when it came to the 9th of July my portfolio would be the finished article. More than that, I thought I would be too. A fully trained creative.  


With 3 weeks to go it seems ridiculous that I thought that. Your portfolio is never finished. You never feel that it’s as good as it was supposed to be. It’s constantly evolving and hopefully improving. You fall out of love with ideas, your perspective changes, your thinking matures, your standards climb and you drift apart from pieces work. Things get stagnant when they sit there for too long. And it’s not just like this whilst you’re at collage. Even many ECDs feel they will always be two pieces away from being satisfied. 


When I first started to realise this I found it frustrating. Now, I’m glad things are that way. When you know that nobody expects you to be faultless, it’s a lot easier to put your book in front of CDs. If you reach a point of completion then you can’t listen criticism and move on. We went for a book crit with Stu Outhwaite, “these things aren’t interviews,” he said, “they’re ongoing conversations.” 


So being unfinished is a good place to be. It means you have somewhere to aim for, and at the same time in means you’re never quite sure where you might 

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