Two moments – By @hollygordonn

By Holly Gordon


Two moments


As we begin to sit somewhat comfortably into the second half of term two, I have been thinking about the changes I have experienced within the last three weeks, but also the last three years.


Three weeks ago


I was stuck in a month long anxiety bubble which made SCA absolute hell. Paranoia and worry controlled everything I was doing and even with a few successes under my sleeve, I experienced some of the worst imposter syndrome I had felt since starting the course. I doubted my own ability, worried about every single thing I did and felt I couldn’t handle anything thrown my way.


The only positive was half term, and the thought of not coming to Brixton for a full week. Fast forward through one panic attack, several emails, a banned SCAB, an argument with a friend, five ignored phone calls, several panicked conversations with Sophie, and one answered phone call and I found myself on Sunday evening, dreading the next day. I couldn’t stomach the thought of going back, but I sucked it up and made it through Monday. Then I made it through the rest of the week and to my surprise, things went pretty well.


I didn’t magically get over everything. I still worry, I still have anxiety and I am still lacking confidence, but a change in mind-set really helped. I made personal decisions that made me happier. I decided to be more open, allowing myself to have more fun with ideas. ‘No suggestion is a bad one’ I told myself and I shouldn’t be afraid to hold back. I really love listening to my current partner which also makes it much more enjoyable. I do wonder if others have noticed this change but then I also cringe, because I don’t like attention. Anyway, I hope whatever this is, its not a fluke and it carries on. The turn around is just something I noticed to be quite interesting.


Three years ago


I was in Norwich, preparing for D&AD. We were given a small selection of briefs to choose from and three months to work on them, which is both limiting and intimidating. The awards were hyped up ridiculously by my tutors, who never really prepared us for submitting a case study video, so I ended up doing what I thought was correct. Which was actually wrong.


The notion of a big idea was relevant back then, but so many of us settled for ideas that weren’t that big. I chose the Monotype brief because I thought playing to my strengths of typography would give me a good chance. It did not, it’s a ridiculously popular graphic design brief to choose and my submission got lost amongst hundreds of others.


Occasionally I go back and look at my last submission. It’s a bit painful to look at now because its just some nice design work that runs off a pretty lame idea. Like everything I have made, it can be pushed and improved on but what I feel like I need to focus on is what my first experience taught me. Before then, I had never worked on a brief that included a brand, never entered a creative competition and was never faced with a challenge that felt as real as D&AD did. I may have produced bad work but it gave me my first real taste of industry and what they expect. Fast forward to now, and I look at people who are posting their final submissions on social media, ready for the deadline whilst we have just started. It laughable at how long I had last time. Three months vs. two weeks! Who needs that much time? I never thought I would get a second attempt at D&AD, and now I have one I don’t want to waste it.




The copy scores 71.6 in the Flesch Reading Ease test

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