Ups, downs, and everything in-between

What a rollercoaster.

Having had six weeks to work on my D&AD entry at Loughborough last year compared to two weeks at SCA, I was quite frankly dreading it. Having heard all week from alumni how many sleepless nights were ahead, left me feeling very anxious. So now it’s all over, here’s a few things I learnt…

Lesson One: Trust your gut.

I think the biggest lesson I learnt from the D&AD experience was to trust my gut. It showed me how compatible Issie and I are as creative partners. One of our strengths we have both recognized is knowing when we are onto something good and until we are both 100% confident in our idea, we won’t stop pushing. 

We set out on our D&AD journey tackling the Heinz brief, we were both initially excited by this brief as it sounded like the most fun, which we tend to gravitate towards. Upon reflection, I have absolutely no idea what drew us both to that brief. Neither of us had any interest in gaming whatsoever, nor had we ever really played a game to be honest, it was like a foreign language to us. Our insights stretched as far as our younger brothers, which as you can imagine two teenage boys weren’t keen to engage with us… to be honest it couldn’t have been further from the ‘one for us’. Despite landing on what we thought was a good idea, that had the support of our mentors we both knew deep down that it wasn’t right. So, we quickly made the executive decision to change brief. Despite being told this was a bad idea in the time frame, we trusted ourselves and did a U-turn in eBays direction overnight…and thank God we did.

Lesson two: Dig deep.

I also learnt how prepared we both are to go the extra mile for what we want. We reached out to everyone we knew (even those we weren’t particularly keen to speak to), posted on socials, joined Facebook groups, got in contact with our old schools in search of insights and help with our work. We did everything we could to ensure our work was as authentic as possible. We were pleasantly surprised by the response, everyone was so keen to get involved, it’s given us the confidence to ask for help going forwards. After all, if you don’t ask, you won’t get. 

Lesson Three: Let go.

Finally, I learnt not to be too precious and to let go of what didn’t serve the idea well. We allocated a whole day of our precious time to go on a photoshoot. Despite our efforts, not one of those photographs we took was used in the final outcome. It showed me that however much you plan there will always be bumps in the road, and if it is smooth sailing, you’re most likely doing something wrong. 

For anyone reading this who’s about to tackle D&AD – enjoy the ride 🙂


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