By Daisy Bard
10 lessons from my first book crit
Today, I was lucky enough to have a crit at MullenLowe with Bronwyn Sweeney, a senior copywriter that Arthur and I met last term. (Thank you Bronwyn!) Here are the most important lessons I took away.
- Don’t worry too much about layout. It’s not portfolio day yet. They’re interested in the ideas.
- Get out as early as possible for opinions. Even if the work is shoddy (and it is), they’ve offered to help you and that’s what the session is.
- Ask what they’d kill straight off the bat. There are some ideas worth expanding and exploring. The upshot is, some deserve to die. And you should know which sooner rather than later.
- Be prepared for a panel. Sometimes someone will bring a young creative team with them, so there may be more of them than there are of you. Don’t freak out. That makes you lucky to have even more input.
- Don’t seek praise, seek criticism. Having said that, if they praise an idea, take it further, try more lines, experiment with layout and keep it in your book for the next one.
- Take notes. This should be a no-brainer, but they’ve been kind enough to give you their time and advice, so show you’re listening and learning. And write the notes up later for yourself or put them in a handy scab like this.
- Don’t let insecurity get the better of you. We were told to follow the advice that we agreed with and not to do something that felt wrong to us. We’re speaking to a lot of brilliant creatives but ultimately it’s our brains that will be going into the book, and our brains that agencies will be buying.
- Manners maketh man. Be polite, not just because the person you’re speaking to may be hiring you in a year but because coming across as rude doesn’t make you or anyone else feel good. It also doesn’t achieve anything.
- Have a glass of water. If you’re nervous or have the tendency to babble, you’ll want that bad boy by your side.
- Shit can be great. The worse your work is, the more of an opportunity there is to improve. Grab it.