Last week we handed in our first portfolio brief. We had three weeks between being briefed and submitting our work. Reflecting on the process made me realise the following.
You spend three weeks cogitating; rummaging around in your mind, in your surroundings and, yes, in Google. You constantly remind yourself who you’re talking to and what you’re trying to say. You share all of this with your partner, your family and your friends. Mining the mental depths of anything or anyone.
You spend three minutes solving; you get those few golden moments of breakthrough that become what the finished project is based on. It may be when you suddenly figure out your proposition, or when you scamp a creative idea that you love out of nowhere. In these three (non-consecutive) minutes* you get almost the entire campaign, your message and how you want to get it across.
*not including the time you spent on the multiple false dawns and rejected ideas.
You spend three days crafting; once the idea is there, in rough form, you work on getting the copy tighter, the art direction right and – in this case at least – making your case study video. If you start at least one of these processes by the Tuesday before a Friday deadline then you should have enough time to do the idea justice. You need time to iterate and tweak.
Of course not all of the above is always true. Nor is it a rule.
But the three weeks spent with the thing front of mind are essential. Keep it in there and keep revisiting it. In doing so, you sow the seeds for those moments of inspiration. Those three minutes.
For this brief my moments came while chatting over a beer, having a coffee before going on a run and while waiting for the tube.
By all accounts, those three moments wouldn’t happen without the hours spent with your partner talking it over or the day you spend sitting at your desk – seemingly – getting nowhere. It’s funny, this gig. In what other profession are hours spent not achieving anything tangible absolutely vital to your doing a good job?
I’ve had a think… A sniper, maybe?
Then comes the last bit, the crafting. The only bit of the process that resembles what other industries would call “work”. The bit that needs a calculable amount of time in order to do justice to the idea, to harvest the seeds sown in the three weeks and three minutes that preceded it.
Put all three threes together and you should get something decent out the other end.