By Susan Mcfadzean
I lost confidence in what an idea was.
Funny thing is, I have plently of them.
They come from different directions for different briefs and at all angles all the time.
Put me and Holly together and you’ve got ideas falling out our pockets.
But sometimes too much of one thing is a curse.
You don’t know which one is best. Which one should you trust? Can you combine a few?
When I talk to visiting mentors I can almost see their ears hurt. I launch into what I think my idea is. And I see them listening hard because the words might be twisted or jumbled. It’s clear in my head, but it’s always much bigger than I feel I can articulate clearly.
But if I’m lucky, they see so clearly what I can’t and they’ll peel back the layers and reveal what it is we are reaching for. Or what we reached but pushed and pushed into something else.
I was surprised when Tom Fenwick-Smith told us we had three ideas wrapped up in what we thought was one. He told us he believed they all had legs but we just had to choose.
And we did. We left other ideas behind and we carried on with the one we became so passionate about.
But I think suddenly we thought there was just one answer. We got terrified of getting it ‘wrong’. Terrified of missing the mark we so desperately wanted to hit.
But isn’t that why we are creatives? There’s never one right answer. There’s millions. You just have to find the one that fits the brief but also the one that you can execute off of. As long as you believe in it and bring it to life, it can be ‘right’. The hard part is translating our own language, the one we’ve been babbling to each other for the last three weeks. Turning the thing we have in our heads that’s formed out of research, playfulness, late nights and conversations with ladies in the Barbican, and get that into a campaign everyone else can relate to.
And nearing the deadline, it hit a wall. We were just trying too hard. We over worked it. And after an almost all nighter and a lot of hard thinking we were both tired. We thought it all came crashing down. But as I write this I realise we hadn’t lost it at all. The idea was there like it always had been. We’d just muddied it in the early hours the night before.
Lesson number one from D&AD? Stop overthinking it and keep it simple, stupid.
P.s Holly’s fab to work with – we had a lot of fun building that brief one hundred times over!