By Patxi Elizalde
Final Push, Final Half Term
As the first half of term 3 comes to an end, I am forced to reflect. It’s finally starting to hit me that the end is nigh. And I do not feel ready at all. Still have many half-baked campaigns in the works, still freaking out about layouts, still trying to take old campaigns and push craft iterate till they feel fresh, new, and interesting.
These past few weeks have been some of the most stressful I’ve had so far (ok maybe besides D&AD…). And not because of an incredible number of briefs, or crazy early deadlines, but because I can feel that playtime is over, and that the crazy creative real world is about to begin. Gone are the days where we would come up with ideas and do activities just to improve our overall creative functions skills. Now, we are expected to churn out professional quality work with every brief. We all “get it” now, they say. “You’ll all get jobs,” they say… I guess we’ll see for ourselves soon enough.
On a more positive note, while I might say this in most scabs I write, I feel it’s these moments of reflection where I can truly see just how much I have learned over this past year. Almost every day at school, especially recently, I’ve been quite down about my work. “it’s not good enough,” I tell myself after hour 4 of pushing craft on one poster. “Look at everyone else’s first poster campaign,” “Why aren’t my layouts as clean as Aleks’?” But while this ugly voice inside my head digs at my confidence, it’s moments like me where I can look back to the beginning of the course with fresh eyes and see just how much I, personally, have improved in all aspects of the course. It’s always stupid to compare yourself with others, especially in this line of work, because everything is so subjective. Everyone has different skills, and tastes, and characters. Everyone thinks differently about propositions and posters and insights, and ours will work better for some than others. I need to remember to be proud of what I’ve accomplished in the course thus far, and to be ready and willing to continue pushing myself to practice and improve every single day.
So, at the end of the day, while this half term doesn’t feel much like a break at all, (it feels as if a few pipes burst in the studio so we can’t use it for the next few days,) my stress levels have nonetheless gone down slightly and I feel like I now have a bit of room to breathe. Tom and I can plan our week based on our own schedules so that we can maximize our time while working at our own pace and in interesting locations. It’s amazing how much the environment one works in can affect the quality of the ideas. Finally, I bid you all a wonderful and productive half term break, and I can’t wait to see the quality of everyone’s new and improved books and websites when we get back.