By Kenny Meek
Get a job.
I reckon a huge part of this course recently has been the daily emphasis on winning a D&AD pencil. Not only do we get given a day-to-day timetable of what we should be doing at any given time in the build up to the New Blood, but we’ve also been told – with no uncertain terms – that anything less than a yellow, might as well be trash. As someone with a graphite pencil that was pretty disheartening.
New Blood is a big deal to me. Winning a pencil was what got me into this school, it’s what made me fall in love with London, it’s what vindicated years of practice in my craft. I always dreamed of picking up my own no matter what colour it was. When I got mine, I’ll admit, I was a little chuffed with myself. My friends supported me, my tutors were ecstatic and most importantly, my family felt like I had proved myself. As a young designer, it was all I could ask for.
This school has changed that feeling from one of pride to one of dissatisfaction. Marc’s methods have brought me down a few notches, they’ve changed how I see awards and they’ve given me a sense of not being good enough. On Pete Cain’s last day, he left me with a bit of advice; ‘never be happy’ he said as I completed a portfolio brief with a grin on my face and a level of satisfaction I’d not yet had on a hand-in day. Both of these men, irrespective of their own career paths and end goals care about one thing, and that’s to be the best and then to be better. It’s a brutal lesson to hear that you’re not as good as you think you are but I understand their perspective. SCA needs to be the best school and for that to happen, it needs the best creatives. If I want to be one of those creatives I need to keep pushing and keep trying, even if it means I’m uploading my work minutes before the deadline.
Ultimately though, this attitude of not being good enough and never settling isn’t what’s going to win a pencil, it’s what’s going to win a job. I’m not in this game to impress judges, I’m in it to change hearts and minds, to get the young kids of Glasgow or Newcastle to join in and to, – in the words of Pete – start a revolution. I want to be remembered when I leave this earth and by god, if that means never showing satisfaction with my work and being a grumpy bastard then so be it.