By Robyn Frost
In search of a word
If Kim is to Kanye, macaroni is to cheese, and trousers are to Marc, what’s to Robyn?
Confession time: I’ve been getting distracted by other people. Their work, their talent, and their goals. SCA is a hothouse for breeding the very best talent, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intimidated by a few of my pals. Two weeks ago, I don’t know how I’d have described myself to someone else. I really cared what people thought of me. I felt I’d lost my fire, the fire I started SCA full of, (to anyone reading this, don’t you worry, I’ve got it back now, and it’s back in full force).
Throughout our lives the words we use to describe ourselves, and others, will change depending on the situation we’re in; career; wealth; happiness. But there’s one which, apparently, encapsulates our traits perfectly. I asked a couple of classmates, who said “Twitter” and “sassy”. I’m on Twitter most days, and I bring the sass every day, but I don’t think either of those things would float when I’m 80. After this week’s presidential debate, I totally want it to be ‘nasty’.
“What about ‘advertising’?” I ask myself.
Mm, not that. That’s a career, a thing, not a word that describes me.
What’s my word?
I’ve spent a large portion of my professional, (debatable), time in branding. It was short, but sweet. I created identities, defined voices, helped brands decide what they stand for, and wrote what feels like a thousand brand books. That was all fun and nice until I figured out I had no idea what my own identity was, because I’d spent so long thinking about other people. Do not pass go – proceed straight to quarter-life crisis.
That was a year ago, and I’d taken a break from uni to ‘find myself’. I didn’t chuck my stuff in a Big Yellow Storage and bugger off to an ashram, a la Elizabeth Gilbert. I was doing Graphic Design on supposedly the best course in the country, but I hated it. I didn’t want to become a Photoshop puppet, somebody else’s bitch, mocking up their ideas and not my own. Eww no. I gave the metaphorical middle finger to university, and went off to intern at various design studios, finally ending up at Sky (HELL YEAH) for a brief stint in their shiny, shit-hot creative department. Life got good, because I could contribute ideas that were actually taken seriously. I was encouraged to write, and ended up scripting for a live announcer on Sky Living. I was offered a job, and this was before I’d even finished my degree. And for some reason, I said no.
This was around the same time I had my phone interview with Marc, which I absolutely nailed, (I absolutely did not). After everything, I still couldn’t say what my ‘thing’ was or really what I stood for, or what I did outside of my uni work. Did you get asked that alien spaceship question? Mhmm, me too. And I still don’t know the answer to it. However, I did know that SCA was the right place for me, because I’d learnt to trust my gut.
And I’d got a goal. I’d recently found Cindy Gallop on Twitter, and I found myself thinking, “I want to be a Cindy when I grow up”. She doesn’t have time for judgements, “you’ll never own the future if you care what people think”, and she runs her own show. She goes after things and she wins, and she inspired me to do the same.
Fast forward to now, and I’m still searching for a word. I’m a search in progress. I still want to be a Cindy, but I also want to be a Robyn, whatever that will eventually mean. A wise woman recently said to me, “you do you”.
I started this SCAB talking about other people’s goals, but I’m going to end it by listing mine:
Work at AMV BBDO
Work at McCann
Work at BBH
Win a Pencil
Eventually an ECD with a team I love, in a top agency – my own, or someone else’s, I don’t mind right now.
Find a creative partner who is just as driven as me, or more so. Requirements? Must have roaring fire in belly and say “f*ck yeah” at least once a day.
At this point in time maybe my word is “ambition”. If you have any other suggestions, hit me up.