By Ludo Thomas
Not all problems are bad
Having spoken to a few of my fellow penguins, it’s nice to know that I wasn’t the only one suffering with ‘whotopick’ syndrome. It sounds like a god awful disease and something that would cause more than a mild headache but in actual fact I’m starting to see it as a massive positive.
We are blessed at SCA to be surrounded, on a daily basis, by some very talented mentors. I won’t name names but these creatives have, to quote, ‘been there, done that, and got the T-shirt…more than once. On top of this crop, if you then add a whole raft of ECD’s, art directors and copywriters who currently work for some of the biggest agencies in London, you get an enormous pool of wisdom to dip into.
Moving slightly aside from that for a second, having done a fair bit research into the advertising greats over the past week, it’s clear to see that most creatives are firecrackers, typically with big opinions and big personalities. The phrase ‘my way or the highway’ springs to mind, no, that’s being mean, but many do have their way of doing things.
Now back to our ‘dilemma’, when you have all this creative experience and knowledge around you, along with the fact that all of them have their own ideas and opinions on the creative process, the question most of us are then left with is, who do we listen to? And it’s a fair question to have. But the way I’ve begun to overcome this ‘whotopick’ syndrome follows one important rule. You must know your mentors. Know their style, their interpretation and their strengths. For instance I find Pete has a thing for strategy and he’s a great one to talk to when I’m beginning a campaign. Ian on the other hands (pardon the pun) has a penchant for detail and is fantastic when you are trying to sort the visuals. It’s really important to do the background check, granted it comes with trial and error, but when you know what they can do the whole process becomes a hell of a lot easier.
So be savvy with which mentor you speak to, yes it’s a personal choice, some mentors will undoubtedly work better for you than others. But you have to know how to use the tools around you in order to get the most out of your work. It’s just people management really.