By Lauren Peters
Stream of consciousness on New Blood
The last few weeks have been intense. But not in the ‘so much to make so little time’ sense of the word. Rather, ‘why am I so perpetually dissatisfied with everything I come up with, and why is everything I come up with that I’m not perpetually dissatisfied with already been done?’
Week two of D&AD saw my baby die. Hard. Smirnoff birthed more or less the same idea on International Women’s Day, which was all the more painful as it was something I had been semi-involved with outside of school. Silver lining: I now know what it feels like and can sympathise with others and move on quicker myself next time (she says).
It was back to the drawing board. All of the ideas ideas I had at the start of term has been killed. So my partner and I picked up a new brief: fur. We went big. ’24 hour pet telethon rallying support for the pet genocide going on in China’ big. We had our weekend planned out: go to Brighton, make the set, film the cat, film the dog, superimpose the footage and craft the case study film until we too were convinced that what we had created was in fact, legit.
Cue Friday’s WIPs and another dead baby.
I called mum to cancel. At which point she stopped me and said: ‘Lauren, nan’s got cancer and is having a hysterectomy, your sister’s having a shoulder operation and the cat’s is in surgery having his stomach stitched up’.
Perspective Lauren. Get some perspective.
I took a breath and proceeded to play Sister Sledge’s ‘Thinking of You’ on repeat (my go-to for boosting endorphins). I cleaned the entire house. Four hours of amazing (it’s all relative). I took a walk frown Brockwell Park, cooked a feast (SCA is synonymous with meal deals) and watched Moonlinght, a different kind of amazing.
The following day I got up, met my partner, walked around the park, met my other partner, and worked. ‘Let’s open a shop’, ‘let’s make a video entitled ‘what the fu*k is a mink?’, ‘let’s create extremist cat characters and call them Nigel Furage, Vladimir Purrtin, Kim Jun Ruff, Dogald Trump and Bashar al-Whiskassad…’.
Cue Monday’s WIPs and yet another dead baby.
Tackling craft week with no ideas is stressful. I wouldn’t recommend it. But absolutely not was I ducking D&AD. No no. So. My partners and I laid out all of the briefs and systematically went through them until we were left with just three. Then two. Then one. Then the one we had before.
We now find ourselves rewriting the future of education, something I had wanted to do from the start but couldn’t figure out how. The girls and I have had a lot of incredibly constructive and creative input from the mentors and I am unbelievably grateful for their help. Really. We are so fortunate to have such brilliant minds on tap in the studio. It’s down to us now to push the idea, craft, craft again, until the judges have no option but to buy what we’re selling.
We got there in the end, three days before the deadline.
- Have faith in your gut FROM THE START. Before tackling any of the briefs I said to myself, ‘education is the one’. And yet, I spent the best part of three weeks fannying around with them all.
- When you land a good idea start making it. Don’t cull it until you have a better idea on the table. Whilst I am glad I didn’t embark on making a 12hr cat telethon, it may have alleviated some of the pressure of ‘not having a great idea’ and caused me to relax into the process a bit more. Maybe not. But I think probably yes.
- Get out the studio and speak to people. Throughout this whole process I have spoken to friends in the army, tutors, producers, creatives, academics, philosophers, philanthropists, lecturers, artists, travellers, people I once met on a night out after a play… and whether their advice was directly useful or not, it will have impacted my thought process subconsciously and will no doubt feed into future work.
- DON’T LISTEN TO EVERYONE. This was a big thing for me I think. I came into this process knowing nothing, and whilst we have all come a long way there is a tendency to want reassurance from everyone on everything you do. This is not possible. Opinions are subjective. Listen. Absorb. Take note. Reflect. Trust.
- Be nice. It’s very easy to let stress get the better of you. I have just about managed to keep my sanity I think.
Finally, and why I love this industry so much, I have learnt a hell of a lot about things I previously knew little-nothing about, e.g. female DJs, the housing crisis, STEM, the impact of menstruation on education in developing countries, the lack of role models in the army, the impact of pollution on bees, Amazon Alexa, the fur trade, mink, NFC technology, sonic sculptures, creativity on the streets, cyberbullying, piracy in Africa, music marketing, mental health, fake news… it’s amazing.
Sorry for the splurge.
Good luck to everyone this weekend. See you on the other side x