By Helena Smith
God, that went quick. The end is really starting to become tangible and that makes me, to be quite honest, uncomfortable. There are some things that have not yet become second nature as I was promised they would. Turns out I’m still forgetting some crucial basics. So, one of the tasks I have set myself over Easter, is to get a very big cup of coffee and scroll back through the hundreds of slides that make up the group notes, to run my mind back over the pillars of our teaching.
Because one of the most frustrating things I have experienced this time, is going to Marc for feedback, him giving it and it being things I was half aware of it anyway. The knowledge is clearly in my head somewhere. I just need to spend a bit of time to make sure it’s at the forefront of my mind opposed to under the layers of other thoughts, ideas and minor anxieties.
But what’s concerning me more, a week off starting our final term, is my craft. Though I have said there are some thinking strategies that are not yet habitual, refining craft is the real battle. It’s an area, that with the majority of time at the school being placed on our thinking to coin great ideas, that has lacked my attention. I can safely say that with all my PB’s it has been a last thing on the list to tick off and often within a day. There has been no time left for iteration, or consideration without an element of panic involved. Which has lead to work that doesn’t truly reflect or give credit to the amount of time that went into thinking about the idea.
With D&AD, craft was an area I knew we just couldn’t afford to let the idea down. It was definitely the first project I forced myself to make time on to really consider the how the communication would translate. I think it showed. Though there is always another iteration that could have been done, I was fairly confident that our idea came through in the posters we created. As a result of forcing myself to create time to iterate, my feelings towards D&AD were a lot more favourable than I had expected. Crafting is the fun bit and it’s the bit I’ve been missing out on with all my other projects. As an indecisive person I revelled in filling my illustrator file with over 40 boards of possible layouts, colour pallets, patterns and typefaces.
So, going through our book with the craft mentor this week looking at campaigns that screamed for iteration and craft, was hard. I don’t like handing in stuff where I know what the problems already are. I don’t like that gives the impression that I think what I’ve handed in is innovative, clever or simply acceptable. The advice for each campaign that Ian gave however made one thing very clear. To make our ideas clearer the changes that could have been made were quite simple. For example, zoom in on the area that actually communicated the idea rather than showing a scene which draws the attention away. Really simple stuff that when said is so obvious, which is frustrating. This experience has worried me. Because in that half an hour with Ian guiding our thinking, I am pretty sure our book score could have been taken at least 5 points higher, and these are more things that should naturally be thinking when creating work. Marc has said the final term is about craft, I just hope with Ian only being in twice a week, that the final term is enough.