By Munraj Chawla
The Art Director Who Couldn’t Draw
Aspiring Art Director who can’t draw seeks copywriter willing to bear with his illegible scamps. If this were some weird ‘professional’ Tinder profile, most copywriters would swipe left. Who wants an Art Director who can’t draw out their ideas properly? Or at least, that’s what I’ve been telling myself.
I love to read and write. I studied History at university. I taught English at a high school in Japan. During my interview for SCA, almost all the mentors I met assumed I wanted to be a copywriter. Of course, I’d considered it. It would be the logical thing to do, to take the vocabulary I’ve curated and the understanding I have of the English language and twist it and mould it into copy that inspires and satisfies. But sometimes creativity isn’t logical. And the truth is I’m obsessed with visuals. I love photography; the way small changes to the body language of a model can completely alter the mood of a composition fascinates me.
Recently we had to design a t-shirt for another student in the class: after ‘interviewing’ them we had to use what we’d taken from the conversation to design a t-shirt that would be unmistakably for that person. After talking to Ivan, whose t-shirt I was designing, I had a hundred and one ideas. I was inspired to create and design and then I saw people pull out paintbrushes and pens. I’d forgotten about that part. Give me a couple hours on Photoshop and a Wacom tablet and I’ll make something I’m more than happy with. But draw out my ideas?! Actually free-hand design and paint something onto a canvas (or in this case a t-shirt)?!
Nah mate, you’re alright.
The fact of the matter is that I always want the image I’m making to be perfect, to satisfy, and my lack of dexterity and ability to handcraft that well means I’ve gotten used to finding ways to avoid having to do so (and in turn avoiding feeling embarrassed by that). In the end, I decided on cutting out a stencil of a llama (Ivan’s favourite animal) and spray-painting it evenly across the front of the t-shirt and it did actually look pretty good.
This year is about more than curating a C.R.E.A.M recognised portfolio or trying to win a D&AD Pencil.
I’ve just finished my first week at SCA and I’ve been overwhelmed and inspired by the talent of the people around me. But as Marc drummed into us all on the first day: “Hard Work Beats Talent.” So, I’m using that inspiration to motivate myself to practice the things I’m struggling with, like crafting my visuals with my hand instead of on a computer. Eventually I hope that I can feel confident in scamping out my ideas without fear of feeling embarrassed. I don’t anticipate I’ll be the next Bob Ross, but I do hope my future copywriter-cum-life partner will be able to decipher my drawn out ideas.
Song of the SCAB:
Hippie Sabotage – Your Soul