By Henry Foenander
Why so serious?
Post-d&ad has been a strange couple of weeks for me. It didn’t take long for the adrenaline, caffeine and excitement levels to return to normal. The problem is, when you’re so used to being pumped up, going back to normal feels, less than normal.
I’ve been disappointed with myself for not being able to maintain the d&ad energy. I’d even go as far as to say I’ve felt lethargic at some points, which goes against pretty much everything SCA stands for.
Over the past two weeks I’ve been working on a brief that wasn’t giving me satisfaction, in my head I convinced myself this was an effect of the lethargy, but after some wise words from a mentor, I’ve realised it was the cause.
Dusty came over for a chat, we showed him our work and before I’d finished explaining our idea I could tell it wasn’t up to scratch. You can tell a lot about an idea by how you explain it. I was boring myself, so poor Dusty.
As usual it only takes one piece of advice from a mentor to have a revelation.
“Have fun with it”
As soon as Dusty said that, I realised the last time I actually had fun with my work was d&ad. I’d been focussing so much on bringing back the fire that I’d forgotten where the spark comes from.
In the studio there’s a sign saying “Play is not frivolous, play is essential”. It’s cheesy and annoying but it’s also right. I’ve lost count of the amount of mentors who have told us when you’re having fun, it shines through in your work.
We’ve been taught the best way to have fun, creative ideas is to get into the playful child state, a flow of uninhibited bounciness and silliness, that leads to an open mind and excitement. At the top of every brief I get for the next 3 months I’m going to write: “Be a child”. Hopefully this will kick me into the right mind-set, and spark off the right kind of energy.
Easter’s coming up, which means we’re only a few months off of portfolio day. We’ve been told to put as much of our personality into our books as we can. If we’re not having fun, if we’re feeling apathetic or listless, that’s what will ooze out of our books. If I want to be as proud of my book as I am of my d&ad work, so I need to make sure I’m animated on every brief, and that my book is a happy reflection of myself.