“Dear me …”
Last July as part of D&AD New Blood, I was invited to talk about career advice for young creatives along with Julie Seal, Lucas Levitan, Susan Hosking (Mother) and Catherine Botibol (PD3). Hosted by Ali Hanan of Creative Equals. See bellow a short interview about the talk:
Tell me a little bit about “Dear Me” and how you became involved.
“Dear Me”, lessons I would give my younger self was part of D&AD New Blood festival. New Blood inspires the next generation of creative talent by organising this festival to showcase their work and to offer useful insights in the industry.
Our talk was part of the festival’s programme. A bunch of different professionals from the advertising industry were invited to talk about career advice: Julie Seal (Facebook), Lucas Levitan (freelance illustrator), Susan Hosking (Mother), Catherine Botibol (PD3) and myself. It was hosted by Ali Hanan of Creative Equals.
Julie Seal, a very talented copywriter I worked with years ago, led the session and she was the one who selected and invited us to join the talk.
When preparing for this talk I imagine it was a very self-reflective experience. What did you think about?
I reflected on my experience and realised I have learnt lots on different levels all along, so if someone asked me specific questions I would have lots of replies in different fields. For my talk I focused on the biggest learning of these years so I could truly share from the experience at the bottom of my soul.
I decided to use my life story to illustrate my lesson. A big crisis had started in my late twenties in which my need for self-expression and creation took such a protagonist role that I slowly stopped looking after more practical aspects of my life. I lost control of my emotional and even physical self. I fell into a place of extreme vulnerability, like a dark spiral. Getting out of this state is taking time and deep effort, and it has been one of the biggest learnings of my life. I realised that creativity is such a strong energy that in a way it took me over with it, so I am now very aware of the need of having a structure in place for my career and my life to keep healthy.
Please share some of the things you would tell your past self?
As mentioned above I would highlight the importance of a balanced life and a good structure. In my talk I invited students to make a conscious decision on how they might create their own one, a structure that works for them and takes into account work but also their personal needs.
There is also something I would like to add, and to tell not only to my past self, but also to my present and my future self: Trust life. Even though things sometimes look hard and impossible everything is possible. Just relax and go for it.
(… on another hand the big irony is that I don’t know if I would actually give my past self any advice at all! I wouldn’t want to change what I have experienced, it’s so much part of who I am today that I wouldn’t change it.).
Did any of the other speakers share any insightful gems?
I connected a lot with Lucas Levitan’s talk, he is an illustrator too, and his approach was quite introspective yet full of humour and lighthearted. He talked about the need for acceptance of the chaotic path, which could be taken as the opposite approach to my call for structure. But I believe we were talking of different aspects of a similar journey. I overall believe in a playful approach that leaves room for the untidy and chaotic so that creativity can flow freely, I definitely need my structure to take the chaos into account!