A couple of weeks ago, for the third year in succession, I hosted a table at my daughter’s school Careers Evening. Along with around 80 or so other parents representing the same number of different professions, I met and talked to a steady flow of teenagers about what I do for a living.
It’s always a pleasure talking about something you love. Enthusiasm for one’s metier. I don’t get to see any of the other tables as I’m usually surrounded by loads of kids and their eager mums and dads or both. My favourite from the evening was a girl who lit up wen she told me about how much she enjoys the TV ads in the breaks. I told her this was a good sign. (I remember my excitement and fascination watching John Webster’s ‘Points of view’ for The Guardian years ago.)
Now that I’ve spent nearly 20 years doing this whole marketing/advertising thing to earn a living, it’s easy to forget that I was once one of those faces looking in and wondering what goes on in there. Yes, you can do lovely work in lovely places with lovely people and earn lovely large sums of money but I often forget to tell these kids how incredibly hard you have to work to achieve this. But then, do they really want to know? Would they really understand? How to explain the reason why you’ve worked days/evenings/weekends for as long as you can remember to someone who thinks that an hour of homework every night is hell?
What I did tell my followers was that I’d help give them a few pointers to show them what agencies are like and what goes on there. So here are some books to start with. All very good, the first one magnificent – around £40 altogether: (Just click on all the purple words – they’re links)
The Fundamentals of Creative Advertising
Then there’s the truly outstanding bi-monthly magazine that showcases some the world’s best work: Lürzer’s Archive A bit pricey maybe but always an absolute pleasure to receive.
In terms of brilliant blogs to follow, read every entry of the genius Dave Trott‘s masterpiece. When you want a job in advertising, you want to work with the best. He is the best.
As far as Tweets go, follow the guy who wrote Hey Whipple – Luke Sullivan – another superstar.
And check out this little treat from some students. Quite special and only a few years away for some of you kids.
If you get a chance, have a read of some of the stuff this guy has to say. He’s been a sponge to advertising, marketing and design for such a long time and have learned from some exceptional people (Steve Harrison, author of How to do better work, probably the best). He has a fair few awards to his name. Has run his own agency. Lectures regularly. Blah. Blah. Blah. So he likes to think he knows his trade pretty well.
Or perhaps this.
What do you think?
And, blimey, if you’ve taken all that in and are still interested, drop me a line at [email protected] for ideas on courses to get you started.
It’s hard but it’s fun.
Always nice to get a bit of recognition. Years of working with the über-talented Jonathan Knowles has meant I have a back catalogue of outstanding shots for corporate and charity clients, the latter being showcased in the December/January AOP magazine.