What parts of your job get you out of bed in the morning?
The sense I'm missing something fun. I think the kids call it FOMO. I wake up and I can't wait to get out into the city. I can't wait to see what's happening at the agency, what schemes the other creatives are conjuring up. I can't wait for lunch. You have to have somewhere to go that's more exciting than your bed. And if you're anything like me, that's not easy.
What are the most challenging parts of your job?
American agencies work differently than New Zealand agencies, where creatives will usually work on the majority of clients serviced by the company. You only need to know a little bit about a few brands. Here, you work on one client. Your client. To do great work, that client needs to trust you. To gain trust requires that you know their business inside-out, even better than they do. And that takes time, yet as soon as you land at a new agency you have to start making work. Building that relationship and making sure the work you create is honest, excellent, and right for the brand in those first few months is really tough.
How was Kate as a lecturer?
Kate actually cares about you. During the course, Kate turned me from an aspiring Art Director into a writer, and then by the end of the course into an almost decent writer. I'd have been a rubbish Art Director. She cares about her class, and she cares about how you'll fare once you graduate her class. Schools offering higher education are a business at the end of the day, and businesses are designed to make money. Ad School is designed to make creatives.
What did you expect heading into AdSchool on the first day?
As a farm-boy from a little town in Taranaki (shout out to Hawera), I had no idea what to expect. I showed up in Auckland City with nothing but an acceptance letter from Ad School tucked into really bad jeans, so I was thrown in the deep end from the beginning. I loved it. Ad School is great for the same reason - from Day 1 you're in it, getting your hands dirty, making real ads for real clients.
What was the most memorable part of your year in AdSchool?
It'll always be seeing my first ad appear in the real world. For a silly, nonphysical thought in your head to transform into a scribble on paper, a storyboard, then a film, into a tangible thing out in the world that people can interact with – it seems like sorcery.
What would you say to someone considering studying Creative Advertising at Media Design School?
Do it. And do it wholeheartedly. If you do, it'll be the most intense, exciting, rewarding year of your life, and if you do well every year after will be even more so. Nothing can really prepare you for the the real world of advertising, but Media Design School's Ad School is a pretty good inoculation that'll make sure you don't die horrifically in the trenches.
On my first week there I was creating TVCs for Saatchi & Saatchi, sitting in front of some of the best creatives in the country (though I didn't know it at the time), learning Photoshop, Illustrator, photography, how to write and what good art direction looked like. You're getting your hands dirty and making things yourself every day. And that is what it's like in an agency.