My love for learning and using rules and order stems from high school. In fact, high school seemed like the perfect system, which nurtured this fondness. To work within such predetermined systems became oddly comforting to me; it was safe and familiar. To have creative freedom within the walls of a given question seemed satisfying enough. It was thrilling to work your way to a resolution through your own logical methodology – one that was albeit foreseen by someone else. Yet, this love for rules was challenged when I stepped into Camberwell College of Art during my Foundation Course. There, it was as though suddenly, nothing was off limits. This pure freedom I was given, felt so alien that it felt incorrect. I encountered a white space that I didn’t know how to react to. There was no black and white answer, but ‘an emptiness full of possibilities’ – a shimmering rainbow that I never knew existed. I didn’t know how to function around it, or how to control my thinking. I didn’t see it as an opportunity but as an unnerving uncertainty; where the endless possibilities meant that there was no concrete solution that was ever valid. I felt like the logic broke down and constantly stifled the creativity. I even considered I had chosen the wrong path for a long time, as it was so much to handle. It was as though I had to reprogram my thinking. Throughout the next two years at LCC, perhaps as a coping mechanism, I tried to stay as close as I could to what was inside the box, like a child would do as they cling to the edges of an ice rink when they cannot skate. Occasional spews of bravery saw me venture outside the box, only to furiously run back in.
However, having just completed my first internship at Penguin Books, DK, I feel has helped me to realise how far I have come in terms of my relationship with my creative freedom. I, at first, thought working would be no different to university – that I would be encouraged to question everything, from things like the format of a book to what a book could be. I instead found the process involved a lot more logic, rules and order. My past self would have been leaping for joy. But now, something that I had once felt so safe in, quickly began to feel restrictive, as though there was less air to breathe in. I began to miss the pure freedom I once had. I realise I should never have taken for granted or rejected for that matter, the freedom I was given at university, for I now know it is like liquid gold. Creativity is like an old friend, an ambassador of play, a way to explore, discover and learn. A value and necessity I never really understood until now.
Other things I learned at Penguin Books, DK.