Current DPS student Ellie Bond reflects on her changing perspective of her place as an illustrator in the creative industries.
Advertising was always sold to us as a path we could follow from our degree in Illustration and Visual Media, but I’d only ever thought about the design side of it. The graphics, the branding, the final image creation. However, after applying to the Ogilvy experience because the application looked fun, I was offered a place on their annual work experience week.
Here I learnt about every area of advertising from Account management, to media buying (not for me), to the trans-creation department (definitely not for me). We then got hands on within each area as we planned our own pitch for next years NCS campaign. Starting out with strategy (the research), to creative (the ideas), then production (the prototypes). It was a great week and I learnt a lot about an industry that has previously been a mystery to me. I decided to look at getting more experience within strategy as I thought this is what I was most interested in.
I sent off a written application for BBH Homegrown, a grad scheme style programme that lasts 3 months. I got through to interview stage which I was really pleased with as I’d been unsuccessful with written applications previously. During the interview I spoke to two BBH employees, one of which told me they thought I’d be more suited to Creative. Having been told I’d not made it through the interview stage, I asked if I could come in for some work experience instead. During this week I had the opportunity to talk with more people within both strategy and creative. It gave me a much clearer view of both the roles and Creative definitely came out on top. What I realised is there is a crossover of research and problem solving. What had attracted me to the role of a strategist was also possible through being a Creative and my background and ideas were much more suited to the Creative role.
So what next? Unfortunately, I also discovered during my week at BBH that most agencies will only hire creatives as teams. This makes finding internships this year a lot harder, as most tend to build a book with their art director/copywriter and apply together. I therefore need to find a copywriter who is also on a year out, or wait until I’ve graduated to apply for internships. I do plan on contacting the advertising course at LCC to see if there are any copy writers in second year looking to build more pieces for their portfolio, possibly through a D&AD brief.
Until then though, I am reading books from the greats (Ogilvy, John Hegarty, etc) as well as books on the overall process (‘The Advertising Concept’ book being the highest recommendation from my week at BBH). I might throw a few episodes of Mad Men in there just for good measure.