By Alisa Welby — Design For Art Direction.
Lately, I am nothing but an e-mail bot. A coffee shop, macbook, email writing, remote freelancing, In-Designing, square-eyed, laptop ro-bot. I sent the first email back in June.
Only a few weeks in, I found the summer photography internship of my dreams. Well, not of my dreams, but it was acceptable enough to please my stubborn and picky self in strictly finding a not-so-overly-commercial type of internship. A way to get ahead and begin the placement year before Septembers even started. A way to experience interning as a photographer before I focus the rest of the year on graphic design. They told me I took beautiful photographs, and that being a graphic designer/art director was an added bonus. The internship fell through- they had a change of plans and needed to spend the summer shooting content abroad, so we came to an agreement that I’d ‘intern’ for them remotely, with the promise we’d reconnect come September.
June, July, August. Time passes slowly when you’re waiting for an e-mail. I was too scared to book any holidays abroad, or any shifts with a new job, because I kept being told I’d have new work in the coming week. My god, time passes slowly when you’re waiting for an e-mail.
I found myself, and still am to this day- waking up at 4am, because emails are on my mind. Have they replied? There’s never a reply. I am slowly going crazy. And when you do finally get one email that’s filled with slight hope, it’s only a matter of weeks or months of being strung along until it drops again.
Two months of waiting- stuck in limbo. The e-mail bot never ends. At the same time, I’ve got a handful of other e-mails from elsewhere that I’m still waiting to hear from. When September came, I was informed that the internship would now be pushed back until October. I manage to sit and twiddle my thumbs for one more month. And then October came, I was informed that the internship would now be pushed back until ‘November, but we can’t say for sure’. That e-mail was a pretty painful one to read.
I think I’ve perfected the art of writing e-mails by now. Of all the studios and magazines I’ve contacted, this is only one of many examples from recent experiences. I’ve realised that the creative industry is one with serious commitment issues-- no-one can promise you anything, no-one can secure you anything, and no-one can tell you anything until the very, very last minute. They’re also great at ignoring e-mails.