By Edoardo Buttinelli
Design for Art Direction
Once you are out in the field, sending e-mails all day and waiting in this characteristic "limbo of the unemployed", it is very easy to start to feel detached. Detached from the physical action of sending your portfolio around, which becomes mechanical and repetitive; detached from the way in which you sell your work to your potential interest, and detached from the way you see your own work, which after so much analysis becomes inevitably trivial to your eye. That is why when a real, human, exchange takes place, it sometimes can become a special moment.
I would like to briefly write about two of these episodes because after these I understood the importance of getting in touch with someone you are interested in, regardless of a potential work or internship.
The first episode was when I got in touch with an interior designer I admired and was interested in interning for. He was unable to offer me a place, but curious about my work and so he offered the possibility of a face-to-face conversation, which is something that acquires a new and unique meaning compared to the visiting practitioner that does a guest lecture in University. Without any second end, the conversation was the most real talk I could expect from someone I never met before. I opened about my uncertainties as a creative, the possibilities of my career, but what's most astounding is the level to which he did open up about his disenchantment with the world of art and design. In half an hour, he gave me material to think about for a month. Sometimes, when I see his designs on Selfridge's shelves, I think about how he had 5 people crammed into a small living room which I am quite sure was just a section of his flat converted into a "studio", in the outskirts of Milan.
The second moment was a series of phone calls I had with a fashion photographer, which after the first ice-breaker e-mail gave me his phone number straight away to have a chat with me. I sent him my photography portfolio and the latest video I worked on, and for an hour he basically commented every single picture in it, almost making me feel I was in a tutorial session. He then digressed to his career as a photographer from the 80s, what it means for him to be a fashion photographer and his vision of beauty, and the state of the art nowadays. He couldn't take me on because he was working in a studio only for a specific house, and the contract with this didn't allow him to take on interns. Nonetheless, I met someone that was open to a conversation, and that is something that changed the way I approached my pursuit. He gave me something for nothing, and that to me, on an extremely small scale, is when our work as creative practitioners is not anymore about money, business, art or time, but just positive energy. And I feel I will need that to be who I would like to be.