Thursday, July 10, 2008

Next time i'll just write a novel

When i opened my email this morning I had the most pleasant surprise. I was reminded of the existence of an awesome person, the one and only Richard Bingham. This prof is the one that you run into in the hall, buzzing past you to a class he is most likely late to. but thats okay because three punks from his first year class have already come out and found him. Richard Bingham always dresses in a pressed collar and oh yeah, he wears cuff links pretty much every day. the first time he taught our class in first year, it was the most made up class that it got cancelled right after we took it. that didn't mean that it wasn't crazy hard though. we all killed it on the midterm and he had to make up a (and i'm not completely convinced even he knew what he was doing) math formula to bell curve them. I think he got scared after that and made his wife take the exam before we did.

anyway. the point of the this is, that this man emailed me and had a lot to say. my program is creative advertising. do you see that first word there. yep its right there...creative. uh huh. so humber makes up this course creative advertising and pumps it full of marketing courses, stats, random one off courses like organizational behaviour, mass media in canada-bullshit like this. while i'm on a rant i should probably get it out of my system but humber has the WORST elective classes at our campus. just rediculous courses like beauty (i swear to god if i hear wendy o'brien ask what is beauty?kkfdskjdkjld) can't forget about city life with the teacher who grew up in the prairies. Those two courses were last year, I can hardly wait to see my options this year since they never add new courses and after three years you really narrow down your playing field.

Okay rant over. breath. this post is positive i swear. so richard bingham emails our class out of the blue about our portfolios.

"Blunt Assessments: first of two emails.

A note to everyone:
This is about what I see. And what I see is what you show me. It is possible that there are things I’ve got dead wrong here, but I’m working with the data available and subjecting it to my own analysis & interpretation. Your job over the next year is to fine tune what you show to potential employers in the very small window that is a portfolio interview. My job is to make sure that you show them the best possible picture.

It may seem as though I am focusing mainly on the negative. This is true. It’s the negative stuff that concerns me, and that’s what I want to address. And frankly, you are soon going to be facing people in the industry who will not hold back on criticism, so developing a thick skin now is a good idea. It’s not just interviews, either, but every day your work will be subjected to somebody who might just say it’s crap. Or totally love it. Or both.

But mainly what I don’t want is for you to go out unprepared and come back asking me why I didn’t say something sooner. Well -- this is me saying it now.

Finally, I’m sorry I didn’t get this to everybody earlier. (I thought it was important that they all go out at once.) It turned out to be a bigger project than I expected. Next time I’ll just write a novel.



and this is what he has to say about my portfolio and me...

"The good:
Well organized, dedicated, committed, hard-working, good attention to detail.
I think you understand strategy, though you sometimes forget to apply it.
I was very impressed by the work you did on your portfolio.

The bad
But the portfolio pointed up a bit of a problem (something that I think I alluded to when we went over it), which is that I didn’t expect it to be that good. In other words, I actually had no idea you were capable of something so inventive and well-executed. Which is stupid, because I’ve taught you for 3 years now. Part of the problem is that so much group work absorbs individual contributions; but partly because you do not make clear what it is you do well. Or take credit. My sense is you back down a little too easily in groups, and generally have not very much (or not enough) confidence in your own ideas and your own work. (Why, for example, did you not do the ihaveanidea portfolio show? You certainly could have. Should have.)

I suggest:
• You gotta pipe up a bit more, show more assertiveness & push-back.

• I think you need to loosen up creatively. I don’t quite want to use the word “repressed” because it’s a bit loaded, but I have a sense that you self-censor your ideas and pre-reject anything you suspect is too out there. Or maybe it’s the group work thing, because I would say almost the identical thing (and will) to Leah and Julia -- it’s almost like none of you wants to embarrass the others by coming up work that might be uncomfortably daring. (And by that I don’t mean risqué.) Unlike what you did on your portfolio when -- surprise -- you were doing it just to please yourself.

• You need to clarify what you want to do in the business: set some specific goals and be not afraid to pursue them.

• Continue to work on your stuff through the summer. Make up ads on anything that appeals to you. Don’t worry about going to finished artwork, just sketch out lots of roughs of ideas, headlines, copy, concepts. Try for one a day, without worrying whether they are any good. Go for volume!"

I think that last comment was a copy paste add in but overall this pumps me up. its honest and really good to see written down. and hes absolutely right about everything. i'm just a fuzz in class, i'm there but i'm not that active in discussions or initiative.

so i've been thinking. why can't i be more loud, more in your face. i never really thought of myself as a shy person. and i'm not. except for when it comes to sharing my opinions, thoughts, showing something off that i invested a lot of time in. and lets not beat around the bush at it any more..its a fear of rejection. which in this business is 99% of the game.

so i've got some thinking to do. figure out what it is that i am so god damn afraid of. 'fear of rejection' is a band aid. a label. i have to figure out what it really is that scares the shit out of me so much and face it. because i want to do this with my life...i just have to battle myself first, and everything after that will be sprinkles.

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