What I Learned from Creating 20 Ads in a Month
20 Advertisements. 30 Days. What inspired me to tackle this challenge of creating conceptualized ads for a month was a post Jeremy Carson, who is a Creative Director for Saatchi & Saatchi, shared on LinkedIn. This is what he posted:
I was aiming to complete the whole challenge, but unfortunately the last few days were hectic for me with work and personal events.
For the past year, I wanted to improve my Photoshop skills, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for me. Mind you, I hadn't touched my Photoshop program in about four years, so I had to brush up on the basics. It was quite interesting pondering about what the outcome would be, considering my current Photoshop skills.
Why Did I Do This?
Before I started this challenge, I was interested in copywriting. I reached out to peers (who are copywriting interns) and copywriters via LinkedIn and spoke with them about their day-to-day tasks. I wanted to begin writing and designing to discover if my passion was in the creative side of advertising.
The Creative Journey
The first few days, I woke up with true passion. I wrote down all of the brands I wanted to create spec work for and began concepting. While I was working in Photoshop, ideas came to me like a match was being struck. It was instant. I would work on my computer for a couple of hours a day either at home or at Barnes & Noble and just created. During this time, I had so much fun brainstorming.
About ten days in, my passion was slightly fading. My discipline was still there, but that burning desire in my visceral cavity was almost lost. I started to question if copywriting/designing on a serious level was really my calling after I experimented more with it. On the side, I started writing whatever came to my mind in my notebook that I carry.
Then, I met a woman on LinkedIn and had a conversation with her about attending portfolio school. I was seeking to find out if it was really worth it (still debating that). After she sent me a link to the portfolios of students who graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, I discovered portfolios full of creative strategy work. This is where I found my true passion. Now, I'm looking to pursue a career in creative strategy or account management for an advertising agency.
What I Learned
Creativity can be found all around you. Once you begin associating words with experiences, ideas come to you 10x faster. Write down some ideas and then some more.Originality is more difficult than you think. There were so many moments when I came up with a creative idea, later finding out that it had already been used before. Try gaining inspiration from those already used ideas and divert your thinking from there.Patience is key. If you want to keep those neurons firing with creative ideas, take a deep breath. Maybe even meditate. Towards the end, I began losing my train of thought because I built up anxiety of executing a decent ad. Once I took deep breaths, I was able to focus again.Designing isn't for everybody. It's a lot more work than you might expect (and I'm doing this for free!). If you have that passion for designing, I applaud you. Although I'm still very intrigued by design, I'm looking to direct that path towards the strategy side.
If you're interested in the creative side of advertising, I challenge YOU to take on Jeremy Carson's challenge. You really exercise your brain and learn more about your creative potential.
Here are a couple of my personal favorite ads that I made:
Thanks for reading!