Sunday, 5 July 2015

London | D&AD New Blood Exhibition 2015

Well, I did it, I became the person I never thought I'd be: a person who loves London.

Leaving London on Friday (however relieved I was to finally be resting my poor, tired feet) definitely brought with it a few feelings of sadness, and I suppose that's how I now know that it's where I see my future. I love the hustle and bustle, the fact that everyone has somewhere to be, the diversity, the excitement, the sheer amount of things there are to do, the fact that everyone heads to the pub after work, everything. Ok, perhaps not everything, but London definitely has an atmosphere and a vibe unlike anything that I've know while living in Barnsley and Middlesbrough over the last decade. It's ever changing, it's exciting, and I can't wait to one day live there and soak it up in all its glory. Actually, I'm not sure what the hell I'll do if I don't end up there.

All odes to London aside, I thought I'd discuss my time there and talk through what I got up to every day. We arrived in London last Monday at about 3.45pm and made our way to our accommodation in Dalston (which was fabulous by the way, i'd definitely recommend airbnb!) before heading to Revolution in America Square to meet up as a group of 17 for food and cocktails before New Blood started on the Tuesday. Many a mojito was consumed, and after that we walked down to the Thames for a slow stroll as the sun went down. It was a chilled out, relaxing evening that in no way, shape or form represented how the rest of the week would pan out.

Tuesday saw us all up and at the Old Spitalfields Market for 8am ready to set up, and by 1pm we were all exhausted, starving and (thankfully!) finished. Me, being the total airhead that I am, completely forgot to take any photos at any point from Tuesday to Thursday, regardless of me taking my camera out with me with the intention of doing so, so I've had to make do with stealing the above image from Teeser's blog. Will I ever learn? Probably not.

After set up I went out to meet my dad who happened to be in London too, and was treated to yet more cocktails at Las Iguanas, which is pretty much the best chain restaurant I've ever eaten at. After satisfying our stomachs, we headed out to Camden for a couple of hours and had a mooch around the market before I had to head back to New Blood ready for the private view. The private view was hot, I was sweaty and nervous as I showed up alone for half an hour, and by the end of the three hours my ankles were ready to give in, so I headed home for a shower and bed in preparation for my turn of manning the stall on Wednesday.

Having rested my feet and my nerves, on Wednesday we were up early again for a New Blood talk with BETC London about the secret to achieving happiness. The talk's conclusion was that working in advertising is the secret to happiness, and while I disagreed with that fact, the talk was entertaining and enjoyable regardless.

After the talk I headed back to our stall to man it until 4pm, and much to my delight I'd been left a business card from a creative director at a publishing house, so it's fair to say all the stress of the set up and private view had been well worth it. After standing around for a few hours chatting with industry members and other students, I met up with my dad again and explored Shoreditch for a while, going for yet more food and cocktails (what better way to spend an evening?!)

While we were up early again for another New Blood talk (this time with Google) on Thursday, it was a much more relaxed, chilled out day. The talk itself once again cemented why I have issues with advertising and why I find its ethics (or lack thereof) problematic, but it is interesting to hear from different creatives and understand how they work, what gets them ticking, and where the industry is heading to next, so nothing was wasted.

After the talk, I headed to oxford street with one objective: to spend all of my money in the new three storey lush store, and it's fair to say that I achieved it. The whole vibe of the store was fantastic; it was well laid out, had fabulous new products, and to top it off all of the staff were so friendly, chatty and helpful and made for a great shopping experience. Honestly, I can't wait until the next time I visit, both for more products that I intend to pick up and for the conversations I know i'll have with the staff. Lush is an absolutely fabulous brand, and I've no doubt it's one I'll remain loyal to throughout my life.

All Lush gushing aside, Thursday also saw me and my coursemate, Ashley, attend the Creative Conscience awards ceremony. It was a night of wine, snacks and networking, and me and Ashley were pleased to leave with a Bronze award for our Orbit & Yourbit project. After heading home to drop off our awards, we headed out to the D&AD afterparty in Shoreditch and ended up staying out until 3am, which was great at the time, but not so much at 7am the next morning when we had to be up and ready for stall take down...

After taking the stall down on the Friday (which was mostly done by the time I arrived, thankfully!) we headed out to the Breakfast Club for some late breakfast, and I've got to admit that I was a little disappointed with it – but if you never try, you'll never know! After that I made my way to South Kensington to meet a couple of friends for a mooch around the Natural History Museum, which was completely overrun with groups of school children. Normally that would be fine, but when you're exhausted, slightly hungover, and the weather's approaching 30 degrees, it's all a bit too much, so we headed back to our accommodation and chilled out for a few hours before making our way to King's Cross for our train home.

To conclude, London was exciting, exhausting and aspirational. While I definitely didn't have enough time over the 5 days to sit down and rest my feet, it's definitely got me excited and looking forward to what my future could potentially be. I'm hoping that things could fall into place over the next couple of months as I hopefully hear back about jobs that I've applied for, but if they don't, iIm definitely determined now to make sure that it happens, whether it's 2 months or 2 years down the line. 

If I've learnt anything on my course, it's that graduating isn't easy. It requires a lot of autonomy, persistence and a positive outlook, and I'm going to try my hardest to possess all three of those qualities over the coming months to ensure that I stay focussed and on track towards a life I'd like to live. They say nothing worthwhile comes easily, so I'm prepared to be putting in now until I get something back out of it – here's to the future. 

1 comment:

  1. London has so much to offer and from the lovely photos it looks like you had such a great time !!!!