This is a rant.
It is not only common sense but a commonly held view in this whole media industry that in order to come up with interesting work, you have to be interesting – and interested – yourself. One would think so. However, from my personal experience of talking to over 40 people in the field, most with over 10 years of experience, I can say that not everyone believes this, or wants to hear about who you are vs. what you can do for them. For example, I do a variety of things and have a whole range of interests, that result in me going to an evening where this year’s Booker Prize-nominated authors read excerpts from their books, attending a contemporary dance performance in a park, watching a couple of independent films at the The Times BFI 52nd London Film Festival, going to a couple of art galleries, reading The Black Swan and taking a 3-hour walk around various boroughs of London that I’d never been to before. All this in the span of a few days. You tell me, does that make me interesting?
On the other hand, every time I pop into Jai and Wal’s blog, who are a team of creatives also looking for work in London, I notice the insane amount of negative comments they have saying that all the things they do are advertising-related and that they need to, and I quote, ‘Go skydiving. Visit an art exhibition of a visual style you don’t like. Read a children’s book. Take acid. Something.’ Which would be brilliant except for the fact that I’m trying that route and it’s not working for me. They’re trying the opposite, and it’s not working for them. (The argument of ‘who you are’ vs. ‘what you can do for employers’, remember?)
Does anyone have any useful answers? I’d appreciate it.