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New Blood and Guts - Halloween Special

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We wanted to put together a New Blood-curdling Halloween special. So who were we gonna call? Ghostbusters? No. We called you. Well, tweeted. This isn’t 1996 after all. We asked you to conjure up your darkest tales of interview nightmares, deadline disasters and pain-in-the-neck presentations. From the bloody and bat shit crazy to the down-right grave, we've pulled together the best (worst) of your Octsobering horror stories.

Deadline Disasters

Putting the Blood in New Blood: Gary Reedman

"An hour before my final ever deadline in my last year I needed to create some printed mock ups, I put on a fresh blade and was ready to go. Before my first cut I said "lets make this quick" I then cut along the print out feeling a sharp but small pain. I had sliced a small chunk of my thumb clean off, quickly I pushed the work away before the blood poured out for the next several hours, leaving a friend to make it for me while I gained an extension…"

Staying silent as the grave: Anonymous

"So, circumstance and ill health conspired to mean that I submitted my dissertation not just late, but on the last possible day that anything could be submitted ever. As in, even if all of your grandmothers, your parents, and your childhood pet died all at once, AND you were laid low with consumption, AND every piece of research you'd done had been stolen by academically inclined burglars – you still couldn't get an extension past that point.

That day, I'd printed and bound my dissertation, then in four feverish and sleep-deprived hours written my last outstanding essay (a comparison of the feminist movements in early 20th century Japan and America, if you're interested). The faculty office closed at 4pm and if you weren't there to hand in by then, then sorry son. I'd printed my last essay and joined the queue at about 3.45. There were a number of us there, sorry stragglers from the academic year. We all had our reasons to be handing in on this final day. But, like with prison, you don't talk about why you're there.

As the queue moved forward, people kept joining. Until at 1 minute to 4, the staff ushered us all into the (very small) faculty office reception. At 4pm they shut and locked the door. BUT STILL PEOPLE CAME. Those of us who'd made the cut off point were busily filling in our forms, stapling, handing in work. But the late ones. They were outside. Knocking on the door. Shouting to be let in. Crying. We couldn't leave by that route. The staff let us behind the counter, into the office proper, and led us to another door – one that from the outside looked just like any other. When we left, we looked back down the corridor to see the distant figures of the late ones. Still there. All hope now lost."

Dead awkward: Paula Pascua

"I was working as an intern for this design studio back in 2007. We were doing this identity project for a famous summer music festival whose main band was Pearl Jam. In fact, without it the festival was nothing, the other bands were a bit lame. We developed this awesome identity that consisted mainly of posters in the shape of a huge plaster with a bit of blood where Pearl Jam's name would feature. Looked upon from distance it looked like a massive plaster on the wall. In a word, it looked cool. It draw your eye. It was great.

Apart from several posters, the identity included flyers, emails, a website, invites, CD (yes, back then we still used CDs) artwork... A LOT of work. We'd been working on this for a couple of months and everybody was quite happy with the work. Then, disaster struck. A week from delivering and launching the campaign, with pretty much everything produced, somebody had the idea of actually presenting the artwork to Pearl Jam. They HATED it.

They hated it so much they refused to play the festival if we were going ahead with that idea. Turned out the previous year somebody had died on one of their gigs so they saw it as disrespectful. We obviously didn't know that, so in less than a week, we had to develop a new concept and produce all the work again to be launched on the deadline. The work was crap compared to the previous one but at least we managed to do it. Although I'll never forget how Pearl Jam screwed up this amazing campaign and made my studio lose quite a bit of money. At least we got to see Pearl Jam for free..."

Interview Nightmares

She did the prep. But expecting it to go perfectly was witchful thinking: Emmeline Pidgen

"I’d received the call to interview for my absolute dream University illustration course, and, obviously I was terrified.  I’d spent the weeks beforehand prepping my portfolio, making sure it was perfect and rooting through all my work and achievements to choose the very best pieces.  I sat patiently in the corridor for my name to be called, and eventually I was greeted by two pretty stern looking chaps, poised to cast a critical eye over my work and grill me on my passion for the industry.

Things were going well, I was a little shaky, but confident in my answers.  The portfolio pages were turned, and turned, and then…what?! Proudly displayed, centre page, amidst my illustrations was my 1991 FIVE METRE SWIMMING BADGE! My interviewers looked a little confused (though, come on, obviously impressed) and I stammered “Ummh! That’s not meant to be there, I can swim five meters though!”.

I did end up with that place on the dream-course, I’d like to think it was on the quality of my work and not my swimming ability - but who can say?"

Stomach churner : Justin Brett

"Half way through an interview with a client I suddenly get really ill...in the stomach...I have to run out the room and as I'm new I don't know the quicker route to the loo, unfortunately I arrive seconds too late and I'm left to ponder my career....suddenly the fire alarm goes off and an evacuation of a different sort happens in the building...but obviously I can't leave...all the while my client is alone probably not best pleased... Luckily for me they don't come looking and I have some time to sort Shit out so to speak...."

A bad omen: Lauren Benson

"Bomb scare in the middle of my interview for the Disney Store.  Whole shopping centre was evacuated. The Manager commended my quick reflexes and ability to stay calm.  I informed her this was probably the least interesting bomb evacuation I had experienced. I then listed several bomb scares I had witnessed and also a riot I had inadvertently joined in Times Square. She never trusted me. I got the job but there were funny looks for the whole Christmas season."

Voodoos and don'ts: Anonymous

"My tutor once lied about my experience when trying to secure me a work placement - this ended up backfiring horribly as the person she was emailing turned out to be an ex-employee of the place I 'supposedly' had loads of experience... I was left pretty red faced as it quickly became clear they had never heard of me, and I ended up looking like a fool. Lesson learned: Don't lie on your CV. And definitely don't let other people lie on your behalf - no matter how helpful they were trying to be."

Pain-in-the-Neck Presentations

The windowless room: Anonymous  

"During a work placement in Mumbai I was set a brief to work on, and then left to my own devices for a month in an empty office with no windows, no other people and no internet. At the end of the month it became apparent that I had to give a presentation to lots of important people showing off my amazing 'project'. However, due to language barriers and my lack of contact with the outside world, it turned out I had been slaving away on the wrong brief for weeks on end. I only came to realise this during a very, very awkward presentation. Ouch."

Think you can go one better? Tweet us your interview nightmares, deadline disasters and placement horror stories. Or, if you’d like to find out how New Blood can help catapult you into a creative career, enter the D&AD New Blood Awards and see if you can get your hands on a Pencil.

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