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Student Work is Work: Notes to the Industry's New Blood

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It's the final stretch to the New Blood Awards finish line. As the deadline approaches, you'd be forgiven for entering panic, or even hyperventilation mode. But take a deep breath, because we're here with a metaphorical brown paper bag. Well, two of our fave fellas are actually. Jon Kallus and Nils Leonard from Grey London have a pep talk for you. Last minute inspiration awaits. 

The Hustle

You click a link. You read a brief. You have an idea. It's terrible.

You re-read the brief. You have another idea. It's terrible.

You re-read the brief. You have another idea. Wait. It’s not terrible.

Then you have another. And another. And another. Finally; magic. Inspiration so pure it must be divine. You tell your creative partner. She doesn't hate it. You ask your Mum. She loves it. You love it too. So you scamp it up. Write a manifesto. Sketch out the logic. Press release next. Tight logo as well. Along comes an app. A film. And a case study too. Rupert does the voice. He doesn't really get what you're doing, but he’s doing it for a fiver, so you feel it's okay. You sit back. Yes.

Want to head out? Hell yes. You head out. Have fun. Way past your bedtime. Your eyes pop open. No. You pick up your phone. You re-read the brief. Wait. You were wrong. You sit up in bed. You switch on the light. You tap out a sentence. Then a paragraph. Then a page. You blink. It’s 16.59 GMT on 16 March 2016. You hit submit.

Weeks later in London, a small group of Women and Men spend precisely twelve seconds reading your opening line. They look at each other. Your idea pokes a part of their brains that hasn't been touched all day. Their voices rise. People you’ve never met begin to develop genuine emotions about something that popped into your frontal lobe at four in the morning one frigid Friday. For real. This hustle is what New Blood represents to me. This hustle is why I'm excited to be on board as a Judge this year. This hustle is what I want to see come through in response to the brief. And this hustle is my top piece of advice as well. Good luck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    – Jon Kallus (Creative Director, Grey London)


Dear students. A note on the past.

This shit used to happen behind closed doors. ‘Yeah, show us your stuff and I’ll tell you if it’s good.’

Then some baggy senior bastard would nick the good bit to use in a client meeting later that day and tell you to wait in line for your turn at the big job. Things have changed. It’s all out there now. Student work is work. There’s no difference between ideas that have or haven’t happened now.  

If it’s good, if it’s got something in it you can’t ignore, that you want to talk about, that you have to share, it will fly. Student or not. So make something that contributes or interrupts.

If you’re hungry enough. If you get that this isn’t some invisible scamp competition, but a chance to write a headline. If you want the most talented people to be scared. If you want the waiting line to disappear. If you want to assassinate the average placement team in front of you and put a red dot on the chancer in the top job. If you want the most ambitious clients to buy you for their innovation department before their tired agency does. Then take D&AD’s New Blood Awards and smash it like your life depended on it. Win it. Throttle it to make you famous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      – Nils Leonard (Chief Creative Officer, Grey London)


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