Team Talk: Lara and Liz
Lara Smith and Liz Simpson are in their final year of the RMIT advertising course and interns at Leo Burnett’s Melbourne. In this Team Talk they talk about entering the industry as young creatives.
Liz and I are from a generation of digitally native, avocado loving, social media obsessed young adults. We are two creative girls (with coincidentally the same initials) trying to stand out amongst the crowd of other wannabe junior art directors and copywriters.
This, of course, is easier said than done. Fully aware of how competitive the industry is to get into, we continuously push each other to get a foot, or even a toe in the door. Winning a pencil definitely does help and also reassures us we aren't completely crap at what we love. Yet because we both want the best out of our careers’, we stay up an extra hour to perfect our folio, struggle to balance our laptops on our knees while doing work on the train, send each other ads which we wish we could be a part of and gain as much experience we can get...Yep we are ad addicts.
To fuel our addiction we use social media in ways to push us creatively. Instagram provides us with a platform to create our own personal brand and share our creative work, Youtube allows us to watch tutorials about AfterAffects or Indesign, Linkedin allows us search for jobs, stalk agencies and people we want to work with one day.
We are in an age where the social, digital and technological world is ever changing and developing with every passing day. There is no choice but to adapt and embrace such developments, making the advertising industry even more stimulating and exciting to enter. See, we grew up with the tech revolution, so naturally we think digital, and can adapt to change as quickly as an Instagram update. The one change we both find daunting, but at the same time still extremely exciting, is the transition from student to full-time employees.
We all have a fear of not being able to land a job after uni, and this is something I like to call 'employability anxiety.’ It is because of this, Liz and I both agree that entering the workforce together and experiencing 'employability anxiety," is best done with your creative buddy by your side. It means double the amount of tabs open on job search engines, it means successes are more exciting, and it means that while pulling an all nighter is sill no fun, at least work can still be achieved through rotating coffee runs. And perhaps most importantly for us, it means we share our failures and disappointments, we are able to support each other through both the ups and downs.
We know the process of entering the industry isn't going to be all wins, and setbacks are a big part of the career we are entering. Whether it is a rejected job offer, creative brain freeze, or self doubt, we pick each other up then push each other to try again, again and again, until we eventually get somewhere. We are a team.
I’ve always been a competitive person, and growing up it seemed that creatively I was constantly competing against the same girl. Whether it in grade 4 art class or Viscom in year 11, she was always there working just hard and sometimes better. That girl was Lara. See, we grew up together in the same town going to the same schools, but it wasn’t until we reached university did we finally join forces, and I guess you could say the rest is history. Now, three years later here we are, on the cusp of graduating and making our attempts at entering the industry as a creative duo.
Entering the creative industry as a duo definitely has its advantages. When working independently we both have flaws in which we can struggle with. I for one can sometimes get too caught up in the little details of things, whilst Lara may overlook such details as she is driven to get the bigger picture done. However, when we put our minds together and when we collaborate on a project as a team, such ‘flaws’ are turned into incredible strengths. Suddenly you have a team that has the ability to not only produce creative and unique work but able to work fast-paced whilst still ensuring there is an eye for the little details that sometimes are left unnoticed.
What’s ahead of us as an up and coming creative team in 2018, can be at times be daunting and without a doubt has its challenges. Social media, for one, while it can be a great place to spark creativity, can also double as a platform that causes anxiety about our future. Our generation is one that loves to share every little win and success online (we’re both guilty of this on occasion), but at times though this can feel quite crippling. I think our fellow classmates would agree that this transparency leads us to constantly comparing ourselves, adding even more pressure to have our own successes.
However the effects of social media isn’t all bad, as at the same time this competitiveness acts as a propeller to push ourselves to always try our best and push a little harder, regardless of the outcomes. We have spent three years working tirelessly, consuming every bit of information, feedback and insight that we can to make sure we are best prepared to enter the industry. Being a young creative duo entering the workforce in 2018 is daunting, but it’s a little less so entering together, as we have each others back through all the failures we may face and successes we may, and hopefully will achieve.
Lara and Liz are about to graduate and on the lookout for their first full-time gig. You can find Lara’s work here. And Liz’s here. (Although, as you may have suspected, their books look pretty similar.)