My week has been spent in the wake of the first major project I worked on at Karmarama with my creative partner, Russell Hendrie. It’s a TV spot for BBC Radio 6 Music that has been well-received and of which we are immensely proud (as are our parents).
It’s our first proper TV spot, so we’ve found it hard to resist scouring Twitter for people’s comments this week. It still feels strange to think how many people might have seen something that was solely inside our heads a couple of months ago. We had a great team to help us make the ad and we even managed to get a Rolling Stones track on it (that won’t happen again any time soon). The finished thing got Pick of the Week in Campaign. We couldn’t really have asked for a better start – we came into the agency when they were looking to hire a new team and we were handed our dream brief.
We’ve been getting stuck into some new briefs, including two new projects for Bombardier and The White Ribbon Alliance, which are both exciting, but I can’t help but feel we’ve had things a little too good so far. As we’ve been told by more than one person: "It’s all downhill from here, boys." We laugh, but question whether they are actually joking or not.
All week, I’ve felt the mounting pressure to live up to people’s expectations. And while I know pressure can be a good thing, this week my brain has just been jammed with the thought that "every idea I have has to be really, really good", rather than shifting that thought aside to make room for good ideas to crop up.
When we can’t get ideas, we go for a walk. We’ve done a few miles this week. I think I could draw a pretty accurate map of every street around our office from memory. I don’t like sitting at a table for too long – things start to feel stale. So we move around the office, try working in different environments, go get a tea, go get a coffee, go check if there’s any leftover sandwiches from meetings. It’s always the falafel ones that nobody wants. And then there’s the ping-pong room – a gift and a curse. This week, we came up with a game called "idea pong", where we try to say a new idea every time we hit the ball. It makes for some slow games.
The plan for the week ahead is to learn how to get our work done at work, so that our free time is free. And not to find ourselves working on a Sunday, because that makes Monday feel like a Tuesday and, before you know it, you don’t know where you are. But all of this is why we wanted to be creatives in the first place. Not for the falafel leftovers and the ping-pong, but for the challenge. For the pay-off when you succeed at the challenge in front of you.
And maybe a bit for the ping-pong.
Paul Bailey is a creative at Karmarama