Since I was a Face to Watch along with Michael Thomason in 2013, when we worked at McCann London as creative partners, there have been a few years of Rudyard Kipling-like levels of triumph and disaster.
Triumph: winning the Alzheimer’s society pitch at Fallon
What I learned: do your research. The only briefs I’ve researched as much as this one were ones that resulted in awards for me. Also, the creative directors had complete confidence in deciding which route to pursue early on, so we had longer to craft the voice.
Disaster: my creative partner left Fallon
What I learned: you need the emotional and creative agility to trust your partner and be able to do both sides of the job if things break down. I learned a lot from Michael about his approach to art direction that I still apply today.
Triumph: starting fiction writing
What I learned - the more you write, the more you can write. I started by taking an evening course at Faber & Faber. Everything I’ve learned about writing fiction has improved my copywriting. My advice is to start small – about 250 words a day or the equivalent for your craft will ease you into it.
Disaster: working on my own didn’t suit me
What I learned: people are generous with their help. My ex-boss Simon Learman suggested that I team up with an ex-colleague, Miguel Soares. If you’ve got a problem, get in touch with everyone who can help you solve it.
Teaming up with Miguel
What I learned: having a new partner refreshed my creativity and rebooted my motivation. Miguel brought in a new source of inspiration, experience and support, and we quickly started making ads that were, happily, effective for our clients.
Triumph: judging the D&AD new blood awards
What I learned: junior teams’ creativity suffers no inhibitions. I’d love to keep that level of creative freedom.
Disaster: being made redundant at Fallon
What I learned: redundancy can be a wonderful thing. It forces you to move your career forward and eat a whole tub of Ben & Jerry’s. Miguel and I got in touch with everyone we knew and started at Bartle Bogle Hegarty two days later.
Triumph: freelancing at some iconic agencies
What I learned: as a freelance, you learn more intensely because you constantly work with new creative directors and experience different brands.
Triumph: moving to Droga5 New York
What I learned: gratitude. The people I’ve met are grateful to be here. October was Droga5’s Employee Appreciation Month, featuring goodies ranging from department heads cooking breakfast for employees to portrait photographer Platon coming in to tell us his jaw-dropping stories.
Following your dreams halfway across the world takes resilience, but being married to an account man makes the process that much easier.
Chloe Grindle is a senior copywriter at Droga5 New York and featured in Campaign's Faces to Watch in 2013.