This year, the highly successful and sought-after Creative LIAisons program has morphed into the first-ever, global virtual one-to-one coaching and networking sessions for young creatives. 150 of the most-experienced and most-awarded creative professionals in the business committed to coach 150 young professionals in this virtual program. Pablo Tesio is a copywriter at Serviceplan Madrid. Here he reflects on his learnings during LIAisons 2021 program, so far.
I was lucky enough to be selected as a Mentee in the LIAisons 2021 and what I’ve learned so far is invaluable.
We live in a fast-paced society where deadlines are for yesterday and the personal bar, which we measure ourselves with, goes higher every day. That leaves little room for self-exploration and deep questions about our life paths.
We seem to be running, but somehow stay still. Waiting for something to happen. For someone to tell us what to do next.
What these meetings have given me is the complete opposite. I received the gift to stop and look at the bigger picture in order to get in motion.
Both of my mentors have shared valuable advice for my career and life. Things that at first sight seem obvious, take on a different meaning when understood. And if Pedro Prado’s talk fueled my inspiration, Rupen Desai’s was the spark that ignited it.
In no particular order here are 6 things that resonated with me:
1. Surround yourself with beauty: The world is ugly enough already. There are bad things happening everywhere and unpleasantness seems to be all over the place. Try to expose yourself to great ideas, beautiful design, nice architecture, positivity and excellent craftsmanship. Avoid ugliness. Find what beauty means to you and try to protect and nurture it every day.
2. Become a great presenter: Delivering ideas whether it be to our co-workers, directors or clients is one of the most important things of our profession. The delivery itself can either bring life or kill an idea. Become a master of presenting your ideas.
3. Connect the dots that don’t exist: Great ideas are those that seem to be simply impossible. To put Jean-Claude Van Damme doing a split between two trucks or advertise a moldy burger are ideas that defy rationalism, but somehow work. You must be able to connect dots that don’t exist in order to deliver fresh, unexpected, über-creative ideas.
4. Be persistent: Not all clients will let you do great work. It’s not personal. Maybe there is no budget, maybe their bosses are idiots or maybe it wasn’t the right day. And even though empathy and persistence will come in handy for every situation, persistence is the key. If your idea doesn’t work, throw them a better one. If they say no, find a better one. Keep pushing. Find that client that allows you to do great work and give them everything you’ve got.
5. Make people think: You should allow people to complete the message in their heads. Creativity’s purpose should be to ignite a spark in people’s minds. Don’t deliver the message all chewed up, find something people care about and let them take it and complete the meaning.
6. Be nice: Being an asshole to people will eventually come back and get you. No one deserves to be treated poorly and the truth is that being nice to people can take you far in your career. Even when you have every right to be an asshole, don’t be. Take a deep breath and leave the room.
Overall, the Creative LIAisons Coaching program was a great experience that came as a breath of fresh air. Having the possibility to connect with these coaches and pick their brains for an hour was awesome. Plus, they are really cool down-to-earth people and I’ll keep in touch with them for sure.
The LIAisons program is one of the most interesting in the creative industry, and I encourage those who read this article to expand on it and bring it to more people. If you are young and looking for a mentor. If you are experienced, pass on your knowledge. It is the best way to grow and find better solutions for our lives.
Anyway, this is far from being an ending. As I look forward to my last talk with Pete Case, the true work begins. I’ll take this pause to act. Time is limited, so I better get started. Because the truth is that good things come to those who don’t wait for a brief.