Guest Blog Posts

Me, My Chimp and I. And the sandpit. - Guest blog by Chris Place

Chris is an exceptional Creative Director who has a love for fun ideas that push boundaries and unleashing your creativity. In fact, I think we met at the Chip Shop Awards a few years ago, which is all about Creativity without Limits. This brilliant blog post shows how he adopts that philosophy for himself.
— Bank of Creativity

I’m hearing a lot about ‘Chimp Mode’ at the moment, Chimp Paradox, how we need to control our inner chimp, dampen the flames of instant reaction, think a little first and all that jazz… And no doubt some very, very, very, clever people will disagree with what I’m saying, but I’m saying NO! Well at least No for me.                                               

“Manage yourself and become the person you would like to be.”

Erm… am I not already who I’m meant to be? Dunno? Maybe? Maybe not?

Chimp says,  “Oi! You are doing just fine being you pal.”

I’m a bit perplexed by all this mind control stuff, I am who I am, and my personality is what makes me unique. In a creative environment it’s everyone’s individual uniqueness that comes together in the ideas melting pot that helps to make interesting ideas. That’s my understanding of it. And I think working in a playful creative environment it’s the perfect place to be a bit Chimpy? 

My chimp brain sits on my shoulder like a best mate, as said, I keep getting told and am reading that I need to harness this chimp? The chimp who part defines me. So you can see my struggle? This chimp has an active role in my work, sometimes I just blab out things without thinking too much about it, but that’s how I am and how I work and others around me who perhaps have caged their chimps (Snide feckers) take that chimp screech and think harder on it and build upon it, and I guess that’s true creativity at play.

Now I’m no Psychologist and I have no real understanding of such things, But I do think I understand myself, I might not understand all the reasons why and such, but I like to think I know who I am. Recently I was lucky enough to do some management training at work all about different learning styles and it turns I’m out I’m an ‘Activist’ and have an emotional character. Makes sense with my chimp being heavily influential in my life.

I’m pretty lucky that the company I work for are cool with individuality and like people being who they are, as long as that’s not offensive to others or abusive to the wider world – And I’m certainly not that. My chimp is a nice chimp, he might be a bit unruly at times and instantaneous but he’s not all animal, he has a human side to him too. Or is that me, or are we both one and the same?

Anyway my human brain rambles on…

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Be who you truly are in a creative environment and let your own potential shine through, its easy to fall in line with other people’s way of looking and thinking about stuff, it’s easy to be a ‘Creative Chameleon’ and copy someone else’s style. Nab inspiration from others for sure. But don’t mimic personality, or you’re already a cliché.

Embrace your chimp. Don’t stick it in a cage that is well snide. Unless you’re a Chief Financial Officer and then I guess that cage is well and truly locked up.

Follow Chris on Twitter @Placey80

Could being anxious millennials make us better creatives? - Guest blog by Ellie Hubble

Despite creating some amazing ideas and having a great talent for writing, Ellie has shared stories of imposter syndrome and anxiety. But does this actually make her an even better creative? Here Ellie shares her story and shows how she channels her ‘millennial’ anxiety.
— Bank of Creativity

I’m a millennial.

(Sorry).

And along with the rest of the world - when I’m not monopolising avocado yields or just whingeing somewhere – I hate the term. More than that, though, I hate what comes along with it.

The always having to be ‘on’, always worrying about what’s next, always judging yourself against others because you’ve been conditioned that way. Yada yada. A recent BBC article on ‘millennial burnout’ explains that ‘it’s all about being hyper-healthy, hyper-clued-up, hyper-fashionable – and it’s exhausting.’

It sure as hell is exhausting and more than that it’s boring.

But an intriguing thought struck me recently:

Could all this ‘millennial anxiety’ be positively fuelling my creative career?

Let’s see.

The always ‘on’ mentality?

It means I’m thinking about and documenting words and ideas whenever inspiration strikes. I can work on the go and am never limited by my surrounding set-up. Texting on the night bus? How about tactics on the night bus?

The dependence on technology?

I can write for any platform or format. Twitter? Yep. Web? Yep. App? Yep. When the machines enslave us all, maybe I’ll curry favour through delightful binary.

The narcissism?

I’m obsessed with myself, so naturally that extends to my job as a creative. Being a millennial means I know my work is the only significant work going in the land. Everything I do is of crucial import and no one else could possibly get me.

The self-doubt or ‘imposter syndrome’?

It helps me to stay modest and powers me to work harder in the creative industries. I’m also constantly expecting my boss to stand up and bellow ‘get out, fiend’ in his best Ian McKellen voice.

The worry?

It adds pressure that forces me to hit deadlines and fuels me to produce the best work I possibly can. It also leads to crippling mental and physical health issues but let’s just sweep that under the rug.

The comparison with others?

It keeps me competitive, researching what others are doing and always topping up the inspiration. It also means I’m constantly coveting other people’s wondrously emerald grass.

So what do we reckon then? Could being an anxious millennial make us better creatives?

Maybe I’m asking the wrong question. Maybe the real question is: how do you be a millennial and a creative…while being content?

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There’s no such thing as no. - Guest blog by Lucy Gabbie

I first met Lucy a number of years ago when she was looking for advice in how to go from accounts into creative. She faced a real struggle without a typical creative background behind her, but her determination was incredible and I’m not surprised to see her doing such amazing campaigns. I’m sure she will be Creative Director soon enough.
— Bank of Creativity
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Straight out of uni with an art history degree, a creative passion and no job. It’s hard to know what industry is the right one to go into. I read a lot about advertising and liked the hybrid between art/graphics combined with business - so there I was applying to advertising agencies. I managed to win a creative pioneers intern in account management at an agency in Manchester where 20 of us were picked. That intern ended up being extended to 6 months. As soon as I started I found out about what the creative department consisted of. Ideas. Ideas. Ideas. Copywriters and Art Directors were partnered together and they came up with big conceptual ideas for campaigns.

I want that, I thought. But I knew the road ahead was going to be tricky.

After asking for a weeks work experience in the creative department, I knew I had to do this. On I went to peruse my day job in account management. My night job became building up a portfolio full of ideas and meeting as many people as I could, to get advice and feedback. I enrolled on a creative advertising short course at St Martins which helped me build up my skills and gave me the confidence that I could do this. I also managed to reach out to Nick, who worked in the creative department at my agency. Throughout the couple of years, he helped me massively. Giving me briefs on the side and guiding me in the right direction. I tried to move into the creative department but because I hadn’t gone down the traditional route of a creative advertising degree, I wasn’t taken seriously. I needed a partner. A book. Software skills.

Doors were shut. I was told no.

But one of the creative directors I reached out to for advice saw something in me and wanted to meet with me. He ended up taking me under my wing as he saw big ideas. I quit my job in accounts and went to pursue the start of my creative journey. I got trained in adobe suite, got to work on big projects and embraced my first role as a creative. I will always remember the kindness and belief that CD saw in me. I always had a dream to move to London; to go to the best and learn from those better than me. After getting a job offer at BBH, off I went to the capital as an art director. There I got partnered up with a copywriter. Together, we worked on big briefs for British Airways and Tesco. It was tough and brutal - but I’m so glad I had my time there.

Then, I decided to go freelance for a while and gained good experience at Oliver (and won a Chip Shop Award along the way), before going permanent at Wunderman with my fellow copywriter Georgie. We were bold, passionate and came up with fun and unusual ideas. We won a couple of awards along the way, and people seemed to love what we do. After a couple of years, I decided I wanted to go solo and explore working for a brand, rather than an agency. I wanted to work for a brand that I could understand like the back of my hand, a brand I believed in. I had had enough of insurance and supermarket brands that didn’t stand for anything.

Then came Heist. Heist is one of those brands that once you know, you know. It’s bold and challenging the status quo. for those that haven't heard of Heist, we’re disrupting the underwear industry, making woman’s underwear that's comfortable and actually works. After three intense interviews, I got offered the role and began my journey at London’s top start up and I love it. It's challenging, a rollercoaster at times, but super exciting. I’ve just come up with an idea for an OOH campaign we’re running at the moment called "Rip It Off." Shapewear is so uncomfortable, many women can't wait to take it off. The campaign allows people to psychically rip off an image of uncomfortable shapewear to reveal Heist's shapewear that you won't want to rip off. Hopefully this campaign will remind people to rip off their actual shapewear and replace it with Heist's shapewear that actually works.

Persistence and passion got me where i am today in my career. Don't let “no” put you off. It's not going to be an easy ride - you'll get knock backs, you'll get people telling you to pick a different career - all sorts. But if this is a career you truly want and believe in - go for it. You can do whatever you want to do. My dad once said to me, wherever there's a will there's a way, and that's what I live by. It may be an element of luck and timing so far for me, but mainly not taking no for an answer.

Last Night a Creative Saved my Life - Guest blog by Ze Anwar

Ze has been a huge inspiration to many people including myself. He has fought through mental health issues and become one of the most consistent creatives of the OMB community. His ideas have improved massively and he always encourages others to do well. This has seen him win awards and force his way into the industry whilst fighting for diversity and inclusion within the creative world. This post is a privilege to be able to share.
— Bank of Creativity

I remember when I first came across One Minute Briefs on Twitter about 3 years ago, when OMB were running a brief for the NHS choir. At that time I was a NHS whistleblower and I was campaigning vigorously on social media for justice for myself and other whistleblowers. Being a NHS whistleblower really destroyed my life, I had just recovered from a suicide attempt after losing my job and I was battling PTSD every day.

Finding One Minute Briefs really saved my life, it was like a beacon for me to try something new. I was really finding it hard to find a job as I was blacklisted from working in the NHS where I had a solid 5 years of experience within NHS procurement.

So I thought let me focus on something away from the toxic environment of whistleblowing, I had a family to support and wanted to start a new career path. I always felt I was a creative type of person, So on the next brief I entered, and from there I haven’t stopped entering and I don’t think I ever missed a brief since I joined.

The OMB community was really supportive of my work and I gained so much respect for every member of the community, who are a talented bunch and very competitive, which is a good thing as this pushes you to reach your potential and beyond.

In my first Year I won ‘Most Prolific Omble’ award at the OMB awards which was held in Manchester, and the following year I won OMB Omble of the year and just last year I won that award again, which was such a life changing experience for me as I also won a chance to work in a creative agency for 3 weeks, I had so many ideas and I was involved in some TV and Radio work, which was created by the wonderfully talented David Felton, and I had one of my ideas chosen for a car advertising campaign. Unfortunately this did not lead to a full time job, but I learnt so much I was thankful for the experience and plan to carry on fighting for a chance to express myself in the industry, which is crying out for diversity.

I would say OMB saved my life and I am eternally grateful to Nick, who I class as a very good friend/brother, who is supportive of all the Ombles and goes out of his way to help and nurture every aspect of Ombles creative learning experience.

My favourite brief I worked on was for Isabella, a young child who has neuroblastoma Cancer. As I had worked for the NHS, it made me feel like I was helping people again. My poster was chosen for a short video, which got over 30 million views and featured on TV raising a lot of money in the process.

I treat every OMB as a serious brief and at the same time have fun with my creative learning, which you don’t get to do at an agency. I recommend anyone who is creative to enter One Minute Briefs, no matter your level, as, by entering, not only do you get to enter briefs from world famous clients but you get to train your brain. We are no different to athletes and we have to train to stay on top of our game.

My final two points which are very close to my heart is to do with my mental health. I find writing traumatic (more so with my whistleblower experience). I was at very low point, I had lost all hope on life, my dad had just died and I had a new baby which I could not support financially. I did do art and design at college a long time ago and I found that exploring my creativity helped with my mental health, and One Minute Brief is a great tool to help, and I recommend anyone with mental health to give a go!

My last point about one minute briefs is about diversity, in all my time in the creative field I have found the whole advertising industry very negative towards black and ethnic minorities, but I never found this with One Minute Briefs as it is the most welcoming and diverse communities in UK advertising bar none.

Once again I would like to thank the following who have helped me along my journey Louise Chorley, Richard Bayley, Gary Lewis, David Fenton, Matthew Wyatt and many many more, and a big thank you to Nick Entwistle who has created such a vibrant community.

To all the newbies who are thinking of joining in OMB, have no fear and go create….

Follow Ze on Twitter.

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How One Minute Briefs' brilliance gave me resilience - Guest blog by Gary Lewis

Gary has been a huge advocate of One Minute Briefs over the last few years and in this post he shares his story about how the community gave him something back when he needed it the most.
— Bank of Creativity

I’ve well documented my creative love affair with OMB. And yes, it’s still a life-changer and a game changer. But last year there was a new layer of depth revealed beyond the puns and banter, creativity and personal development. Some of the community I was part of and vociferously supported, gave it back in a time of confidence shaking personal uncertainty.

What? Why? Where? When? Who? Questions, questions. Well, let’s start with the why. Professionally, it was a rocky year, and as a freelancer you soon get to intimately know what the much proclaimed ‘feast or famine’ effect is like.

Like a resting actor, I was ‘between’ jobs, but my confidence had taken an absolute battering and the ‘between’ was stretching on. The daily LinkedIn trawl was starting to chip away at the soul. Leads stayed cold and recruiters were largely ineffective or unresponsive.

I doubted my ability as a writer. I reflected on certain situations that led me to that point in time, and wondered if I’d made the right life choices? (classic imposter syndrome).

Here’s the rub. I’ve met a fair few OMBles in real life now, and had plenty of conversations offline with them. I’ve offered advice and support. I’ve got some back, collaborated and simply shot the breeze with many. But it was one that came back to me and asked me to join her on a new venture.

Massive shout-out to Kate Crawford. She’s an inspirational figure – a fantastic creative, highly respected and skilled marketer, and having talked to her, a tirelessly devoted mum who’s seemingly managing to juggle everything.

Cutting to the chase (I do get there, eventually) she asked me to become an affiliate of her new company. She’d seen my OMB work and was looking to gather a crack team of copywriters (self-christened C-Team) from around the country to work with her.

I jumped at the chance. Not only was it a great opportunity when the wolf was taking a battering ram to the door, but because (after a fantastic hour long personal conversation) she ‘got’ me. And, I was soon to be in very esteemed company.

Dave Harland? Liverpudlian copy legend. Clare Jennings? From OMB copy ingénue to carving out a tasty career (Clare, you need to write about your career jump into copywriting for the BOC blog).

I worked with the C-Team on several projects over the summer of 2018, was referred to new clients along the way by the team, and we continue to support and inspire each other as a group (there’s still not a collective noun for copywriters!).

Yes. I’m proud to be a copywriter. But any creative role will be tough at times. The trick is not to give up on yourself. Resilience can come from unlikely quarters. 

Use OMB to learn and be social. Be the best you and you’ll find the support you need when you need it. Just look at what happened to @ZedTrafficker last year… 

Follow Gary on Twitter:

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How to conquer your fears & write your first ever blog post in the process - Guest Blog Post by Louise Chorley

Through our talks, workshops and One Minute Briefs platform, we like to encourage people to share their ideas, thoughts and fears and encourage others to help build their confidence and yours. This post by Louise Chorley shows how she defeats her fears & we hope it will inspire you to too.
— Bank of Creativity

Shut up Elsie 

Mistakes. Been there, done that, analysed them, I’m over it. Most of my mistakes involve third parties - I wasn't in complete control, so it’s easy to let them go.


Missed opportunities due to the paralysing fear that I’ll make myself look like an idiot, well, they’re a different story altogether. It's with them that my biggest regrets lie. Those opportunities were missed solely by me, listening to me, when I told myself that I wasn’t good enough. I listened to fear and I let fear win. 

I am quite often on the receiving end of kind words, endorsements, and words of encouragement, and yet fear barely remembers any of them, but you can be sure that bitch can recite every single negative comment, criticism and put-down, word for word, dating back to my days of morning milk and knee high socks, with added venomous tone of voice for dramatic effect. It can be hard to ignore the voice of fear when she’s so bloody convincing.

As someone who works in the creative industry where stand out is the holy grail, and fortune most certainly favours the brave, I need to shut this voice up, or at least turn down her volume. So, in an attempt to disarm her I’ve named her Elsie, because for all intents and purposes she’s an inferior, lesser version of me (full marks if you get that link). I’ve visualised Elsie too; she wears a yellow velour tracksuit and blue Tesco trainers, with a high pony tail and far too much hairspray.

Confidence is Elsie's nemesis so I do whatever I can to keep my confidence up. I remember the good stuff, the compliments and good feedback. I make mental notes, write them down, screenshot them, I even share them on social media. I know it's in Elsie's interest for me to be humble, so I do the opposite - I celebrate the good stuff. I also challenge my creativity by entering One Minute Briefs every day. Some days, OMB acts as a warm-up, it greases the mind which helps the ideas come quicker for the day job. Other days, it's a much needed boost, a little reminder that whatever the challenge, I will find an answer and most of the time it'll be a good one.

Elsie has been pretty active today. Snide comments. "You are not a writer, why are you writing a blog post?" "What could you possibly have to say that anyone would want to read" "You are NOT a writer" "You are NOT A WRITER" "YOU. ARE. NOT. A. WRITER." She's been doing her best to get in my way, but I've succeeded in getting her to pipe down. I mean, she's a teenager with dreadful attire and the attitude to match - and I refuse to be beaten by an under-ripe, velvet banana wearing blue shoes.

So, Elsie, this one’s for you. My first ever blog post. I am a writer. 

Elsie? 

Elsie? 

Has anyone seen Elsie?

Follow Louise on Twitter.

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