AWARD School: Small Expectations, Great Result

AWARD School: Small Expectations, Great Result

Marijke Spain, one of the AWARD School’s top 10 Grads from the class of 2014, discusses the resilience and persistence required to make it through the relentless rounds of briefs

Marijke Spain
Posted by Marijke Spain

I was warned about Award school. In hindsight, it was exactly what I expected – hard work. The only surprise was that did better than I expected.

I was warned by many it was very difficult to get in. But I knew this was the right path, so I put that little extra into my application – and to my surprise, “accepted”.

Then I was warned that that was the easy bit, what lies ahead was harder. So I upped my game again, determination at a max. I’ve got this. Just when you think brief four is getting hairy – try brief eight or nine. Not only are they getting harder, but you now have all 10 briefs piled onto your workload at once. I thought I would be engulfed by my creative rut, many a time.

I pushed on.

It was so inspiring, to hear from amazing creatives who had worked all around the world – to be reminded of the value of ‘ideas’ and how they can change things for the better, make a real difference.

Then I’d done it, finally relief. Book submitted. Despite the usual hint of “oh but I could have changed that bit” or “was the other idea better?” left lingering in my mind. However, overall a feeling of great accomplishment and learning, a privilege to have experienced.

I was warned the judging was tough.

Along came graduation night. I was just excited to see others work, the best of the best. Some work I liked, others I didn’t – but as we all know it’s a very subjective industry, that’s expected. Then I saw I had one piece of work up – I felt satisfied at that, proud. Then wait, another, another and another – wow I have more here than I thought I would. Then announced in the Top 10. Speechless, but stoked.

What have I learnt? To have more confidence in my ability – as it turns out, I’ve got real potential here. I’ve always known I thrive under pressure and given the chance, I step up to challenges rather than shy away. Ideas are very powerful, and I love the thought of being in this industry for a long time. I’m so inspired by the possibilities, and eager to make a difference.

A big thanks to my legend tutors: Droga5 art director Tommy Cehak, Droga5 copywriter Gavin Chimes, and The Monkeys copywriter Henry Kember.

Learning more from talented people like you is what I look forward to most.

Now I am warned that Award is nothing compared to the real world. However this doesn’t daunt me. I’m ready. I’m excited. I’m inspired. I’ve got a few years agency experience under my belt, plenty to offer and more to learn – bring it on!

Keen to see more of the top 10? Check out their winning work in our photo gallery: ‘AWARD School Grads: Creatives Of Tomorrow Up Close Today’.