How To Train Ideas

One of the benefits of portfolio school is having the time and training to concept and craft.

Every assignment is a lesson: Where do you start? How do you start? How do you say it best? How do you work with a partner? How do you present? How do you get these two executions to turn into a full-blown campaign? How do you know if this idea is good or not? How do you incorporate all that feedback? How do you recover when your best ideas weren't good enough? How do you start all over again?


It's a lot.

And it doesn't necessarily end once you start working. Portfolio school just helps you get better at it, quicker. So do internships. And whether you're building your book from scratch or in school, "better" and "quicker" always win.

I came across this e-book, by Ad Teaching's author, Suzanne Pope.

How to Train Ideas to Come When They Are Called: 
Notes and Advice for Young People in Advertising. 

It's a relatively quick read (37 pages) and has pictures, so if the title wasn't enough, hopefully those little facts pull you in. It covers some great points, like SCAMPER a technique I learned in school and still use. (Substitute. Simplify. Combine. Adapt. Modify. Put to other uses. Eliminate. Exaggerate. Rearrange. Reverse.) The booklet also gives examples of what's good and why, so you get a better idea of how to judge your work. (Awesome-or-Awful can also help. Hehe shameless plug.)

The title alone "How to train ideas to come when they're called" is something you all need to learn. This book is just a start.

Some days you'll be given a creative brief at 11 AM and they'll need to see concepts by 6 PM. On the same day. 

You've got to be nimble. You've got to be able to hit the ground running and take any idea or creative need and turn it into something producible in a short period of time.  

And it helps to train your brain to do that. To learn how to get past the cliches and garbage quicker and get into the good stuff. To just start churning whether or not you've had your first cup of coffee. To come up with something good - sometimes right on the spot. To start over from scratch after giving your heart, soul and unborn son's soul to ideas that were just brutally killed. 

That takes time and practice. And thick skin.  

You can read and download the book here.