#AlumniSpotlight – Alex Russell
#AlumniSpotlight The Creative Circus graduates the most sought after creatives in the industry. Take a moment to read about the lives, careers & personal stories of some of our fantastic alumni.
Creative Circus Alumnus – Copywriting (2000)
CW/CD Freelancer now available at a-russell.com
Advice to the graduating class:
The truth is, you’re immediately out of your depth once you take a job. As talented as you may be, you’ve never created work against a real brief for a real client who has real hang-ups on really random stuff (“Sorry, but (client) doesn’t like metaphors”) So be humble and soak in as much as you can from the vets around you. The big upshot is that expectations are pretty low for Jr creatives so delivering the goods gets you noticed in a hurry.
Also try to get in front of clients as much as possible. Being in the room to hear their real feedback is invaluable. So much is lost in the game of telephone between that meeting and what the creative teams hear.
Oh yeah, and be nice. CD types hire you for your talent, sure, but they also hire based off of how much they want to hang out with you in an edit room for two weeks.
Advice to the Incoming Class:
Work with as many different people as possible. Mind-melding with virtual strangers is kind of the job description so don’t try to hide from it. Embrace it.
Hone your presentation skills – people have built entire careers on being able to present work really well.
Be humble – you’re not good yet. In fact, you’re almost certainly terrible.
What do I wish I knew while at Circus:
I wish I knew that print ads would be useless in the very near future. Kidding. I wish I knew that your first job doesn’t have to come at a big, “name brand” agency. There are tons of shops doing cool stuff and they’re usually the places that give more opportunity to junior creatives.
What does The Circus mean to me:
Like college, you think about the people you hung out with during your time. A lot of those people are still good friends, not to mention an incredible network. Also, I started in the original bare-bones office park so it was clearly all about the work, because there was literally nothing else. But there was a QT nearby, so not a total wash.
Lightbulb moment for me while in school:
Monumental is a big word. But one thing I definitely learned was that the big idea doesn’t always need to be yours. Idea ownership is a touchy subject for a lot of creatives, including young me. So when I learned to relax and let talented partners win the day, life got way easier.
Rebranding Intel. There’s something really satisfying about doing good work for a brand that hasn’t done it in a long time. And Intel, to their credit, was willing to poke fun of themselves. Not many (read: none) brands do that.