Within an hour or so of landing in London, myself, Holly, Mil and Rosie we were making our way to a group appointment at DDB advertising agency, which Jo had kindly set up for us. Because of our train times and hostel check-in we were running a little late and so I went into ratty-anxiety mode, completely unnecessarily as it turned out; as we arrived and were led into a meeting room where Jo and others were already waiting for Daniel Moorey to come and speak to us.
Daniel Moorey is Head of Art Buying Buying at DDB, and inevitably had an extensive collection of names of not only illustrators, but photographers, graphic designers and who know what else in his bookmarks folder which he kindly showed us. Nothing like a gigantic list of names to hit home just how inconsequential you are in the big wide world of illustration! Daniel was, however, lovely and gave a really comprehensive presentation, breaking down the commissioning of an illustrator or designer within their environment. He gave us various examples of DDB's top clients: Volkswagen, Marmite, Virgin Media etc, and how the agency related to their clients and found what they were looking for for their advertisement.
He spoke in detail about every aspect of dealing with the illustrators they commission and what he stressed in particular, was the way in which illustrators wanting work ought to present themselves when contacting agencies such as DDB. Evidently he receives an excessive number of emails from illustrators wanting to get his attention; Daniel stressed the importance of keeping your email short and sweet and not overloading the page with all of your information in one big lump; similarly he stressed the importance of a website which someone in his position could quickly and easily click through, as he's a busy person and doesn't necessarily have the time to wait around for a swish website with fade-ins and animated bit and bobs to load.
I really appreciated hearing what he had to say as I'd yet to get the sense of how an agency such as DDB worked, having not really considered my work in the context of an advert before. As Daniel ran us through his presentation he did point out that while photographers were often the first port of call for advertisers, illustration was making it's comeback into the world of advertising and becoming more interesting. By the sounds of it he did seem to prefer his experiences of working with illustrators, though that could be, as he pointed out, because they are much less expensive and demanding than photographers, though he said that it wouldn't do any harm for illustrators to adopt some of the assertiveness of photographers!
Sitting within this professional environment, around a large table, behind a glass wall, in such a busy and successful company, it really did put the degree in context, and it was amazing to be outside of the rather closeted little world I'm so used to being tucked up in in uni. I felt more motivated on this career path than ever before.