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Scarlett & Holly, Creative Duo

7 min, 27 sec read
15:43 PM | 20 March 2013

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We met in Manna Ash student accommodation approximately a week before our first day at London College of Communication. Then partied and studied together for three years attempting to work with other people but always finding our best work was done together. After admitting to ourselves it was meant to be, we’ve stuck together and have been on the placement track for a little while now having the pleasure of having stints at start ups, huge agencies and a couple in between. Now we’re looking for our first permanent place but we’re taking our time to make sure we end up in the right place.

What was your first ever job? 

We haven’t yet landed a permanent position, but for our first internship BBH Asia Pacific took us on as a creative team for 3 months.

Why did you go into advertising?

Holly: For me I’ve always had an interest in storytelling and loved film when I was younger, although I knew I never had the patience for movies. I loved the fact that adverts could accomplish telling a story that a movie would ponder for 2 hours. To be fair I still do!  

Scarlett: It was never really a conscious decision for me but just always something I knew I wanted to do. I remember at the age of 12 telling my Mum that I wanted to be an Account Director at Saatchi and Saatchi. I didn't even know what that meant at the time! But I always paid more attention to the adverts than the programmes on TV and my Dad has a design and marketing firm, which I spent some time in so I think that influenced me a lot too.

How did you clinch your first job in ad land?

It was rather funny series of events, we both applied separately for BBH Barn Singapore last year as we couldn’t apply as a team. Then we both got rejection emails, two weeks before The Barn was due to start we received a phone call from a +65 number asking if we could start as a team on the 25th May. Two days after we handed in our final pieces of work at University we landed in Singapore ready to start on the Monday morning. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Holly: Sir John Hegarty said in a talk to stop listening to your headphones and listen to what’s happening around you. Since then I’ve ditched the headphones and it really has made me realise how much you can learn just by paying a bit more attention to your surroundings. 

Scarlett: Guy Bradbury said to us that we should never change what we do. This resonated hugely with us both, as we don't have a polished Hyper Island or Miami Ad School vibe to our book or our case movies. Plus we aren't winning awards left, right and centre so our confidence in our work wasn't at its highest. But when he said this we realised that it was working in our favour and that we should just keep doing what we were doing!

Scarlett & Holly: “I don’t get it!” – Jo Hodges, LCC Lecturer.

And what’s the worst piece of advice?

Scarlett: The worst piece of advice would be from Sir John Hegarty. We managed to get a book crit with him and he asked who was art and who was copy. We don't really have defined roles, as we are both creatives who pitch in with whatever is needed. This answer did not go down well as he is a firm believer in the old school advertising rules and he said we must define our roles within our team. Neither of us believes in changing the way we work and we both believe we have the capability of writing something beautiful as well as visualising it. And many other successful teams work in the same way that we do so, sorry Sir Hegarty, I respect you an insane amount, but I just don't agree with you on this one.

Holly: I have to agree with Scarlett’s answer on this one, because I know my best ideas come from working with her, it doesn’t make a difference who we are or what we do as long as we get the job done. 

How would your typical day play out?

Well it varies massively from agency to agency, each have been remarkably different. At the moment we get into work at half 9 which is a lovely time to start the day. We tend to both spend a bit of time perusing the web for cool shit, which we then show to each other. Quite often we’ll stumble across some amazing animal pictures, which really kick the day off to a good start. Then we’ll stick our heads together and get brainstorming, after a few hours of this we’ll grab a bite to eat. Always as a pair, can’t dash off for lunch alone! 

Then in the afternoon we'll bring our ideas to life through the power of our wonderfully shiny thin macs ready for a review which, however prepared we are, we'll always feel nervous for. Hopefully the review goes to plan, then we will have a sigh of relief, a cup of tea and jump onto the next project our attention needs. We also have a project that runs throughout our time in this internship, which is always in the background. Tuesday mornings involve an all-agency meeting and Fridays involve beer o'clock at 5pm. 

Our evenings involve working on a revamp of our portfolio, keeping ourselves sane with a cheeky bit of Adland socialising or seeing our unaffected and blissfully unaware friends who don't understand our jobs.

What do you see as the next big thing?

Holly: If they can make these Google glasses affordable for the masses looking at a shop and being offered a discount is going to turn into a pretty popular thing. If that doesn’t quite work out I think this obsession with appearing honest is going to keep getting pushed and hopefully will become a reality of being honest. 

Scarlett: It’s launching soon and I think it is something people will get on board with. It’s been dubbed a "social-giving network" which is something like Skillshare which has already proved to be successful but no money exchanges hands.  Although, it is for all manner of skills, not just creative. You just say what you need doing and someone with that skill will do it for you in exchange for nothing but a thank you. You then post whatever skills you can offer back into the site. It is a form of gift economy. It’s a really sweet idea and if it catches on it will restore a lot of faith in humanity.

What inspires you?

Holly: The people I surround myself with, I can look at copious amounts of things around the Internet, go to galleries, watch films, read books, visit the theatre or listen to amazing music but it’s the conversations I have with others about these things, which lead to inspiration. Interaction and communication with others is what really takes my thoughts to a new place. 

Scarlett: I honestly don't know what inspires me. I try to take an interest in everything at once, which culminates itself into my work. I look at illustration, typography, product design, adverts and films.  I read literature, I draw, I see art, I people watch, I read the paper, I watch documentaries. There is no 'one inspiring thing’, which I think is best for when you are trying to talk to mass markets and different demographics from one day to the next. 

If you could share a desk with anyone, who would it be? 

Holly: David Attenborough just because I would love to listen to his voice all day long. I was watching 'Life' the other night and he is just the most amazing guy, I would learn so many incredible facts within minutes let alone an entire day. The great thing about ad work is the best inspiration comes from non-advertising things so being sat with the nature hero of all time would certainly conjure up some great adverts. 

Scarlett: I would have Emily Bronte on one side to inspire my writing, Stefan Sagmeister on the other to inspire my designs and Orlando Weeks sitting opposite to play me music all day.

What’s your one piece of advice for young people looking to break into the industry?

Work your arse off. Never just do the minimum you can get away with but go above and beyond what anyone will expect from you. Having said this make sure you have fun whilst doing it otherwise you will become boring and so will your work! And nobody wants that.

Follow @Scarletandholly

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