Creative body D&AD has reiterated the importance of respectful constructive criticism following claims a senior creative told a student they would “never work as a creative” at its New Blood festival on Friday (13 July).
The event gives student creatives the chance to receive on-the-spot feedback on their portfolios from those working in the industry. However D&AD confirmed a senior industry figure told a newcomer: “You’ll never work as a creative”.
In a series of tweets, the educational charity dubbed the unnamed creatives’ “disparaging comments” as “completely unacceptable”.
It stated: “New Blood is all about enabling and encouraging future creative superstars, and we want any creatives at the event to keep positivity at the top of their conversations. If you're speaking to a student about their work at New Blood, constructive criticism is always appreciated. However, always make sure you are respectful and highlight the positives first and foremost.
“Everyone exhibiting at New Blood has put weeks, months and years of hard work into their portfolios. Be encouraging, and let's make sure everyone has the positive experience they'e earned.”
The Twitter statement stirred up conversation on the platform around the attitude of some senior creatives.
Design LSC’s account tweeted: “Some senior so called ‘creatives’ are simply running scared. They know their days in this profession are shortening. Why would anyone say something so negative to a young person? Respect to D&AD for outing the half-wit.”
Graphic designer Jordan Scott added: “This ‘senior creative’ needs to be named and shamed. If they are going to outright tarnish the future of a young creative, it’s only fair for this individual to face consequences in their choice of words. No one in industry is going to want to work with such a negative thinker.”
Others, however, were keen to regale tales of overcoming harsh criticism early on.
Charlotte Hugh, a senior creative at Digitas, said: “One of the lecturers at New Blood once told my art director many, many years ago he’d never make it. Joke’s on them. He’s smashing it.”
And designer Dan Green added: “One of my tutors at uni once told me I’d never be anything beyond an art worker. It was savage, but it did push me to stop just ‘designing the shit’ out of bad ideas.”