London loves a creative team.
And who would argue with that? Being part of a team with someone who becomes your bestie at work can be amazing. The best partnerships can, and have, produced some super-fantastic work that would never have been half as good from either person on their own.
I should know. I was lucky enough to find the Ying to my creative Yang a few years back when our head of resource did some sneaky matchmaking behind the scenes. We pretty much hit it off straight away. We liked our weird tea, we both had very dark humour, and we had a lot going on in our lives but also the audacity to laugh at each other’s misfortune.
However it wasn’t all Brady Bunch - we were very different too; how we’d ended up in advertising (she was an ex-red carpet presenter and me an ex-biochemist), our age, our pet preference (her dog, me cat), our views on awards and much more. But even our differences seemed to complement each other. Strengths offset weaknesses. Balance was found. Brilliance unlocked. And just like that, I got excited about coming into work again and the prospect of absolutely slaying briefs together like they were little baby squirrels and we were sharing a shotgun of combined creativity.
She’s in Chicago now, killing it as a CD and probably tapping away at her latest bit of genius on her balcony while occasionally muttering the f-bomb and telling her dog to pipe down. We might be on different continents, but we still find ways to work together. We’re writing a comedy series which is hopefully getting its pilot episode filmed this year, written from opposite ends of the pond. That’s the power of a good team relationship – it can even transcend the Atlantic Ocean.
Finding the right partner can help you endure the rollercoaster highs and lows of being a creative.
It can even help those of life, because you become each other’s point of reference for all sorts of things. It can make the difference between a stress-inducing dumpster fire (again, I should know), and feeling like you are the creative equivalent of a polished Shaolin soccer team, smashing balls into every tiny goal in the vicinity, twanging marketing managers’ hippocampus’s (hippocampi?) as they cry with barely concealed delight into lukewarm lattes at the genius creative presentation they’ve just witnessed.
Some people strike it lucky in college and meet their ideal match from day one. Other people, have to date around. All I can say is, go with your gut.
I’m now the CD of a talented young creative team, and it always gives me a glow of delight to see them at their combined best, creating that special team blend of magic. I can’t help but feel excited for them. They have found their balance early, and that means they will go from strength to strength - because a good team is worth their weight in creative gold.
So go forth, play the field and find your other half. You’re going to be spending a lot of time together, and if it’s a good match, those crazy hours will feel more like play than work.
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