Wednesday 25 August 2021

Q&A with Matthew Chen, AWARD School 2021 National Top Student

1) What were the highlights of AWARD School for you? 

A cliché answer, but the truth is the people. I think this makes a lot of sense since being creative is such a human quality. Not only do you get to hear from and pick the brains of the creatives who have been doing it for years, as well as from some real legends of the industry, but you’re also part of this group that are all in this challenging rollercoaster that is AWARD School. Sharing the highs and lows together really bonds you. I’ll also throw in the final submission and graduation night because you can finally relax and celebrate!  

2) Who was your greatest influence/mentor throughout the course and why?

That’s tough! Pretty much impossible to answer this since, like I said, everyone is so great in the course and everyone I asked for feedback and help was so supportive. In terms of idea creation, I definitely turned to a lot and also for inspiration. 

3) What brief did you enjoy working on the most and why? 

I have always enjoyed a good piece of film storytelling, so Brief 3 was definitely one of the ones I enjoyed working on the most. Brief 10 was also fun because it was so open, different and you really could pitch any commercial or new business idea you had. 

4) Where do you hope to be in five years’ time?

Firstly, out of lockdown! But in all seriousness, I’ll hopefully be in an agency where I’m still learning and challenging myself to make interesting and creative work. I’d also love to be helping other new creatives in any way I can. I have been so lucky to have many kind and generous people help me so I’d like to pay that forward. 

5) If you were to recommend the AWARD School program to another budding ad student, what would you say is the most beneficial part of the program? 

Of course, you really learn and develop the skills to come up with a great idea and a great ad, but I definitely think it also allows you to better understand yourself as a creative. It’s definitely a challenge, but because of that, I found I really analysed how my brain works, my creative process and ways I could improve that. For example, I have always been a perfectionist but I had to learn when and how to block that part of my brain and just scribble ideas down anywhere and everywhere on the page, which I did. I also found that I started to trust my gut instinct a bit more.

So, if any ad students are thinking about doing AWARD School, I say, go for it! It’ll only make you a better creative!

Interested in AWARD School and building an incredible career in creativity? Attend the free application workshop on 28 September. Learn more here.

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