One of my classes that I’m in this semester is creating a magazine that is put together by the entire class. My instructor broke us off into different departments and roles that she thought would fit suitably. After the masthead was released, I became part of the Art Department as Co-Creative Director. Our part of the magazine was to come up with the photo shoot for the cover and fashion spread that would be featured in the magazine. How cool is that?! My Co-Creative Director and I were to team up with the Fashion Director and come up with something spectacular. I was very excited to be in this position because I hadn’t really been able to use my creativity this semester. Sadly, it didn’t turn out to be as I had thought…
There was a bit of drama at hand, which is expected from the Art Department. We are all very creative, opinionated people that are supposed to collaborate and create something that consisted of all out talents. There was a bunch of misunderstandings that I think started from my end… Long story short, the photo shoot that was supposed to be a group effort, sort of turned into a one person show. I was able to help out which was still very exciting and give my opinion and ideas on some aspects of the shoot. Some models dropped out at the last second so I was asked to step in. Not something a Creative Director normally does, but sometimes you have to take one for the team!
Overall, this was a HUGE learning experience for me. I was somewhat the facilitator of the department and was the one who had to try to keep the group together. I became aware that sometimes, you have to take a step back and analyze the situation without bias. There were some things that weren’t fair for the group and I should’ve realized it earlier. I’m a very flexible person (not always the best thing) and learned that I need to put my foot down in certain situations. I will be able to use this experience in my future when two parties aren’t getting along or aren’t living up to their share of the project. This will also be a great story in an interview if I get asked, “What is one challenge you had to overcome and how did you overcome it?” It didn’t really go in my favor, but something pretty cool was produced.
When comparing my role as Co-Creative Director (or lack of role in some ways…), it was very different from what would happen in a normal magazine setting. When I watched the September Issue, I got to see Grace Coddington in motion. She would come up with some great ideas and Anna Wintour would simply say, “No.” There was a lot of heads butting together, but in the end, there was something to show for it. Grace Coddington, a model as a younger woman, did not step in to be a model when a model decided not to show up. She was also able to, in spite of all the drama presented to her, fulfill her role as Creative Director of Vogue. I think that was something I was not able to do, and I am pretty ashamed of it… This project will be an experience I will never forget, and I have a feeling that is the underlying theme of the project. It’s not making a magazine (it is, but metaphorically it’s more), it’s learning from the experiences you are presented and learning how to react to them.