In mid-November Creative Conscience partnered with students at the Central Saint Martins campus of the University of the Arts London for Fail Better, an evening of talks discussing how failure can be the most useful component to our success. Organised by Etty Flynn, Hannah Kelly, Brie Gobel and Likando Kumoyo, this was the second in a series of talks that hopes to bring inspirational talks back down to earth and give a more relatable and realistic perspective on how careers in the arts can be.
With each speaker given 10 minute time-slots, the event kicked off with radio host, DJ and filmmaker Akinola Davies, talking us through his 2017 Unity is Strength project for fashion house Kenzo, celebrating traditional Nigerian values through the eyes of Nigerian Igbo youth culture and style. Akinola delivered a message of persistence, picking yourself up after rejection or failure and pushing through your creative vision when it feels like you’re not being taken seriously.
Next, we heard from advertising creative and copywriter Denit Rozner. Denit’s presentation was a candid, light-hearted look at the struggles and successes of freelancers in the advertising industry. Having worked with a number of big clients and advertising agencies, together with her partner at www.twocreativechicks.com, Denit spoke about how she was re-evaluating her aspirations to direct her energies in the right places for her. Her message was to forge your own path, not to settle if you are unhappy and that what you perceive to be failed opportunities can lead to even better situations.
After a short break, we were introduced to fashion designer Daniel W. Fletcher. Never planning to start a fashion label of his own, Daniels presentation focused on the early part of his career and the perceived image by outsiders that he was an established and well-structured business owner, but by his own admission, was not. Making the most of his limited resources has led Daniel to convert a derelict space in Covent Garden into a successful pop up store and scout models at Reading festival, both of which feed into Daniels feeling of being misperceived by the press. Daniels almost ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ philosophy served him very well as he quickly gained traction and went from sneaking into fashion shows in his first year, to staging a part fashion show, part demonstration outside the London Fashion Week venue using his garments as protest pieces.
Lastly, our very own Chrissy Levett introduced the audience to Creative Conscience. Talking about the power of failure, Chrissy admitted her biggest failure was not expressing who she truly was during the early parts of her career and the advantages and benefits that have flooded in once she was able to be brave enough to honestly discuss her flaws, which in turn allowed her to highlight her strengths. Through this honesty and allowing space for mishaps, there’s a standard of self-confidence that grows amongst the people within the creative industries.
The usual over-riding feeling after a talk from successful creatives is inspiration shrouded in a frustration that you yourself won’t ever be that successful, by introducing the faults and flaws of the speakers, Fail Better strives to reveal the true creative process and demystify the success stories we all buy into in the ‘Instagram lifestyle’ era.