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#BigBookCrit – a priceless opportunity for the future of creative talent


Big Book Crit - powered by the IDM, DMA and Graeme Robertson Trust.

Over 100 young creatives travelled from their universities to join us at the inaugural trio of Big Book Crit events, where Creative Directors were on-hand to feedback on portfolios and offer advice on breaking into the creative sector. The first three events took place in London, Norwich and Bristol on the 20th and 21st of April.

Both the students and senior creatives taking part were equally excited to meet one another. Ian Bates, Creative Director at The Real Adventure Unlimited, commented: “It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to spot the future. Building relationships, even at this early stage, is crucial.”

To kick off the evening, Creative Directors at each location gave a short presentation to the students outlining why supporting young talent is important. Students were also given valuable advice about securing their first job in the industry. The number one take-away? Be pragmatic! Show your future employer that you want to be there and prove yourself. If you work hard, you will get to where you want to be.

At the Bristol event Jimmy Thompson, Creative Director at Tangible, asked one thing of the students, and that was to be useful: “Work out who is who and who does what in order to be useful in a company. Learn your craft skills so that you can be useful straight away.”

In London, students heard from Steve Stretton, Creative Consultant at AMVBBDO, who had advice for any young creatives with self-doubt: “There is always another idea.”

Next up was the main event, the actual book crit! The critiquing was setup in a speed-dating format to ensure that each creative/creative team was given time with at least three different Creative Directors. Students took part in one-to-one sessions before rotating onto the next, giving them the opportunity to showcase their work and demonstrate their range of skills.

Media Production student, Oliver Cooke, from Bournemouth University, shared the following advice: “I have learned that I should tailor my portfolio for the interview and job that I am going for, as opposed to just presenting my best work.”

The Big Book Crit was setup to support young creatives in their journey from student to full-time work.  Creative Advertising student, Josh Seawood, from Falmouth College, said: “I think this event is really beneficial. Having the chance to get hold of these talented people and spend some time with them was worth the trip!”

We want to say a big thank you to all of those who took part in the Big Book Crit and made it a huge success. An extra special thanks goes out to The Real Adventure Unlimited, Proximity London and Norwich University of the Arts who were kind enough to host each regional venue.

There are more Big Book Crit events scheduled for later in the year and around the UK, so watch this space for further updates. But if you’re a Creative Director who would like to take part in mentoring budding creatives, please email:

If you weren’t able to attend one of the events this time, you can still relive the Big Book Crit thanks to Twitter:



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