However long you’ve been hacking away at this creative lark for, you’ll still learn something new fairly often. The fab thing about the internet is that it contains a massive amount of stuff to stumble on when you were really looking for GBBO spoilers. (Hint: they’re going to bake something again next week. Drama!)
For newbs and slightly older hands alike, we’ve put together this chunky resource list that’ll support, enhance and showcase your creativity. As if to prove the point, we found a lot of these links by accident and now swear by them. Scroll down until you get to the section you need.
And bookmark this post. Seriously, do it now and thank us later. We’ll be updating it every so often with new links.
I need… a copywriter or art director to pair up with
Single Creatives – A blog where art directors, copywriters and designers at all experience levels can find a new partner.
Copywriter Collective – Writers abound. Also a place to find freelance art directors, designers and creative directors from all over the world.
I need… some kind of training or course first
School of Communication Arts 2.0 – I’m not saying it’s cheap, and I’m not saying it’s easy. It is bloody good though.
D&AD courses – Yep, they’re a bit on the expensive side. But you’re going to get damn good value from the people who also hand out yellow pencils.
Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) courses – You do need to be part of a member agency for access to IPA training.
I need… a creative portfolio that doesn’t look like shit
Cargo Collective – After you’ve signed up and picked a portfolio layout, you can customise it in the CSS script (if you know how). If not, they have a web design directory and a support forum.
Behance – If you’re a bit stuck for inspiration, Behance makes it easy to search for portfolios by people similar to you. We’re not saying ‘gank their work’, we’re saying ‘do your homework’.
The Dots – A mixed bag, this one. You can create a profile and a portfolio, look for jobs and find creative courses all on one website.
I need… to kick off a freelance career
YunoJuno – It takes a little time and effort to get verified on YJ, which means other people know you’re legit.
The Creative Floor – Their Top Tips page is particularly useful for (current, former or aspiring) creative teams, and freelancers can also use the platform to get their work in front of a global audience.
I need… some example advertising briefs to bulk up my portfolio
YouCanNow (YCN) Student Awards – Try the live briefs or go back a few years to see even more. Here’s 2014-2015, and 2012-2013 as the ones in between seem to have vanished.
Young Creative Council – All of the briefs listed are live, so check back for new and shiny ones.
FutureRising – Enter for free, potentially get a job out of it. Huge amount of choice to be had, no matter what your discipline.
I need… to do some networking
Glug – Billed as ‘more notworking than networking’, Glug’s nights are fun and informal ways to meet likeminded types.
It’s Nice That – Look out for regular events and meetups. There’s also a nice mix of unusual news and spotlights on designers and illustrators.
SheSays – A network of creative women around the world. Female creatives can also submit their portfolio to be judged by a different CD each month.
Campaign’s school reports on agencies – That first link is to the 2015 reports. You can also find the 2014 reports and 2013 reports with a little digging, to give you a better idea of how agencies have grown (or not). Choose what to read with caution, as Campaign only gives non-members access to 3 free articles per month.
I need… support on this emotional treadmill we call creativity
National Advertising Benevolent Society (NABS) – This is exactly why NABS exists. They offer a Resilience Programme for people in advertising, as well as wellbeing talks and financial support.
I need… inspiration
Ads of the World – Does what it says on the URL. The collection of ads is huge, so either know what you’re looking for or put aside at least a couple of hours for browsing.
Cannes Lions past winners – ‘Plagiarism’ is just a fancy way of saying ‘research’.
Direct Marketing Association (DMA) – A veritable goldmine of information and ideas that might spark your own lightbulb moment. Be nosy on the awards page: it’s billed as ‘rewardingly hard to win’, which means this stuff’s proper good.
I need… to finish this pitch, like, yesterday
mockupeverything – Sadly only a few templates available for free. Quite a few of them are clothes and shoes, which is good for designers who want to sell their own branded stuff. Pro subscription gets you the rest of the templates.
PlaceIt – Show off your ideas in situ. Mostly for showing off images on Apple products (mobile sites, app screens, etc.).
TED tips for better slide decks – A fairly long read but worth it. There are no more excuses for wayward ClipArt figures and shitty slide transitions.