It’s time for a recap, plenary, summary or whatever your Powerpoint-loving teacher may have called the end of a module back in the day. See, over the last six weeks, Moncler and THE FACE have been running Future Academy 2.0: Genius Generation, enrolling young creatives from underrepresented backgrounds in a course ofartistic exploration and encouraging them to dive brain-first into the worlds of high fashion and print media. Out of those who applied, fifty received offers to join us online, while four standout entrants were selected to become this year’s in-house mentees, in both London and Milan.
Earlier in the year, we introduced you to all four – Marcus Austin, Lourice J. Ramos, Tia Tierney and Quinn Lovero – finding out what makes them tick creatively, why they decided to get involved and, obviously, what snacks and sodas they get through while working at their desks. Think of it as those school day LO learning objectives, THE FACE style; Quinn was hyped to leave with “industry knowledge, friendships and a strong body of work”, Marcus wanted to make something that “impacts the culture”, Lourice was keen to get “contacts, connections and be able to have a clearer view of what the industry is like” while Tia was excited to gain “knowledge of how to go about executing a visual editorial project”.
Well, LO and behold! We convened with the course creatives as part of our upcoming Future Academy 2.0 documentary (you always stick a film on at the end of the year, right?) to hear what they learned and how they’ve grown creatively. So, in the style of passing onto someone else while doing some public speaking, over to the mentees…
I think the future of creativity looks like breaking all your barriers. As a creative I’d say I’m on the cusp, I’m like on my debut like a football player. I always wanted to go to Milan since I was younger so the chance for this to come to fruition…I’m still a bit emotional. My mind’s still going all over the place.
They’re actually treating us like we could be something bigger than ever and I’m really looking forward to working. It looked amazing — fashion, design, everything — it was sweet! When I look at posters and that kind of stuff I want to bring it to life and tell the story and expand it. That was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen!
To see what they can do fo culture – everyone’s here to see Moncler – it just inspires me to stay creative. This is a completely new world to me so I’m just soaking up everything.
Initially coming into the programme, I had no knowledge of “office life”. I was used to creating projects by myself and developing ideas on my own. I accidently got into the flow of working on my own before working at THE FACE. It has shown me the importance of collaboration and confidence.
A big challenge I had to overcome was my imposter syndrome and breaking out of my shell. I learnt to never be too shy and never be apologetic about my ideas. Sharing concepts has always been intimate for me. Mainly because a lot of the projects I do are centred by people and communities that are close to me.
A lesson I learnt was to not hold my ideas too close to my heart. The idea will shift and develop. You can always change it, nothing is final. Since the programme, I am continuing to be a fashion-music photographer, but will carry on as a creative for campaigns and projects. Where hopefully it’ll bring me to be in a position as a creative director.
During the project, I found it really hard to get out of my comfort zone. I always like everything being tidy and having a process in place. However, during the programme I had to adapt constantly. As each project and client is different, things move at different paces and require bespoke processes. I ended up letting go, embracing the chaos and learning that not knowing was best. With creativity, ignorance is bliss.
I remember as soon as we got accepted we had to prepare for Milan. There was no build up to that moment, other than the interviews. Although I knew going to Milan was part of the program, I didn’t expect it to come so suddenly, nor for it to be filled with so many experiences. It was a great surprise to find out we were getting a flight and accommodation to the fashion capital of the world. But it got better when we landed and were given a tour of the city; VIP views of the Moncler 70th anniversary show; an introduction to the Moncler family in their Milan offices and a personal tour to their flagship store in the city centre.
Now that the programme is finished, I have a clearer sense of how to navigate the editorial and fashion world. I’ve been given an insider version of the both industries, which has opened my mind as to how to best create work in those environments. Before, I had no clear understanding as to how clients and publications moved within those spaces. But now I can ideate, strategise and pitch accordingly. I’m certain this will open many doors for me and future film projects.
From the project, I was able to gain a variety of skills: how to design a 360 pitch deck, how to pitch this to a client, and how to liaise with the client and your team if you’re suggested feedback. It’s been interesting to learn why it is so important to cherry pick the visuals that you are referencing in your pitch, so that you’re effectively communicating your idea. I liked working on the strategy, highlighting themes and trends in the initial research and using this to inform the creative approach.
I don’t feel as if there have been any major surprises; it’s been interesting to see the opportunities presented in terms of career paths and direction. It doesn’t feel as finite as it used to and I do feel like it’s continually expanding. When co-creating the campaign, we all came to the table with well formed concepts, so it was challenging at times to decide on what we thought was best idea to take forward to the final concept. Not a bad problem though!
My advice to others would be to diversify your experience as much as possible, and try to say yes to different opportunities, even if it doesn’t necessarily align with your ideal career path right now. More often than not you’ll pick a skill, or a contact, or an interest that helps you down the line, or just bolsters your resume. I would also say to younger people to just enjoy the process of being able to create without having any expectations of yourself or your work.