Mar 31, 2011

Sheep Dog Standing In The Rain
- Peter Wood @SCAD

Courtesy: SCAD Advertising

I had the pleasure of attending a talk given by creative advertising guru, Peter Wood last night. He addressed an audience of Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) students, primarily from the advertising department, at the Student Center. 

Wood has been a typographer, designer, creative director and adviser at almost every major advertising agency across the U.S and the U.K. From Saatchi & Saatchi, Y&R and Ogilvy to The Martin Agency, Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Slingshot. He has lectured at numerous ad schools, including Creative Circus, VCU Brandcenter and others. 

The lecture, entitled "Seven Deadly Things - A talk in seven parts by Peter Wood," gave advice and pointers on creativity. Wood is clearly a creative thinker and doer with a passionate voice - colored with a strong Scottish accent. 

Wood empowered his student audience by suggesting they think of themselves as brands. Brands to differentiate and stand out. 

Wood drew inspiration from music, incorporating a digital aid for an audience singalong to Hey Bulldog by The Beatles. These evocative lyrics may have been missed on the predominantly Generation Y crowd.

He also referenced sport heroes such as Dick Fosbury, who revolutionised the High Jump with his "Fosbury Flop". And an artist (whose name I didn't catch) who labels photographs with just a few words. These are all people who influenced Wood's creative output and contributed to his John Lennonesque verve.

Jasper Johns, "Three Flags" (1958)

After going through the "Seven Deadly Things" or steps for students to distinguish themselves, he displayed Jasper Johns' "Three Flags" on the big screen. The American audience was asked not to be ashamed of their country. Be Proud. Comparisons to British colonialisms in history were made. A communal pledge of allegiance was given (even for us internationals who were seated). And a stoic slideshow of, what I would call, "Americana" set to a soundtrack of "Turn Your Lights On" by Carlos Santana featuring Everlast.

Overall, it was a memorable speech, and many, including myself, left with a feeling that sparks of creativity had been passed on. The final tip - photograph people doing normal things. You will quickly realize that there is no such thing as normal.

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