As you may already know, in March I found out I had been shortlisted for a Creativepool Annual 2019 Award. At that stage, I was over the moon and didn’t care at all about winning. Just being nominated meant the world to me. Off we went to London, more concerned with what food we would eat (my partner and I miss the food in London) than whether or not I would win. As it turns out, I won both the main category and also the public vote. Surreal stuff indeed,
Since going freelance, I had never been nominated for a single award and so this was a big deal for me. When I was freelancing for a tech firm a few years ago, the company was nominated (and won) for a project I worked on but that was a team effort. The fact that it was a Creativepool award was the icing on the cake. Ever since moving to London in 2011, Creativepool were easily the most respected recruitment agency for the creative industry and being recognised by them was a huge honour. When the nomination email came through, I looked at my competitors and I was both disheartened and blown away by the talent on display. Some of my favourite advertising agencies were nominated and the project that really stuck out for me was the Greenpeace ‘Rang-tan’ advert by Mother. It was a beautiful hybrid of 3D and 2D and it deserved to win outright. Fortunately for me, Creativepool split each category into companies and individuals.
One major part of the awards is the People’s Choice award. I believed that was my best chance of winning an award and so I got friends and family to vote and share. If I’m honest, just being nominated was enough for me but the chance to see my work printed in a book would be a dream come true. Whilst the public vote was live, The Crossing was first. I could have continued to lobby everyone who hadn’t voted to do so but I wanted to let the work do the talking. If people liked it, they would vote for it.
On the night, I was nervous but I just wanted to enjoy the time away from a computer screen and have a few drinks with my wife. When we arrived, we were blown away by the venue although it did seem a little odd to hold it in the City of London. Anyway, to my surprise, I won two awards! I won my category (with a silver?) and the People’s choice award. Now, I would get to call myself an award-winning designer. Of course I would never do something as lame as that 😉
The Crossing was a dream project, one that took nearly 3 months and resulted in me working 18 hour days. I skipped sleep, missed out on time with my daughter and barely spent quality time with my wife. It wasn’t worth it, even after winning two awards. Just over 2 weeks before the awards, an event happened that would completely change my life forever. At only 66, my Dad died completely out of the blue. He went into hospital at 08:30 am and died within 17 hours. Although he had had a heart attack the year before, he was so active and healthy that I expected him to outlive me. He was so careful about what he ate and looked after his health. It’s made me realise how pointless things like winning an award can be and how stupid it is that I continuously put my body through hell for certain projects. Sure, it might open doors and help my career but at what cost? The damage I’ve done to my body might be irreparable. Will my Daugther go through the same as me at some point in the (nearer) future? Could I have years of fatherhood robbed from me? Life is unpredictable and as passionate as I am about motion graphics and animation, life is far more important. It’s easy to get into the habit of living to work but I want to work to live. At the end of the day, this is just a job. It’s an awesome job that I love but when I am on my deathbed, I won’t be thinking about awards or what projects I worked on. I want to be remembering the beautiful memories I made with my Wife and Daughter.
One very sweet aspect of this all is my Dad voted for me for the People’s Choice award. Although he was far more IT literate than most his age, he struggled to set up an account on Creativepool in order to vote. Eventually, he did and so that just makes that award extra special.