Ramesh Weston, an alumnus of The One Academy returned to share valuable insight on the advertising industry and to provide students information on how to gain leverage on the creative industry based on his personal experiences. The session titled ‘From the Ground Up’ gave students a unique opportunity to understand firsthand about the creative industry, particularly the world of advertising, but also to see it through the eyes of a budding professional.
The session began with Weston giving a brief recount of his education and work experience thus far. Having graduated from The One Academy with a diploma in advertising and graphic design, he then continued with his degree in graphic design at the University of Hertfordshire and is currently working at Alpha 245, a boutique agency under the network of Leo Burnett.
“Freelance work is good to have, but do not stress if you don’t have anything they like” said Weston as he advised students to not worry if they do not land a job immediately after graduating but rather focus on freelancing as a way to beef up individual portfolios. He said that each advertising agency has its own culture and it is important for graduates to thoroughly research the agency that they want to work in to understand the environment there. Weston also advised students on how to handle demanding clients having gone through his fair share of them. “You need to ask, ask and ask, and understand their products or services equally as well as them”, he stated.
Another fact he shared on was the importance of not being a one-trick pony. In this day and age, it is important to have a few areas of expertise to leverage in the work-field. “Do not be a designer that just knows design. If you are a designer, then take up copywriting. If you can do copywriting and videography, that will be great. Be creative when it comes to trying to find a job” he stated. The creative industry is gaining popularity and it is good to have varying knowledge on all the facets of it.
An ardent fan of the late Yasmin Ahmad and her work, Weston emphasized on the significance of living life, gaining insight and then converting your story and experience to produce amazing work. “Advertising does not always have to sell products, some of the best ads sell emotions and that is really impactful” said Weston in regards to Yasmin Ahmad’s style of work. He then urged the students to go out and truly live life in order to produce groundbreaking work as “the way you start writing isn’t by writing at all, it is by living.”
Keeping up with the demands of the advertising industry can sometimes be hard and one way to always bring your A-game is to always be on the lookout for new information. Weston motivated the students to step out of their comfort zones in regards to design. “Go beyond the usual Pinterest, go to typeface or layout books and use them to create your own designs” he challenged.
Weston then ended the session by asking the students to have passion projects on the side. “Strike a good balance between juggling work and play and always have a hobby or passion project as it helps to keep you grounded” noted Weston. He himself had recently collaborated with his friend and came up with a side project ‘Dua Radio’ which is still in the early stages. He notes that the creative industry can be very stressful at times and leisure pursuits help manage it.