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Patricia Censoprano
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Bella Smith: Reflections from Creative Coaching

08 December 2021
 
Story by: Mentee, Bella Smith
 
Four continents. Three coaching sessions. And one very lucky me.
 
I might not have left Australia over the last two years, but my LIA mentors made the other side of the world feel right at my fingertips. Each encounter gave me invaluable insights and opened my mind to the infinite possibilities of where this industry could take me. Here’s a little taste of my travels…
     
My Dubai dalliance
To kick off my overseas adventure, I met with the powerhouse duo that is Creative Director, Sarah Guessoum, and Senior Creative, HyunSeo Yoo – two incredibly talented, ambitious, and globally minded leaders at TikTok in Dubai.
 
They gave me a great glimpse into what it’s like to work in the Middle East (and seriously piqued my interest in visiting the UAE). I also learnt that you don’t necessarily have to speak the local language to be the local copywriter. Instead, you need a sharp eye for observing cultural truths and consumer behaviours, a collaborative mindset, and an appetite to step outside of your comfort zone and dive into the deep end.
 
How to make it in Manchester
Next up, I meandered to Manchester to meet the multi-award winning yet ridiculously humble Chief Creative Officer at Havas Lynx Group, Jon Chapman.
 
In Jon’s view, ‘good work comes from hard work’. Persevering with the tougher briefs is key to success in advertising, and being a down-to-earth, well-humoured, highly likeable individual doesn’t seem to hurt either. To paraphrase his wisdom, it’s important we stay on the right side of ambition and do what we love for the right reasons. In doing so, we might well change people’s lives.
 
Teachings from Texas
Last but certainly not least, I leapt across the Atlantic to Dallas to learn from Chief Creative Officer at Plot Twist Creativity, Chris Smith.
 
Chris taught me so much about working in ad land as a creative in the States. He also taught me that Southern hospitality is absolutely a thing. His kindness, generosity, friendly Texan smile and pearls of wisdom have really stayed with me. One such pearl is the importance of perspective and resilience. We all have bad days, bad scripts and bad ideas from time to time, but what’s important is that we shake it off and back our ability to bounce back even stronger.
 
Well, my adventure abroad might be over for now, but I’m feeling more inspired than ever to dive into the deep end and put my learnings into practice!