‘Sitting on a bean bag doesn’t make you creative’ – Sir John Hegarty – Festival of Creativity 16th May

Sat in the lecture hall of the Stephen Langdon Building, I was surrounded by students, lectures, senior staff and local businesses alike, all there to listen and learn from a true legend of the industry. I didn’t just increase my knowledge as an advertising student, I learnt the value of what University represents.

You may feel that a creative festival isn’t relevant to your field or work but I assure you, the lessons you can learn will undoubtedly benefit you. No matter what you study, here’s a list of reasons why you need to attend at least one event during the ‘Festival of Creativity’ and a few wise words I learnt from Sir Hegarty that I feel sums up why it’s essential to explore what’s going on from May to June.

No idea is original

We are all entrepreneurs in the making, and you’ll need to stand out whether that be as an employee or as a start-up business. Your USP (Unique Selling Point) is that one thing you will harness to set you apart from the thousands of other people trying to step on your toes. So, considering that ‘a library is supposedly made up of just 7 stories’, don’t try too hard to do something completely original, focus on doing something better. Go to as many talks as you can and learn why people are successful, and use their knowledge – if it aint broke don’t fix it.

You’re not elitist for mixing with the best

There is competition in everything we do, as soon as you decide to leave 5 minutes early you’re being competitive. But whether you like it or not, someone is always going to arrive earlier than you or be better than you at something. Learn and collaborate, this festival is full of 2 things: experts and talented students.

Ego doesn’t mean you have to be a…

Everything you have ever bought has been due to you having some faith in that product – and why do you have faith in that product? Because somebody believed in it enough to sell it to you. If you already have enough self-believe in your own work and knowledge then you are on track to being great, but most of us don’t have the experience behind us to feel that level of confidence. Listen to any speaker and you will realise it’s ok to be proud of what you do, we’ve all made it to higher education, so where you take your abilities from here is dictated only by the endless opportunities you offer yourself.

Listen to somebody you don’t agree with

The two best outcomes you can possibly get from listening to another person talk is either A. “Wow, I actually agreed with that speaker, and gained some valuable knowledge.” or B. “What were they talking about? I don’t agree with that at all!” Don’t feel like it’s negative to disagree. If you feel either A or B you’re feeling passionate about what you believe in. Being bold sometimes involves using frustration or opinion as a force to do better, it should never hold you back.

University is expensive, get what you pay for

Higher Education is a lot of money, there is no denying it, but the value of the events that take place at university are priceless. Don’t pay this much cash to just get by, use these valuable talks and events to your advantage, work hard and then party later.

There are still some fantastic talks and exhibitions going on off and on Campus. Like the Creative Processes in Online Collaboration on the 27th May, or Shaun Cole:
‘Bright shirts & bright ideas – exploring creativity’
 on the 1st Jun. Plus, there are so many exciting student exhibitions going on this month – check out the Festival of Creativity site for more info.


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One off contributions from guest student writers and video makers.

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