My daughter Taylor loves to give her opinion and organise things. She spends her weekends drawing and colouring and comes home from school asking me to design her more homework. One slightly unusual hobby is designing class registers and drawing all the lines out then ticking them off, or putting sad faces for the misbehaving kids. I guess all of this stems from the of influence of having a designer as a parent!
After a few weeks in reception, having just turned four in the school holidays, Taylor came home and said she was going to be the lead role in the Christmas play. Nothing like me then… I had one line in a play year six, ran onto the stage and forgot what I was there for… nothing came out. I’m a bit of an introvert but somehow had created a kid who could act! This has turned into more plays and holiday drama clubs, she’s not shy of a camera either.
After a few weeks at Agent I got the chance to work on the Better by Bus campaign, I knew one little helper who would love to get involved!
Luckily it was the school holidays so I brought Taylor in to meet the Agents. She chose her outfit carefully the night before and was super excited. Working with the Better by Bus project team she brainstormed and co-created the Better by Bus characters, their personalities and their interests. We gave her blank pieces of paper and asked her to create characters, draw where they live and what they would eat for dinner. She listed their favourite activities and this is when Ollie and his gang were born!
Once the characters had been brought to life by our creative team, the next challenge was to create an activity book to be used in schools engagement assemblies run by our very talented team, Laura and Sarah. Taylor was involved in ideas and the very important stage of testing the content to make sure it was age appropriate. When the books came off the press she had to be the first to have a go!
When I was tasked with writing the Better by Bus Club song I went home to Taylor and told her I needed her help! I went to make dinner and came back to find she’d created me a mind map. Great stuff! It’s always inspirational getting a child’s insight. I found a tune, worked in the campaign’s key messages and worked and reworked the lyrics. Once I was happy with it I had to perform it to the Agents, there was no other way to get it from humming in my head to reality. You can imagine what that was like given my problems in year 6! I just had to say to myself ‘Taylor could do this when she was four’.
Since this initial taster, Taylor has been part of a festival themed photoshoot with our photographer James. We had a fun morning out on location at Sefton Park. She created her costume and visited Laura’s glitter make up studio. She had the chance to use a sulky face expression, she is well practiced in this!
After the shoot she sat in the head of creative seat to have a stab at Photoshop and a Wacom. She was amazed at how you could draw on the screen. She even changed the height of his chair (shhh!)
Taylor frequently asks me ‘how the campaign is going’ and comments on billboards and ads she sees because now she knows how it is all put together.
I’m really pleased she’s had a taste of work and professional life. It has shown her what is possible and the variety and opportunity out there. Thank you to Agent for giving a little eight year old an incredible experience, and thank you to Taylor for her creativity and ideas that contributed to such a great campaign!