People First Stories

Sam Learmonth

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It's not always easy being an outlier, being seen as different, but it can make a world of difference to people's perspectives as was the case with Sam.

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My background is a lot more unstructured than a lot of other creatives. When I was just at that crucial moment where you're making decisions, my parents were breaking up at the time so to a certain extent, I wasn't given a lot of structure.

I went to college very briefly to be a journalist and I realised, that wasn't quite right for me. It was difficult to then choose a particular route, so then I kind of spent quite a few years moving more and more into design.

I was called in by a new business to basically help them with mock-ups for new business pitches. I was kind of brought in as this creative and it was quite an interesting time because actually I had a skill that nobody else had, and it was really valuable but actually at the same time I felt a real outlier. I felt like a kind of little oddball within the organisation.

Actually what's interesting, is seeing the evolution of the company and the company has become much more diverse. With that it's broadened the kind of person you can actually be. If you're in it to feel like you're making a positive difference to an organisation, actually, being an outlier is an incredibly useful thing for an organisation.

All of those skills that I've kind of learned along the way, are always in play. I find myself in a position now where I'm a constant generalist. Media agencies and creative agencies regarded themselves in a kind of oil and mortar, chalk and cheese kind of way, but now people are starting to accept that the solution is always a blend between the two. This is actually sometimes harder as it's hard to define where one ends and the other starts. That actually makes complete sense because that's the way we all process as human beings, isn't it?

I'm Sam Learmonth I'm a Global Art Director at MediaCom in the London office.

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