by James Dredge | Marketing and Events Assistant, DMA Talent | November 22, 2017 The fourth round of the Big Book Crit in partnership with the Graeme Robertson Trust, the IDM & DMA has unfortunately come to an end with over 100 aspiring creatives having had their portfolios critiqued by some of the very best Creative Directors in the trade. We had a diverse turnout to each crit with post-grads and university students from all years attending, studying courses including Graphic Design, Photography, Fashion Communication & Promotion, Film and Moving Image. Each event is split into three sections, kicking off with a short topical talk discussing who the Graeme Robertson Trust are and how the evening will work. Attendees then split off and take residents at one of the ‘Critiquing Stations’ that are dotted around the venue, with the Creative Directors critiquing for fifteen minutes at each, moving from station to station at the ring of a bell. The evening comes to close with an opportunity for attendees to network with the Creative Directors they have meet earlier in the night over a plethora of beverages and nibbles. This round of Big Book Crit’s began with a bang in London with PSONA’s offices providing the perfect, quirky and colourful setting for our first lot of budding creatives to receive invaluable advice on their portfolios – and the addition of guide dog Carlo definitely boosted excitement! Carlo’s master, Charles Bloch, travelled down from Leicester just to attend the event and he told us that it was ‘completely worth the two hour journey down to London and back!’ After the event, we spoke to Neame Ingram, Executive Creative Director at PSONA after and he told us that ‘the Big Book Crit is a fantastic initiative. I just wish it had been set-up when I was a student trying to get into the industry. Getting the chance to show my work to 10 Creative Directors in one night, would have been amazing’. Next it was off to Norwich University of the Arts where ‘The Ideas Factory’ provided the setting for Norwich’s finest creative minds to critique attendees’ portfolios. Praise for the event continued to pour in with one third year Graphic Design student telling us that the event was really well run and provided a relaxed environment to get to know creative professionals. Another simply thanked us for the biscuits; good to hear that we have exceptional snack taste! The penultimate Big Book Crit event was held at creative agency Whitespace in Edinburgh. Heather McManus of Edinburgh Napier University told us that the event has showed her that ‘your lecturers’ opinion isn’t the only one out there’ which is a very important thing to consider when going into the creative industry; everyone has a different opinion! Anastasija Vojevodko of Edinburgh Napier University backed this view up telling us that ‘what you learn during your time in university might not necessarily be right’ and the event was a ‘valuable experience and a big eye opener’. The fourth round of Big Book Crits concluded in Bristol, hosted by Indicia and ran alongside Fresh Blood for the first ever time. Fresh Blood provides individuals aspiring to enter into a career in the marketing and advertising industry the opportunity to mix with and learn from industry big-shots through workshops, networking and talks. This short clip sums up what happened on the night. The quality of work that’s been on display at this round of crit’s has been exceptionally high and with the guidance attendees have gained from the evening, that work can only get better! If you’re an aspiring creative, this is an event you definitely don’t want to miss! As Hilary Barclay of Edinburgh College perfectly put, ‘free networking, free advice. What’s not to like?!’ The next round of Big Book Crits will be taking place in spring 2018. Follow @DMATalent for updates on all our upcoming events.