Manchester Creative Studio - Diary of the First Week

Dear Diary,

As you know I started college last week and today being a whole week since I started, I’m going tell you everything that has happened this week. Honestly I’m a little lost for words because the whole week has been overwhelming and I’ve met and become friends with many great people in such a short time. As you know I’d spent the last 3 months and 6 days waiting for college to start and once it finally did, believe me it did not disappoint.

Day 1:

On the first day of college, unable to sleep and with an indescribable butterfly sensation in my stomach, I woke up at 4am. Enthusiastic for the day planned ahead I jumped out of bed and began to get dressed straight away even though I had three hours before I had to start my journey. After getting dressed I began to get excited more and more as the minutes passed. I began organizing all my items for college I had hauled during summer: My pencil case; two notepads for my subjects; my trusty moleskin sketchbook journal and a can of monster energy drink to keep me awake (not that I would have needed it).

Just as I began to leave I received a phone call from Josh - (a friend I had made during the induction days and workshops that had been taking part during the summer hosted my MCS) - asking me to meet him at the bus station so we could travel together. This came as a surprise to me as I didn’t think anyone would have remembered me but apparently I had already made a good name for myself at the college.

After the 40 minute journey and meeting Josh on the way, I finally reached MMU’s beautiful Geoffery Manton building where I was greeted by many familiar faces from the workshops I had attended previously. I signed myself in and began to socialize with people that I had previously met, along with new faces that had joined the college later on.

After a scuffle of waiting for people to arrive and getting everybody together, the first day of college finally began at 9:30 am (and it was worth the wait!) First of all we were welcomed by our Principle, Nicola, who briefed us for the day and told us the expectations for the upcoming day and weeks. During her welcoming speech we giggled and we did mini icebreaker exercises to get us ready for the day until we were finally escorted into classrooms assigned by MMU.

Inside the classrooms we were introduced to industry specialists Computer Code Love and Reason Digital, by which we were given briefs to showcase our skills and get in the minds of working designers, programmers, managers, and all skill keepers imaginable to come up with campaigns that could potentially become viral and also generate some sort of valuable content digitally. The first day was fully based on Viral Marketing, and the fundaments of how it works.

By the end of the first day of college at 4:00pm, I had already made friends with a lot more people then I came into college with, and I felt as if I had joined a growing family and I was accepted. I couldn’t wait for day two.

Day 2:

Much like the first day, the travel to MMU was quite similar until I reached the building with a couple of friends that I had made - Josh, Jake, Alex and Owyn. The day was structured quite the same as the first with the differences in workshops, however the second day was about to get much more exciting.

The guest companies who were hosting our workshops were Tunafish Media, and Studio North - some big names in the advertising industry. During the day we were challenged by some briefs to create an advertising campaign for a drink that was not selling too well named ‘Slimeade’ which went quiet well and using the Canon D6 was like a dream come true. After all was said and done, all the students pitched their ideas and thought processes.

The day concluded with a small activity of ‘What is Creativity’ where we were introduced to creative habits and ‘TheBigDraw - These included things such as keeping a sketchbook wherever you go, sketching, taking images, using 15+ minutes a day to be creative by making something whether it be a doodle to music or an app.

Day 3/4:

After the short weekend, all the students, including me, were hyped up and excited for college to start, especially now that we were back into the Manchester Creative Studio offices. As I arrived many familiar faces were already there and were eagerly waiting to start working on projects the staff had planned for us.

Firstly we were split into two groups, The KS4’s in one and the KS5’s in the other. This was so that they could fit the activities they had planned between the two groups. The KS4 going onto trips for the first half of the week (which I’ll tell you about later on) and the KS5 working on briefs set by O2 and our beloved staff member Allyster. ‘How do we encourage teenagers to go thrifting’. We picked our teams and we were away, coming up with ideas on how we can create a campaign that would encourage teens to go thrift shopping.

During the course of Day 3 and Day 4 we were working on the brief, refining our ideas to the best they could be, until they were ready to present, with fun filled breaks and group activities in the middle. This is where Larry The Ghost was born.

Day 5:

Day five was the most fun of all. In the morning we were asked to spend a little bit of time to bring together our ideas for our campaign and as we finished up and presented to the staff and Allyster, we got amazing reactions. Just as that project was done for the time being, it was lunchtime, and this meant the KS5 were ready for their first trip.


Of course you know what ‘Lazer Quest’ is so I wont go into detail, but I will tell you, it was AMAZING. During our journey back to college we took the tram, which escalated quite quickly from a normal tram ride into a sing along with all the students and some of the passengers. We sang classics like Rock star by Nickleback, Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skyward and of course Bohemian Rhapsody. Which quickly ended, as the tram ride home wasn’t a long one but it sure was a unique one.

Day 6 and 7:

Remember the trips I said I’ll tell you about that KS4 went on? Well now it was our turn! Yorkshire Sculpture Park and The National Media Museum.

Firstly the YSP trip. We were whisked off away to Yorkshire early in the morning at 10:00am and the ride there was around a hour long. Which again turned into a sing-along for the coach singing songs by Disney, classic rock, pop punk, you name it!

When we arrived we were told to explore the YSP, and that we had 2 tasks:

1. Sketch at least 3 sculptures in the park in your own style.
2. Take images of sculptures from unique angles and point of views.

These two tasks were our day’s goal. Naturally I went with Jake who had become somewhat of a best friend during the past few days and who I was around quite a lot. We found weird and whacky sculptures where we took weirder and cooler images. After an hour or two of wandering and exploring the beautiful park we were asked to meet back at the coaches for lunch and then more exploring but this time with everyone together.

Once that was over at around 3:00pm we were escorted back to the coaches and whisked off back to college.

At the National Media Museum, we were all looking forward to the retro games room, because that’s all that any of us had looked into before we went. I mean come on, they had a classic Street Fighter machine! Once we got to the museum we were again sent off to explore, a little like the day before we were asked to take images, look for inspiration and take in the innovation and meet back at the entrance.

We all split into our friend circles and made our way to the exhibitions. I started from the top making my way down, (funnily enough, the games room was on the top floor) We all had a few games of Street Fighter, the classic Prince of Persia, and Mario Kart, and made our way towards the animation exhibition. Where we saw lots of weird and wonderful storyboards and amazing animation behind the scene of our most loved childhood TV shows.

We made our way through floor by floor and did countless breathtaking and fun things. It’d take me a whole diary to tell you what we did so I’ll just bullet point a few of my favorites.

  • Dressed up as a safari explorer.
  • Played my childhood favorite Street Fighter.
  • Starred in a sitcom and the BBC news.
  • Got myself feeling confused and mindblown by the Illusions room.
  • Got flashbacks of starring in a classic Doctor Who episode.

So in short, my day was amazing! – But unfortunately this is the end of my first week of Manchester Creative Studio adventure and I am no longer looking forward to the weekend. I am too excited for the days to come…