How to thrive as a young designer

On her 1978 hit single, Gloria Gaynor sang: ‘At first I was afraid, I was petrified’. The lyrics describe her discovery of personal strength after a devastating breakup. But I have a fact about this song that will disappoint jilted lovers everywhere: the song wasn’t written by Gaynor, but by a guy called Dino Fekaris who had been fired from his job at Motown Records. I Will Survive was Fekaris’ way of telling the label, ‘I’m gonna do me.’ And when you relisten to the song with that in mind, it’s a masterclass in storytelling, perfectly describing two essential creative ingredients: confidence and fear.

I’ve only ever been fired once, from my Saturday job at a garden centre when I was 16. It didn’t come as much of a shock. I knew precisely nothing about plants, so I’d make up answers to customers’ questions, and their gardens presumably went to shit. 

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Tom Manning is carpeing all the diems. Attempting not to make advertising as a junior creative at Havas London, he was also elected D&AD New Blood trustee in October 2016. In his spare time he makes, designs and codes fun things on the wild wild web. He wrote this bio himself, in the third person, to try and make it more legit.