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March 21, 2018 - Comments Off on Sir John Hegarty in conversation

Sir John Hegarty in conversation

If you don't know who Sir John Hegarty is then you are in the wrong place.

And if you don't know, but are too lazy to google him, he's the co-founder of global ad agency BBH.

To paint a picture of how popular this particular talk was at Advertising Week Europe, I couldn't actually get in and had to sit in a cinema screen listening over headphones. Which had a mouse in it.

This discussion was lead by Jonathan Akwue, chair of the Ideas Foundation, a charity working to drive diversity which I highly recommend you check out here:

And asking the questions were young leaders at the start of their creative careers keen to get practical tips on how to zig-zag their way to creative success.

If you've ever heard a Hegarty talk before you'll know what a treat it is to get insight from the man who has played such a massive part in advertising.

When asked about how he arrived at the decision to enter the world of advertising he described his journey to art school, in an attempt to be the next Picasso – and to get the ladies. Turns out this was not for him and he decided to attend the London College of Printing, though you may know it by its current name, London College of Communication. He says it was here that realised that the world could not be changed with a shade of blue but by ideas.

On the topic of diversity, he was not shy to declare that he detests the phrase ethnic minority and chooses to use ethnic essentials instead. "Creativity thrives on diversity". He believes that the more culture and different ways of thinking that can be shared the better, and the diversity you put into an agency comes out in its work. He also shared that this is why he is against 'Brexshit', that Britain's choice to cut itself off from other cultures is sad and foolish.

The next trend? Better ideas. Honestly, he says stop worrying about the trends and start refining your ideas. Tech will come and go but a great idea won't need it. And his thoughts on data are pretty much the same. "Big data is bullshit". The greatest story about data is the story of the birth of Christ – they went for the census and got more then they bargained for. The knowledge aquired by big data might be useful but using it is better. "Have an idea that influences the future."

How does one become inspired? Well, look around, there's inspiration everywhere. Take off your headphones, read more, read different and surround yourself with people who inspire you (basically, sack off all the people weighing you down.) Great creatives are optimists, they do interesting things with passion and in return are rewarded with interesting things happening to them. Yes, there's still such a thing as being too optimistic but it's encouraged. Optimists can be brought down but you'll struggle to bring a pessimist up.

And finally, he preached the death of the brainstorm. There's no proof that any truly wonderful idea was born in a brainstorm but there is plenty of evidence to prove that it's actually the work of great individuals. In a brainstorm you're working as fast as the slowest person in the room - rushing towards average - will more people in the room really help? Or, will creativity strike when you aren't even trying?

March 20, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei


se. xiv

beast from the east reloaded was like going through puberty for the second time but it’s all sound now folks, huddle up to springtime with some of these LDN ‘appnings



I wouldn’t really consider myself a theatre bunny, and the narrative of the one play I went to see at The Yard theatre in Hackney Wick was about as easy to follow as the Golden Snitch - whilst suffering from cataracts, on foot, in Selfridges’ Christmas department amongst stacks and stacks of gold baubles. BUT, I’m an open-minded person and it’s nearly Easter, so let’s try reinvent that theatre bunny in me. New beginnings n that. Buggy Baby has just two weeks left at The Yard, and features an adult woman playing an eight-month-old baby, which is exactly the sort of premise that should have you booking tickets at lightning speed. Plus, the play has got loads of stars from loads of established publications, so that must mean something.


Ever since hanging out on the plant-laden terraced stretch of restaurants outside Westfield White City, I have become mildly obsessed with shrubbery you can sit on. So I’m overjoyed to find the CityTree installed in Piccadilly - a creation of Dresden-based Green City Solutions who are doing some wicked environmental work using modern tech like the Internet of Things. CityTree not only does the pollution-processing work of 275 trees in 1% of the space, is solar-powered AND waters itself, it’s also a comfy place to cotch. Too many times now I’ve said that London needs more benches. And it’s come at just the right time, as New Scientist point out that air pollution can actually destroy the communication systems of plants, which could have devastating effects on entire ecosystems. So pls follow Amsterdam’s example and respect the green.



Raw yellowfin to the tunes of Peru. Morcilla croquettes that are like biting into the soft soul of a sea urchin. Andina in Soho provides the rhubarb negroni (my seasonal mind is blown) and damn fresh sea bass ceviche worth every penny. There’s a branch in Shoreditch, because everyone has to sell out someday, and they also offer masterclasses so you too can shimmy on down the enlightened Peruvian road. Pissed-co sours, pls.



After watching some YouTube vids of BADBADNOTGOOD, suspecting there was something gratingly arrogant about them, concluding they were probably just four over-privileged, self-indulgent males, listening to their album III and agreeing with myself, then listening to album IV and Ghostface Killah collab Sour Soul and cutting them some slack, researching them a bit more thoroughly, forgiving their terrible name, considering buying a ticket to their live show in Lithuania in July, and now I’ve happily arrived at the stage where I’m comfortable recommending them to other people. So yeah. Onwards.


Get in touch with your womanly side. Cos everyone knows that’s really in right now. DIY Space for London is a top venue and this weekend (23 - 25th March) they’re running a 3-day even called AWOMENfest. There are collage workshops, live performances, tarot readings, screenings, jazz DJ sets. Mixed bag = YES. Get the full deets here and get yo tix here.


March 16, 2018 - Comments Off on Because not everyone’s a Friends fan

Because not everyone’s a Friends fan

I grew up in a small Cornish market town.

At school the only subjects I enjoyed (and was any good at) were the creative ones.

Y’kno the subjects other kids did for ‘fun’ or to avoid written exams.

Well art was my thing.

And I had no idea what kind of job it would get me.

To be honest, I don’t think my school did either.

If anything, it seemed like creative jobs didn’t exist... unless you wanted to be an artist or the next Mrs Schooling (my art teacher) ...

...which I did not, (sorry Miss).


one day, whilst watching Friends.

Season 9, episode 11 to be exact – thanks google.

I was introduced to a world beyond artist, or art teacher.

Chandler Bing had given up his job in whatever he did (who knows) to give copywriting a go.

Cheese – it’s milk that you chew.


A grape, because who can get a watermelon in your mouth.

Became my first real-ish insight into the ad-world.

Yeah, I’d seen ads on TV but the idea of advertising being one of those real-life job things – well, this was a first.

A quick google of ‘advertising degree courses’ and fast forward 4 years I’m graduating with a 2:1 in Advertising and Brand Communication from UCA, Farnham.

Fast forward another 8 years and I’m now a copywriter at a global advertising agency.


I can’t help thinking what if 16 year-old-me hated Friends? – I mean, some people do...

...some very strange people

And what about those 16-year-olds now – they’re not watching Friends.

So how are they meant to find out about the creative industry?

Yeah, we’re spending a lot of time visiting universities, myself included.

We’re talking to students who have already decided advertising is for them – great.

But no one is talking to school kids.

The ones that have absolutely no idea what they want to do.

Who have no idea of the possibilities that exist within the creative industry.

And if they are, I can’t imagine they’re talking to people like 16-year-old-me 254 miles away from London, in a town where creativity is seen as a hobby, not a career.

There’s a lot of talk right now about diversity, and rightly so.

Our industry is still dominated by white, privileged males. Although, I must caveat my art director falls into that category, and he’s f**king brilliant, so this isn’t a man hating exercise at all.


How are we meant to create change if we’re still hiring from the same places.

And talking to the same people.

Even the universities we’re visiting are usually the same ones within an hour train journey outside of London.

Why aren’t we casting the net further?

We should be talking to other courses, not just advertising ones.

We should be visiting schools and colleges, and not just ones near our office.

We should be supporting initiatives like D&AD New Blood Shift, Jolt Academy, The Ideas Foundation, A New Direction, Rare London, Creative Equals and The Creative Circle Foundation.

This year we, the YCC, have made it our mission to step outside the bubble that is London and get on the road to speak to students across the country about how incredible the creative industry is, and the opportunities that exist within it.

So far, this year we’ve spoken at universities in Leeds, Lincoln, & Essex.

We’re starting up conversations with schools, colleges and more universities outside of London.

And I’ll be heading back to my old art college in Plymouth and my secondary school in Cornwall, in hope to inspire someone like 16-year-old-me.

Because not everyone’s a Friends fan.







March 15, 2018 - Comments Off on When it all gets a bit too much…

When it all gets a bit too much…

After having attended my fair share of industry talks, I must admit that I’ve become a bit cynical. Unfortunately, I’ve often found it to be the case that many speakers attend these events to be in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, using the stage for their own publicity. But the event I attended last night was different. It was genuine, and eye opening. The people on the panel were there because they wanted to help others. Which is the same reason why I’m writing this article.

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March 8, 2018 - Comments Off on

As part of the Young Creative Council I’m incredibly lucky to work with, and meet some amazing young women. So, for International Women’s Day 2018 we’ve launched a platform with the ambition to celebrate a different female rising star every day for a year. (and beyond, I hope)

In a world where only 11% of creative directors are female, what chance do young female creatives have?

As a regular visitor to colleges and universities I see lecture theatres, classrooms and studios full of talented, ambitious young females (and more often than not, it’s the males that are the minority) yet when it comes to the industry the numbers just don’t add up. Something isn’t quite right here.

The dropout rate for young females in the creative industries is frightening. With a lack of role models, mentoring and funding it’s no surprise young women are turning their back on ad land. is part of our plan to change the stats.

We’ve created a platform for student, intern and junior creatives to be recognised for the awesome job they’re already doing...with the ambition that, by International Women’s Day 2019 we’ll have 365 incredible women who are STILL in the industry and are smashing it.

Help us change the stats by nominating a #BadassGal you know, and sharing with your networks.

Here's a sneak peak at some of the Badass Gals we have coming in the next few days...


#1 Pip & Lib 
A Welsh-Scandi furniture designer, and one of London's Young Poets. Pip and Lib are a creative team at Anomaly and co-founders of Phlegm Collective. The pair are on a mission to destroy society's unrealistic idea of 'perfection' and are already making waves, after their work was picked up by The Metro and Huffington Post. 

#2 Robyn Frost
Winning a yellow pencil at the D&AD New Blood Awards for her work on The British Army, and being one of the 2017 Creative Conscience finalists Robyn has already taken the industry by storm. But it's not just her work that we think makes her a Badass Gal. Robyn has written articles for both Campaign and D&AD, as well as speaking at events like Glug and Silicon Beach.

#3 Shanice Mears 
From intern at an agency to co-founder of an agency. Shanice is co-founder and chief talent scout of The Elephant Room, a new breed of agency who are committed to changing advertising. Shanice is living proof that titles, levels and experience mean nothing. It's your ambition, determination and passion that will create the change you want to see.


Head to to see more

March 6, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei xiii

sensei xiii

se. xiii

how long do you have until your next 'commitment'? until you have to actually be somewhere, and do something? check this with yourself at every free moment you have, it feels like you're growing time



I really don’t want this section to turn into some sad little diary of all my cuisinal rampages around London like some kind of Evening Standard columnist homage (luv u Grace Dent), but I ate proper good munch this weekend so follow suite. Darjeeling Express in Kingly Court serves up killer Indian food from a kitchen run only by women with no prior experience. The beetroot raita is pinker than lipstick in the rain and they serve strangely random but propa good venison meatballs. Up in Hoxton Square you’ll find the Petit Pois Bistro, which means foie gras with rhubarb, and chocolate mousse that GETS it, all to the soundtrack of The The and Fleetwood Mac.



Smell always seems to bring bad news. I should do one where it’s more positive. Not this week though, yardies. DEAD STARFISH EVERYWHERE COS OF ALL DAT NUTS SNOW.

Don’t be a spanner; go listen to Emma Tanner. The third year Central St Martin’s student is putting on a one-woman show (I think it’s about furniture) at a gallery in Dalston that’s really just a flat that’s been converted by someone who clearly meant it when they said they’re gonna “do” East London.

For more cavorting of an artistic nature, check out RA’s Open Saturdays. On the second Saturday of every month the Green Park gallery put on free (FREE! F-R-E-E!!!!) workshops run by artists (ACTUAL ARTISTS) that you can go to and learn stuff from (SKILLS, TRANSFERABLE SKILLS, DO YOU HAVE ANY FUKIN CLUE HOW HARD THEY ARE TO COME BY THESE DAYS!??!?!)


‘Black Boy Meets World’ is the debut album of Danny Watts, released last year on Jonwayne’s record label Authors Recording Co. His cathartic rhymes and DGAF production have hypnotised my Spotify fingers into pressing repeat much and often. He made it in a week, what you done?

A couple days back Ms Peggy Gou Gou Gou please take off your Shoe Shoe Shoe released a new EP ‘Once’ on Ninja Tune, catch her on the flip side at Needs x HeForShe at Oval Space this Sunday. Aside from featuring performances from B Traits and everyone’s favourite Smack City graduate, Jackmaster, the event will host panel discussions from music industry playaz, tackling the hottest topic since Scotch bonnets had the mic - gender inequality.


Someone high up at Nokia must be on a LOT of shrooms right now, because they really believe we’re gonna ditch our beloved Apple touch-screens for them. Their 2017 reboot of the iconic 3310 was pretty pathetic, evident from one of the THREE WHOLE selling points being “you can play Snake” (I mean fair do’s tbh but not the point). Anyway, NOW the Finnish phone company is bringing back the 8110 ‘Matrix phone’, and it’s all 90s nostalgia and special springing mechanisms, and all this hype about it having 5G, and TechRadar acting like this article is somehow necessary. Guys. C’mon. It looks like a fucking banana boat.


February 27, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei xii

sensei xii

se. xii

for when it's so cold even the central line is subzero



OOF, can’t believe the exclamation “oof!”, usually paired with splitting open a perfectly cooked soft boiled egg or in response to Orla dropping Auden, has now moved to pastures greener than my juvenile use of language, taking its place as the title of a new publication that is all about the relationship between art and football. Yes, they have a relationship, and it’s an extremely fruitful one, thank you. This new biannual mag is produced by Time Out’s art editor Eddy Frankel (a.k.a. Man with best prof pic on Twitter), and the first issue features big-time artists Rose Wylie (senior citizen of the moment) and Chris Ofili. At the end of the day, it’s something for the shelves of Wardour Street News that isn’t yet another £17 glossy that looks suspiciously similar to Dazed & Confused and also EVERY OTHER GLOSSY ON THE RACK, with content bound 2 be original considering its unlikely pairing of subjects.



Besides the Big Important Shows you should go to see like Barbican’s Another Kind of Life, Tate Britain’s All Too Human and - if you’ve not been yet - the Hayward’s re-opening with Andreas Gursky, make sure you give a little love to some smaller fry. Totally Different Animals at Arcadia Missa, the epic Marvin Gaye Chetwynd at Sadie Coles HQ, Luke Burton at Bosse & Baum, I Had The Landscape In My Arms at Josh Lilley and the enigmatic Rose Salane at Carlos/Ishikawa all are very worth your small-gallery-hopping while.



Smells like tenuous and weakly creative advertising but I’m also not too sure because the pre-whiff of whisky has impaired me slightly. Glenmorangie Spìos is opening a pop-up bar called Spice & Rye in Fitzrovia from 20th - 24th March, it looks like every dim’n’grotty basement bar in the area and, true to ***experiential form***,  it's complete with art deco-style decor and jazz band. It’s a brand literally getting you drunk so you buy their products, out of respect you should go.



An important precaution to take in this shit weather (or any weather in fact, cos this universe revolves around YOU gurl, not some fickle-minded meteorological phenomena) is to not forget about tending to your teatime taste buds. You want those buds to BLOOM, bitch, and nobody’s gon water them but you. Ditch the predictable selfies at Sketch and head to Cannizaro Park in Wimbledon for afternoon tea at Hotel du Vin and an unnecessary stroll through the foliage, it is worth the trek. If you find yourself oft crying out for crafts (and staying in Central), check out DrinkShopDo, where you can do stuff like bookbinding and clay modelling to make yourself feel like you’re at summer camp aged 9. Or, cinnamon rolls at Mughead Coffee in New Cross are bang, a lang, a langing.


Nicolas Jaar gotta be the most sneaky bastard in the game. You might think he hibernates like a bear in a Christmas ad but he’s out there under multiple aliases releasing music L, R and C like he’s some kind of Russian spy child spawned by Nina Kraviz. 2012 - 2017 is his new album, released a couple of weeks back under one of these undercover virtuoso alter egos - A.A.L (Against All Logic). It’s bouncin, and was put out by his label, Other People, which features more treats you should chekkkkkk a$ap.


February 20, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei xi

sensei xi

se. xi
we should all view Frances Mcdormand @ the Baftas as our guiding north star this week, and have just a little bit more trouble with being 'compliant'



If your ears haven’t feasted on the group album assembled by XL Recordings’ top dog Richard Russell then consider this section AURAL TASTE. Everything Is Recorded is sprawling and cathartic, perhaps thanks to the croons of Sampha, whose voice makes you think he’s the kinda guy who would forgive your wrongs. Wa-hack the record on during your commute home; your tired Londonified grey pallor will not protest.

Meanwhile in Dalston, experimental and avant-garde music venue Cafe Oto is hosting a night next Monday featuring artists from Turkey and Iran, with music inspired by Persian, Indian and Arabic music traditions. The teasers growl with soul and the tanbur, tembur and santur will all be played. I know you don’t know what those are so make sure you go and find the fuk out.


Touch upon the issues of today in a way that goes against the grain. Last week’s Short of the Week, the 10-minute documentary Guns Found Here (director David Freid) is a gr8 example of something that does exactly that. By maintaining the grave consequences of US gun ownership - i.e. everyone getting fucking KILLED - but approaching the topic from a largely unexamined angle in the form of a certain firearm-related bureaucratic nightmare, the call for tighter gun controls is made in a non-hostile, non-“activist” way, which I rate. That sounds like a douchey thing to say, but I stand by it because the film exhibits the kind of imaginative argument-making that could actually ignite change, and convince the staunch’n’stupid NRA groupies.


Nostalgia wrapped up in reverb. Frank says go to church and you will feel like Frank feels. Did someone say tulips. Did someone say fuchsia. Did someone say sorbet.


Oooh here is a full-on fancy to see this week, pals. Creative director cum fashion designer cum DJ (if your job title doesn’t span three industries then R U even living in the twenty-first century m8?) Virgil Abloh, also known as that dude who made those sick Nikes, has teamed up with (remember when we didn’t use the phrase ‘collaboration’ in every other sentence?) contemporary artist Takashi Murakami, also known as that dude who made that sick Kanye West album cover. Making up perhaps the most raging postmodernist duo of all time, they’re exhibiting works at the Gagosian Gallery in Davies Street from Wednesday. Expect nu-wave frantic visuals and thirteen-year-olds who dress better than you.


When in doubt, Peckham. Check out Coal Rooms, which is housed in the station’s former ticket office. Grade II listed, fam. I like the website URL because it looks like “Coal Room Speckham”, and I’m imagining something that is halfway between a chicken coup that smells like incense and and old man in a burgundy leather armchair with an inch-thick monocle on. Don’t know where that came from, might be the whole roasted cauliflower and ox cheek talking. Yeah. You ‘erd.


February 13, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei x

sensei x

se. x

to celebrate sensei’s tenth post and the hilarious title that goes along with it, i’ve made sure to highlight every mention of ‘ten’/change words as much as possible to resemble ‘ten’/included every possible rubbish ‘ten’ pun. it WILL get tenuous. pls enjoy



There is an avocado-themed pop-up called Avobar opening in Covent Gar-ten from the 16th February. That sentence (tensence? tentence?!!?!) appears like it should be read in a calm, reasonable and accepting voice but let me assure you it is NOT. It sounds like shrieks - so loud and piercing they overpower even the sound of Elon Musk’s unnecessary rocket taking off - emitted by a mother (we will probably cast Jodie Foster) who’s realised she’s lost her second child to the inevitable Roaming Paedophile™, only days after losing her first to the same fate. It’s pure horror, basically. We don’t need an Avobar. Avobar should be renamed Anobar. Because no.


Time to download an app called Dumb Fun, which, if you’re any self-respecting smartphone zombie, you will do purely off the title and without giving a FF for what it’s actually about. I’ll tell you what it’s about tho, cos you must know by now I take great joy in giving my ten cents on things. It’s basically Pokémon Go (it does that whole AR thing a.k.a. the cop-out version of VR) but, instead of Pikachu, it’s collage art. You’ll enjoy this if you like Arturo Herrera, Mike McQuade, the general output of Tax Collection, or most modern music posters.


DON’T LET THE RAT IN. Have u seen dis bollox. Amazon a.k.a. El Behemoth Majoris that we are all dangerously sound about letting fly unmanned robots into our homes (have you SEEN the Maxine Peake Black Mirror episode yet?!?!?) have just pa(ten)ted a new device that will tell them exactly what their warehouse employees are doing with their hands AT ALL TIMES. Appaz it’s to help guide them around the warehouse, as if humans haven’t been using their eyes and navigation skills to get around for, I dunno, 200,000 years. I mean, legit rofl. I know I sound like David Icke but this is full-fledged surveillance bullshit. They want to know when you’re looking at your phone, having a cig, doing a fiddle in the toilets, the whole ten(!!) yards. Don’t let the rat in guys.


MGMT have released their new album, it’s crap. Listen to new EP from Mukqs A.K.A Maxwell Allison, who runs and does the album artwork for label Hausu Mountain instead. Made using no laptop and no overdubs, this music has #integrity and iz plain dope.

Bonus reco is Higher Brothers that a good mate of mine (ten)tatively put on at around 4am recently, knowing that it was either going to be a huge hit or miss. It was such a massive miss that it sort of turned into a hit, so alright on the night init. It’s terrible but that’s what the twenty-first century’s all about, raight? Plus, what can I say, it’s got great tenpo. Worth a listen. A lisTEN.


You might be regretting how much you were waxing lyrical about Happy End after reading about what Michael Haneke had to say about #MeToo, in that case make sure you bag a ticket to go see Lady Bird when it opens this Friday, directed by actress and Frances Ha writer Greta Gerwig. She’s sort of like a cross between Crystal Moselle and Chloe Sevigny and her name ain’t an anagram of ‘great’ for nothing. Her forward-thinking film game and feminism fatale trump that dated Austrian director tenfold. Silly Michael Pancake.


February 6, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei ix

sensei ix

se. ix
this may or may not be a tide ad


Yussef Kamaal. Trust me. I’m listening to the London-based duo now and I imploooore you with all my sensei soul to hear them too. If you’ve seen the Tribe Called Quest documentary Beats, Rhymes and Life (and I know you have because I have faith in your musical sensei-bilities my friend) and you were gob-open the whole way through, unable to comprehend the sheer sonic harmony going on between these fellas, then this particular strand of improvised electronic jazz is another one for your iTunes libe. Check out their ethos, as such, here. It’s half Henry Wu and half Kamaal Williams, who will be playing Village Underground on March 22nd. Get to it.

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