All Posts in creative

May 16, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei

sensei

se. xviii

feeling rubbish about your creative output? can't be as bad as that abysmal DC ad written for millennials by old white men, right? refresh your memory and not your palate with how NOT to live your life here

 

HEAR

Definitely not the Arctic Monkeys’ new album. That’s harsh, I haven’t listened to it, I’m making a snap judgement because I’m a bitter millennial and don’t think life is ever going to get any better than it did in Any Suburban Park in Summer 09, or perhaps cranked off our collective nut on a sofa in second year. And if anyone even begins to start uttering the sound “Child-” you know EXACTLY what’s coming music-wise (and good on you, because it’s a tune to end many tunes and a video that’s even better, we heart you Hiro our hero). So in that case, give your ear-hairs a groom with the Iranian-Dutch beats of Sevdaliza. If you’re liking her new release Humana then make sure you hark back to her 2017 album Ison. And if you need a quick dose of whatever it is that gets you through the day then your toenails will crumble during the very first bars of this RIPPER by John Tejada, and then you can watch the master at werk during his live set at the LA Mixmag Lab. It’ll keep your week happy, trus meh.

TOUCH

Touch an actual object and not just a glaring screen that warns of our slow decline into losing use of our fingertips' nerve endings because we haven’t needed to be tactile in years. OK maybe ahead of myself there but issuez gotta be raised, right? South London Gallery is hosting a LGBTQIA book fair which will no doubt be a trove of independently published queer fiction, political writing and critical insights, and actual printed matter to have and to HOLD. Workshops and talks to go with em too, so head down on the 25th and 26th May, at least just to appreciate the title with its echoes of Zoe Leonard’s beautiful 1992 artwork for David Wojnarowicz.

 

SEE

Curzon Cinemas are doing a Nick Cave film series because, well why the shit not, he touches people in a way a crummy indie arthouse film cannot. They kick it off on the 22nd May with the 1987 Wim Wenders film Wings of Desire, and it only gets more crooning from there. Grab tix before he grabs u.

SMELL

That fresh layer of paint, yuh. The Royal Academy re-opens on the 19th May (totally fine if you didn’t even realise it was shut) to celebrate its 250th birthday the only way a gallery knows how: with a fuckload of art stuffs. So head down 19th/20th for some drop-in printmaking workshops, spoken word performances and communal flag-flying. Yes. And to keep your bellies full as well as your left brains, there’ll be street food and cocktail bars all weekend, like The Ginistry and Mother Clucker. Peckham-based creative collective BORN N BREAD will be throwing an after party (a demure 10pm finish ofc) with DJs, live performances and immersive installations (obviously).

 

TASTE

I say Danish, you say… hygge? The crusty yogs in Christiania? Organic open rye sandwiches? Blatant and unapologetic clichés? Mais oui. Feed your baitness at modern Danish restaurant Snaps + Rye with some finely flavoured arctic char, pickled fennel, trout paté and, OMG, buttermilk panna cotta. PS GUESS WHAT it’s in West London. Golborne Road, u hav my back and my backing.

And if it’s somehow possible to drink rosé unironically, here’s the place to do it: their 2015 French bottle is a smooth treat. Oooh, I sounded borderline connoisseur there.

I know you don’t need telling I’m not.

@larabaxter

April 25, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei

sensei

se. xvii

we had a brief and flirtatious summer weekend just there, but it's over now, and you know what that means? it's time to start drafting your ideas for PARODY CHRISTMAS CAMPAIGNS (obviously) because, as in AdLandLife, these will take 6+ months to perfect (using the word 'perfect' liberally)

 

SEE

Do those eye bogies need scratching? No fear. Thomas Mailaender exhibits his contemporary photography at Michael Hoppen Gallery - he was taken on by Louis Vuitton a while back and he developed the ONLY existing method of printing leather within the fabric, as opposed to simply on the surface. Dat’s some deep dye. His “fun archaeological” objects are on display too; they read like physical meme humour and will genuinely make you lol a lil. Also not to be missed are rounds of Peckham’s current shows - Alastair Levy at Lily Brooke, ‘Instant Excess’ at Rod Barton, Magali Reus at SLG and Caterina Silva at Bosse & Baum.

Caterina Silva.

Thomas Mailaender.

 

TOUCH

The glittery giant otherwise known as awards season is almost upon us, and things are kicking off this week with D&AD, whose famed pencils always find their way to work that’s both killer creative and slightly off the big-brand beaten track. With the first wave of winners announced on Monday and more on the way this week in tandem with the festival, there’s going to be plenty of creative brain candy for you to induce indigestion with. And if you didn’t manage to get your grubby hands on tickets (or a pencil), the coverage will come in thick and fast on social media, and make sure you check back to their site regularly to get some award-winning inspo. Studio Hato’s ace identity for this year is also worth a cobbles.


HEAR

From the 2015 album ‘Theory of Flo’, Auntie Flo proves that although 3 years in music is tantamount to a lifetime in genre evolution, there is such thing as a timeless classic these days, and no better example than this banger with Anbuley. If you’re rendered speechless by those beats as well as the dystopian stylings of Chloé, bag yourself un billet to Printworks this Saturday for a line-up that rivals the South-East London establishment’s light system in terms of blinding. DJ Koze will be spinning tracks from his upcoming LP ‘Knock Knock’ which, if the first release from it is anything to go by, you’re gonna have a stamping good night.

 

 

TASTE

Since somehow managing to exhaust all the food options at Pop Brixton, Flat Iron Square, Dinerama and (easily enough) The Prince, and now being in dire need of that sweet heaven of washing down hot, fresh munch with overpriced draught beer, nirvana has been found in the sprawling Elephant & Castle space Mercato Metropolitano. They do miso ramen, sourdough pizzas and steak & chorizo on sweet potato fries that will catapult your eyes to the size of NEPTUNE. If only yalls’ stomachs were that big. Also just opened is Mare Street Market up in ol’ Hackers, but good luck finding a seat among the “creative industry clones” and adorbz dogs that are only ever held in the crooks of arms.

 

SMELL

Fashion reeks of guilt. Guilt of encouraging twisted beauty ideals, guilt of nurturing unhealthy, stressful and ostracising work cultures, and - perhaps one of the most recent revelations - guilt of destroying the planet through questionable production processes and widespread child labour. Then what better way to address this through a blunt, exhaustive and informative exhibition at the V&A? Atta girl, fashion.

 

@larabaxter

April 19, 2018 - Comments Off on Stacey Dennis: Champion Northern Creatives: Part 4

Stacey Dennis: Champion Northern Creatives: Part 4

Best known for her cheeky cards, Leeds born, Stacey Dennis provides us with her hugely inspirational story of her creative start-up and now award-winning business Love Layla. We talk about how she quite literally used her 'skills to pay the bills' and turned 30 quid into a million and why carving out your own path might lead to even bigger and better things.

Excited to introduce the fabulous Stacey Dennis!
Let's get right to it, what University did you got to and to do what?

Leeds Art College & Leeds Met University, studying Design

After finishing formal education what did you do next?
Shortly after graduating, I began my first role within Graphic Design at a Musical
Instrument company based in Leeds. My job was to edit photographs of instruments
and design layouts for the in-house magazine.

How has your career path been shaped over the years?
Amongst various Graphic Design jobs, they were mainly all office based positions. I did break off after a redundancy to travel Australia. This led me to various job roles while backpacking around, but then I landed a position in Sydney working at a Design & Print shop - this was really where I came into more print production, understanding colour process and more technical design.

It was a local business and I became close to the owner who guided me through 9 months of training and development within my skills. Still working as a junior, my Manager was an amazing Illustrator and taught me how to really control design skills throughout the Adobe suite software. On my return to the UK, with my now Australian Husband, I then landed a Managerial position within a similar type of business back in Leeds.

Wow, what a journey!
What have been some of your most difficult obstacles in the workplace?

I think the most difficult obstacles within my career are being a Director of Love Layla. While I still love my job as a Designer, running a business involves job roles that I have zero interest in - such as Accounts. It takes me a long time to understand the sums!

Thankfully, I am super organised so can handle the workload but understanding and throwing yourself into duties that you really have no idea (or interest!) about...

What has been your favourite project to work on?
My favourite projects have always been logo design - throughout my career and having various tasks, I still and always will love designing logos! Simply because they are the “emblem” of someone’s business - there’s a lot riding on that. It’s the pressure I love then...

I did feel really proud and loved designing a sign for our offices -the sign is huge and I have never had to design a sign for myself, that was special.

Starting out, how did you create opportunities for yourself?
I always tried to put myself into everything - I always kept up with trends and found my own style. I was fortunate to gain experience within both print and design - this gave me a better understanding of a finished product when I was designing to send to print.

You have a very family orientated brand and business, who would you thank for helping get where you are?
It's true! The biggest input to my career started with my parents - they would drive me crazy places for crazy equipment/tools/materials to create my designs while at Uni. After them, I would say my boss from my job in Sydney. I was only supposed to be a temp for 3 weeks - 9 months later, I left the country and the job along with the support and advice of a professional who had grown her business from scratch.

So, from Leeds to Sydney to Leeds again, what was it that made you create Love Layla?
Love Layla came about because I was made redundant (again) as I left for maternity leave to have my baby, Layla. I was working as a freelance designer when my husband had a back injury. We were left with £30 and a one year old so I used my skills to pay the bills!

I designed 11 cards for Valentine’s Day and pushed them through Social Media. 3 years later, we stand in a warehouse with 4 members of staff (who are all family) with my husband, Jay, also as a Director. Layla is now 4 years old and we have a huge social media following generating repeat and new custom.

  

Amazing! What would you say has been your biggest achievement to date?
While not to sound too cocksure, my biggest achievement is managing Motherhood and building a successful business turning over £1million in our first year of trading. That was a big year and a proud achievement.

Absolutely, that's incredible. Why do you think the North of England is so special?
Yorkshire Puddings - My Dad is the king of them!

I was born and bred in Leeds and I love being in the North because it’s home! With great cities, we have lots to offer - chips and gravy for one!

What is great about Northern creatives?
There are lots of opportunities worldwide for Creatives, but sometimes they aren’t plausible or practical - so Northern Creatives are able to reach out to the North to assure you that you don’t need to be in the capital to have good ideas - nor do you need to have the skyline backdrop for inspiration.

If you have the eye, determination and drive, it will take you where you want to be.

What does the future hold for 2018?
Continue building our business, generate more designs and products to add to our collection and in general, keep enjoying my work and designing.

What advice would you give to anyone entering the creative industry?
Keep going, it’s not easy. I do find sometimes what looks great to you, isn’t always to someone else - but stick with your gut. Believe in what you do and keep practicing. I have gained a lot of skills through watching and practising video tutorials since I left University and through running my business.

Always think outside of the box, sorry for being cliché - It’s not my usual style, but always look for the not so obvious things in life, they might just lead you to a good thing.

One final thing, who is Twat Cat?
(Laughing) That's our cat and he is Twat Cat.

--

Got a birthday, anniversary, wedding to go to? You know where you're going now.
Discover more of our amazing Champion Northern Creatives here.

April 12, 2018 - Comments Off on Stephen Drummond: Champion Northern Creatives: Part 3

Stephen Drummond: Champion Northern Creatives: Part 3

Stop what you're doing. We went knocking on number 70 for a blog with more amazing things than you can shake a stick at. From Samuel L Jackson to puddles - we've got it all. Neatly wrapped into piece for you to love with all your might.

Meet Owner and Creative Director of Drummond Central, a marketing and communications agency based in Newcastle with clients worldwide. They're one of the top 20 largest agencies outside of London and recognised globally for their creative work.

"We love nothing better than raising the profile of cutting-edge, non-traditional and creatively-minded clients through a considered approach."

You might also know them from...

Let's get cracking, what's you're name and where do you come from (proper Cilla intro!)

I'm Stephen, I'm the Creative Director of Drummond Central, I'm from Newcastle (loud cheering from the crowd) and I started my design life out at Newcastle School of Art and design and followed with a HND in Advertising.

After you finished education, what were your next steps?
Went to London for a year or so, starting as a Junior Art Director to now, CD of my own agency.

That's pretty awesome.
What has been some of your most difficult obstacles in the workplace?

Managing a creative department is the most complex part of my day job.

What has been your favourite project to work on?
There's been loads. We made a horse racing TV commercial recently. We duplicated one horse, numerous times to create a pack. That turned out much better than I thought it would. Amazing actually.

How did you create opportunities for yourself?
Hard work and persistance. Make sure you work harder than everyone in the room. Then make sure work you work harder than everyone in the building etc...

How did you get your first job in the industry?
It was Christmas time and we sent our portfolio in wrapping paper to the CD of Saatchi and Saatchi in London. He called us back within 15 minutes.

Amazing! What has been your biggest achievement to date at work?
Filming commercials with Samuel L Jackson at Universal Studios, Hollywood.

WOW! I'm not quite sure how to follow that?
What do you think is special about the North of England?
Everything you could ever need; history, the coast, great nightlife etc... is on the doorstep. Plus, Northern creatives have a good work ethic, they're witty and grounded.

What's your next big goal?
Keep getting better. Have more fun!

What advice would you give to anyone entering the industry?
Work harder than everyone else. Listen!

--

Check out more of Drummond Central's work here.
Read more about our Champion Northern Creatives, here.

April 10, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei

sensei

se. xvi

if you squat and squint real well, you'll see that 'puma' is an anagram of 'faux pas', either that or that's the name of their next line of creps that with 78% likelihood will not sell out

SEE

In total effing awe of this emoji art page - damn these yung kids got skills. There’s not much on this earth that will make you as happy as seeing Kendrick’s cheek made of cookies and Eric Andre’s hair recreated with motorbikes and spiders. For more visual animated wonders available OFF the sociomediosphere and in the big L-D-N instead, check out Frances Stark over at the ICA and a screening of her interpretation of Mozart’s famous opera ‘The Magic Flute’. The behind-the-scenes vid of her work makes for worthwhile watching as she explains how obscure art doesn’t alllllways have to be poncey and inaccessible. (But it sure does help).

TOUCH

MORE THRIFT MAKES THE HEART GROW SCHWIFTY. Poplar Union is starting a monthly sewing class and in the process discards all that ‘make-do-and-mend’ preconceptions you had about the needle-and-thread, and shows you that new skills taste just as good as new clothes. Ones you’ve made yourself, obviously, not sold your soul to the high street (and their questionable exploits) for.

 

HEAR

The sweet sound of drums’n’laughter that you’ve been direly missing since all that endless Easter joy came to an abrupt halt last Tuesday. Hideaway in Streatham not only puts on live jazz, soul and funk nights - laying the aural nectar on so thick they could sell it as manuka - they host comedy nights on Fridays too. Getcho giggle on, forget it’s Friday 13th, shed the week’s sorrows, all that jazz. Literally, jazz. Monday nights sees a jazz workshop and jam session for all abilities, so you with the deaf tones can finally make it to deftones (the Def Jam version).

SMELL

Dance but NOT as you’ve known it before. Which is quite possibly you stepping on your own toes feeling like the physical embodiment of awkwardness, being squashed against a club wall wet with the condensation of fifty gurning 19-year-olds, and not being able to get the stink of said late teenagers out of your nostrils. Check out IDENTITY at Shoreditch Town Hall from the 12th - 14th April; contemporary artists will be exploring identity through voguing, hip hop, krump and generally shaking thangs that should be shook.

TASTE

Ever get caught in that weird conveyor belt-esque hole of Facebook videos that are a satisfying medley of relatable meme lols, the best moments from The Thick of It and unending #FOOD? Well you and me both, brother, we’re like pole and line tuna - reeled in af. Anyway I was doing this recently and somehow through the glaze of “I’ve now watched 25 minutes of disembodied hands prepare meals so swiftly it’s superhuman” that had crystallised over my eyeballs, I paid attention to someone telling me what to order at a Korean BBQ. So, naturally, Korean BBQ has now permeated my every waking thought. Which means I bring you GOGI in Edgware Road (WEST!!!), Asadal in Holborn and Dotori in Finsbury Park. Thx FB, for once.

@larabaxter 

April 5, 2018 - Comments Off on Nick Entwistle: Champion Northern Creatives: Part 2

Nick Entwistle: Champion Northern Creatives: Part 2

From starting his first business working from his dining room table at just 16 with his 12-year-old brother to beating Bieber to a Christmas Number 1, this lad from Stockport has gone from strength to strength, I asked him to sum up his career in just 1-minute:

Meet Nick Entwistle, Creative Director at Trunk and Founder of One Minute Briefs.

Thanks for being in our Champion Northern Creatives. Let's get right in!
After finishing formal education what did you do next?

I had already done numerous work placements during my course so I had a job offer in place for when I left (Liverpool John Moores) University. This was at Driven in Wilmslow working on ads for Vimto, webuyanycar.com, Carcraft amongst other brands.

How has your career path been shaped over the years?

Since then, I left after a couple of years along with my creative partner to take a job at McCann Manchester. Here I spent a few years working on the likes of Aldi, American Airlines, Nestle, Royal Mail, N-Power & Cross Country Trains.

I then left to go freelance for a year working mainly at McCann Birmingham on Miele, Evans Halshaw, Vauxhall and Bentley. I also worked as a CD at Big Brand Ideas. In this time I also worked at Leeds agency Propaganda and Edinburgh agency Leith on Irn Bru.

I then worked freelance at Magnafi as I moved more into film. One of my first jobs was the music video and campaign for the NHS which resulted in us beating Bieber to Xmas Number 1.

I took on a full-time Creative Director role there, working on campaigns for Missguided, Betfred, Very.co.uk and Sofology. And, just recently, I moved to Trunk. We work with agencies to collaborate on making engaging content.

Cool! What has been some of your most difficult obstacles in the workplace?

Processes within some of the bigger agencies can sometimes stifle creativity and stop you being agile and responsive. In today's world, you need to be quick and be able to produce ideas and content fast without getting left behind. This is why I like to work within smaller teams and be involved in the process from start to finish, working with a talented team that works together to make things happen.

What has been your favourite project to work on?

The NHS campaign was very intense but extremely rewarding. To see the campaign grow from a one minute idea into a music video that reached number 1 and got played after the Queen's speech was incredible and something I will never forget. It also put a huge statement out to the powers that be that the public won't let the NHS die.

Amazing! When you first started, how did you create opportunities for yourself?

I think it's important as a creative to have a brand and a point of difference. It's not easy to remember a name. And, you need to get your work seen. I have done this with the Bank of Creativity, Agency Quotes and One Minute Briefs, but it all started with the story below...

When I was 16 and started college, I decided I didn’t want to create a portfolio of work. I decided I was going to run a Graphic Design company.

I called it NE-Design. You know… NE-Time. NE-Place. NE-Idea. Punny right?

But my approach got me noticed. I emailed local companies and sure enough one came along with a brief to redesign their logo and website.

It was a huge engineering firm turning over a lot of money and here was little old me inviting the boss over to the NE-Design ‘office’ which was, in fact, my family’s dining room.

I asked my mum to stay in the kitchen whilst I had the meeting.

When I opened the door to this big CEO, he must have been shocked as I’d given no clue previously to my age. He was in for even more of a shock when I took him through to the office to meet my web developer… who, of course, was my 12-year-old brother.

Some people would have walked out there and then…but we reassured him that we’d create some great work for him.

And, we did. Earning a nice bit of pocket money for ourselves in the process.

By saying I was a business, rather than a college student, I changed the perception of what I was. And this became who I was. Because you are who you say you are.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The most important work you do is the work you do to get people to look at the work you do.

Love it - This might be the best start-up story I've ever heard!
Who would you thank for helping get where you are?

Gary Fawcett of TBWA Manchester was a big help for me. I had a book crit with him. At the time, he couldn't give me a job, but he gave me loads of contacts and one of them was Driven. I still speak to Gary to this day and I think it's very important to keep in touch and remain thankful to people who get you where you are. I thank the tutors from uni. The course was a very good one as you didn't see your tutor for ten mins once every two weeks. They helped you as much as possible and pushed you to be industry ready by getting out there.

I'd thank the Creative Directors at all the agencies I have worked for pushing me to create better work and I'd thank Simon Lewis and Jon Butler for giving me the opportunities to take on Creative Director roles with them. I'd also thank my good friend Adam Britton who I work closely with at Trunk now as we look to achieve great things. There have been plenty more people along the way too, especially the OMBLES. Without them, One Minute Briefs wouldn't exist. It's become an incredible community of people who help each other creatively and as friends.

Absolutely! Let's talk more about One Minute Briefs, how did you originally come up with the idea/concept for OMB?

It started when we had about 7 weeks on a uni project. As we all know, that's unrealistic in industry. And, I don't work well with long deadlines. So, of course, myself and my creative partner decided to try and crack a brief in One Minute!

One of us did a good one. One of us did a shit one. Which was great as we realised you can actually come up with a good idea when you're thinking is restricted by time but at the same time de-restricted as you can put anything down on the paper.

It was also a lot of fun and our course mates started to get involved. We then put it on Twitter and opened up to the public by setting a brief every day. Slowly but surely, people started to get involved and the community has grown to 15.5 thousand followers in the last few years.

What has been your biggest work/OMB achievement to date?

The NHS campaign was a big one but I feel that the viral Isabella C-word film we recently created is the biggest. From a one minute idea, we were able to write a script for a film featuring Neuroblastoma sufferer Isabella herself.

The film has been seen by over 20 million people and featured in national press and TV news coverage. It has also raised tens of thousands of pounds towards her target. Could one minute help save someone's life? That would be the best achievement ever.
By combining the expertise of our team along with the support of the OMBLES, we were able to achieve something great together as a team.

What do you think is special about the North of England?

We don't have to get the Tube! That's the main thing. The North is great as we have got some great agencies producing quality work. We don't get the budgets London agencies do but that just means it's more of a challenge.

I'm from the North and have had opportunities to go to London but I like it here. We have the best football teams here in Manchester too. Particularly my beloved Man City!

I'm a firm believer that great work can be produced anywhere and with the transport links and technology available these days, I don't see why that shouldn't be here.

What has been your experience with working in a traditional team?

Traditional agencies are sometimes set in their ways and can't adapt to new technology and respond to opportunities quickly. That's why I like to work with people who have the same mindset and are always looking to create something new and make a difference within the industry.

What's your next big goal? What does the future hold for 2018?

I am making a film for Multiple Sclerosis sufferers which I want to have big reach and create an impact this year. I've created an OMBoard as I look to push One Minute Briefs even bigger.

And, I want to create some amazing work with the Trunk team.

What advice would you give to anyone entering the industry?

• Create a brand for yourself.
• Stand out from the other graduates. They are your rivals.
• Don't wait until you graduate to make contacts.
• Believe in yourself.
• Do great work.
• Make Creative Directors wish they had thought of the ideas you are showing them.

--

Want to read more of our Northern Creatives series? Check our Part 1 from Michelle Pegg.

March 26, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei

sensei

se. xv

bunny says as bunny does. make sure you don’t confuse your e’s and w’s by making this a Waster weekend, and check out how to keep yourself busy in london with these gems

 

TASTE

Wines curated by the Noble Rot (nobrot, lol) gang, a “lightly seasoned” whole turbot that has instantly become the only thing I can think about and rhuuuuuubarb. Rhubarb is so lit rhubarb needs to have its own Drag Race. This is all from Brat, a new Welsh/Basque mash-up opening on Redchurch Street, with a website that’ll make independent design studios wet their pants and a refreshingly straightforward menu that redefines the entire genre of minimalism. Sort of.

 

SEE

The long weekend means one thing. It means there’s more time to put off going to see exhibitions you’d been meaning to see but was so wrapped up in telling people how much you’d been meaning to see them that you forgot to actually do it. So this fin de semana, fight back against your procrastinatory self who would always choose another pint over leaving the house at 10am to catch some of dat sweet A.R.T. relief and check out expressive paintings from Rose Wylie’s late hubby Roy Oxlade, visceral grime from Pakui Hardware, nocturnal woodcuts from Tom Hammick and a big fat new show from Saatchi Gallery called Known Unknowns.

Roy Oxlade @ Alison Jacques Gallery

Pakui Hardware @ Tenderpixel

 

HEAR
Kkkkk this one’s not in London, fine, you caught me, I secretly believe there is life outside the M25, so what. You xenophobe. Unfortunately, I’m not 100% convinced Palmbomen II’s new alby ‘Memories of Cindy’ matches up to the Dutch wreckhead’s excellent eponymous album, released back in 2015 on Tim Sweeney’s Beats in Space label, but fuk it. I’m young, dumb and ready for some Palmbo-mun. And from your enthused reaction to my poor rhymes, I can tell you are too. ‘Av a trip down to Bristol on 7th April for a pounding live show by the friendly Dutchman, followed by more sonic spasms by electronic duo The Golden Filter.

SMELL

Smells like you, but better. Like your veins upgraded to fibre optic broadband or your name now rhymes with orange. London is lucky to host General Assembly - an organisation that runs short technology courses and workshops on things you know you should really know about, like UI/UX design, data science and Python. Sign up today and get HD ready.

 

TOUCH

You’ve already forgotten about all those art shows I told you to see, haven’t you. I know you too well, sensei pumpkin. Talking of pumpkins, the Turner Prize nominee Anthea Hamilton has teamed up with Jonathan Anderson of Loewe - the home of the sexily-cut handbag - to create a bunch of vegetable-inspired costumes. Yes, really. The commission is called 'The Squash'. The nutritional outfits are proudly worn by performers who will skulk around the area of Tate Britain that’s been transformed into an asylum-esque, white tiled space halfway between Ex Machina and that episode of the Simpsons where Homer falls into 3D-land. I'm getting hungry for aubergine parmigiana just thinking about it.

@larabaxter

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: http://ideasfoundation.org.uk/

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 21, 2018 - Comments Off on Why f**k ups are fundamental

Why f**k ups are fundamental

Caroline Pay and Vicki Maguire - Co-chief Creative Officers Grey London

If there was one talk I wasn't going to miss at Advertising Week Europe, it was this one.

And here's why, only moments in Vicki proudly stated,"If you don't like profanity, fuck off now."

The tone was pretty much set from there.

There was so much from this talk I want to share with you and it all starts with the stigma of failure. We are told over and over again 'don't fuck up'. Well, that's wrong. Learning how to fail well is a skill that should be taught to everyone. Scientists spend years, and hundreds of millions of pounds, failing repeatedly until a conclusion is drawn and everyone goes home calling the whole thing a massive success. Surely, creatives should do the same? Failure is crucial to growth.

Some of Vicki and Caroline's fuck ups include forgetting the client was on the all staff email, forgetting to draw buttons on a design for shirt during a valiant attempt at getting into the fashion industry, and leaving three jobs with no backup plan. Note: none of these fuck ups stopped either of these incredible women getting where they are now and certainly aren't slowing them down by sharing them today.

Here is a selection of things to remember when you have the fuck-up fear.

10 ways to make fuck ups glorious
  1. Remember no one will die (hopefully) - We are creatives, not brain surgeons. Have fun and try to relax a little
  2. Don't have a plan B - Backups mean you don't believe in yourself. With Plan A you could end up a monumental success or a total fuck up but you definitely won't be in the safe space you are right now. 
  3. Thank people who failed you - Be grateful to the people who let you down. It could be a CEO or it could be a tutor from uni, either way, they got you further on your journey.
  4. One-downmanship is better than one-upmanship - Advertising has enough people puffing out their chests. Be humble, remember that you and no one else is perfect. 
  5. Have a fuck off fund - Get three months rent and bills together and don't be afraid to use it. 
  6. Hire failures - This one's for the bosses out there but also for future you, employ people who can admit their mistakes.
  7. Exercise your failure muscles - Practice bouncing back. It's not easy by any means but get ready to get back in the game. 
  8. Fuck imposter syndrome - Stop making tea for people, stop offering up your seat in meetings, stop hiding your ideas. You got the job now do it. 
  9. Fail out loud - Share your fuck ups, learn from your fuck ups and don't act like you've never fucked up. 
  10. Fail together - This one really speaks for itself, don't throw others under the bus, share your fails and get over it.

Following the talk there was a Q&A, and here are my three favourites:

Q: What would you say to a junior who's CEO is afraid of failure?
A: Leave.

Q: What about if clients are the ones afraid of failure?
A: Show clients you're willing to jump with them and they will jump. Prove that taking a risk is necessary to success.

Q: What's the best bit of advice you've ever received?
A: You're no good to me unless you've failed three times.

And in case it wasn't clear already this talk was absolutely fantastic.

If you're still not sold on the number of fabulous fuck ups out there check this out: https://www.museumoffailure.se/

 

March 20, 2018 - Comments Off on sensei

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

 

SEE

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.

SMELL

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.

 

TASTE

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.

 

HEAR

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.

TOUCH

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.


@larabaxter