i spent all of christmas arranging my flat for our kid who arrives in march. all very exciting. but i made a hole in my thumb just where it hits the space bar so every space you see in the text causes a slight pang of pain.
you are a creative director and co-founder of several london-based agencies. obviously you enjoy this work but is there a moment when you would like to be somewhere far away, doing something totally different?
i always want to be doing something else. it’s like a disease that I share with a lot of people. I’m always looking at the thing i don’t have. the grass isn’t just greener on the other side, it’s got disco lights, cakes, sweets, blowjobs, ice cream, juicy secrets, sweet smelling wads of cash-money etc etc. i always want to be in the mountains when I’m at my desk, i want to live in the country when i live in the town, i crave the rain when the sun shines and the cold when it’s warm. it’s so boring but it’s the way the world appears to me
creative people are often torn up like this, i suppose it’s a prerequisite for striving. happiness is about telly and sofas and contentment and none of this puts you in a good place for synthesizing new ideas. you’re smarter when you’re cold and hungry and frustrated. have you ever noticed how musicians make really terrible music once they’ve made it? the few that continue to make great stuff manage to keep some frustration in their lives to keep them on their toes, a shitty relationship, drug habit, laceration whatever.
when i left art school i wanted to be a fireman but i’m glad i followed a kind of commercial artists route as my mentality and ‘problems’ suite it very well. an agency is good for me because i can jump from one thing to the next when i get bored. each thing is very different because we made a name for ourselves that attracts interesting clients with interesting problems to solve.
what is the essence of creativity?
making something new which often means also breaking things in the same gesture. it is knowing about everything that has gone before and yet combining with this a naivety that sees nor respects boundaries or definitions. everything is an ingredient to creativity.
nobody seems to talk about ‘imagination’ in regards to creativity any more. it is a word that got left at school, maybe because it’s a bit twee. but i think it’s very important. creativity is only limited by what we can imagine.
were you ever a ruthless businessman? certainly your position requires you to be sometimes.
ah, i’m a big soft bear really. ruthless in a quiet way sometimes, a bit passive – aggressive maybe. i’m very purist but that often means i’m not that good with business. business seems to work best when you go with the flow, not swim against the tide which i tend to do. the most ruthless thing i ever did was googlebomb a shop who refused to pay us a few thousand dollars, serving up some dirty things about them on the first page of google search returns. it worked nicely, they paid in three days.
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