What are you if you don’t have imagination, ambition and curiosity? It’s what separates us from every other species. And, if we all want to stay around a little while longer we’ve also got to stop diminishing and start creating.
I take a lateral approach to most things in life, always looking for ways of doing things that defy the norm; a process of reinvention. I believe in staying green – not in the new wave sense – but by renewing oneself and constantly staying fresh. Bob Dylan’s said it better than anyone; He not busy being born is busy dying.
To leave a more resounding mark on the world you can’t do it by climbing over people. You’ve got to take people with you. In fact, if you collaborate, you end up with a stronger result. I have certainly been lucky enough to have worked alongside some inspirational and talented people along the way.
I am interested in the way we communicate, the subtleties and nuances that can sometimes say so much more than the language they surround.
I employ some of these understandings in my work. I love the way symbols, language and image can be used to connect, to create empathy, to resonate, to resolve broken understanding, to communicate complex ideas and to shake beliefs.
I sit back and console myself. If I am to be here this short while, then at the very least I have made an attempt at bringing something to the world that makes it a fraction better than before I arrived.
If this sounds all a bit too earnest, a little saccharine even; rest assured, I know what I do doesn’t cure cancer and that the ability to laugh at oneself is possibly one of the greatest ways of seeing your place in the world.
Owner at Provenance
December 2009 – Present
My own consultancy practice. Creative Strategy, Design and Art Direction. This has involved in working across a number of large corporates and top tier design and branding companies. I’m currently engaged in some large projects but seem to find a few days a fortnight to slot extra work in.
Creative Director at DNA Design
January 2001 – Present (15 years)
My longest stint in one place. Was headhunted from Clemenger. DNA is one of New Zealand's most successful Brand Consultancies and produce some of New Zealand's most innovative design work. I was a BeST Awards judge 2008.
Design Director at Clemenger BBDO
January 2000 - January 2001 (1 year 1 month)
I helped oversee the establishment of the successful design division of Clemenger Wellington. This included cementing some of Clemenger's above- the-line clients as long term design clients. It was a tight, focussed and (at the time) highly profitable team. We went from being an almost complete unknown to being an industry player. Garnered with awards and being talked about as 'serious competition'.
Design Director at The New Colenso
June 1998 – January 2000 (1 year 8 months)
Established as the company that merged between HKM Advertising and Colenso Advertising. I helped lead the establishment of the Design Division, and helped manage the process during the merger.
Design Director, Creative Director Direct, Art Director at HKM Advertising
October 1993 – June 1998 (4 years 9 months)
HKM Advertising was a Clemenger Agency. I started off here as a Junior Art Director and ended up helping run the Design Group and over seeing creative for all direct marketing. This was all in the days of long lunches at Il Casino; Remiro Bresolin breezing around with $60 cigars and $120 Cognacs.
Designer, Art Director at J Walter Thompson
December 1988 – October 1993 (4 years 11 months)
I started early in 1989 as a designer and visualiser, with a brand new set of 200 Yoken markers and a drawing board. I clearly remember the smell of wax and cow gum, hot and late nights beneath a Grant Enlarger, the smell of the bromide developer and spray glue. I finished up working as an art director, working alongside some very capable writers. J Walter Thompson is also known as the University of Advertising!
If you hold back, you lose the moment. If you never take risks, you'll never see the reward. Those that have succeeded beyond measure have taken their fear and replaced it with something that drives them; courage.
I love the word grit. I visualise teeth nashing against howling winds. Sometimes you've just got to stand up to those that say it can't be done, that 'can not' should be replaced by 'not yet'.
FInd a way through the hard stuff. Get to the other side. Let the setting sun warm your back.
Scroll that sucker.
I love exploring words. I love how language can be turned, and new meaning derived from fresh context. A while back I was concepting for a job and various words were drifting together. I was fascinated by the interplay you could bring to bear by putting non-associated words into new juxtapositions.
As I explored further, it seemed the possibilities became endless. The state of meaning between the two words seemed to some kind of limbo. A state that when you applied both words together seemed meaningless or impossible.
Its not so much as finding polar opposites as finding words that would never ordinarily correlate.
I then wanted to explore typographic stress using two different fonts with quite different character. Each of the words was then assigned one of the fonts to work in, based on the mode of the word itself, and which font it better suited.
One day this project might drive me to a much larger scale exhibition. One day.
There’s no question. My kids are the projects I put my energy towards. They’re growing up fast and turning into great human beings. Each shine in different ways, each fit the mould and at once break it. They all think deeply, are sensitive to those around them and are confident in their skins.
Joshua 22, Georgia 19, and Cody 16.
My daughter has a wonderfully positive view of her world. Georgia’s image-making is a reflection of this. She has a boundless enthusiasm and vibrance and has a creative spirit always looking for expression. I find them quite inspiring. It’s a lesson in not getting too jaded, to sometimes use the naïve view and see that creativity is a way we can have a positive impact on those around us.