Want to hear the inside scoop from other artists, designers, illustrators and photographers about the highs and lows of being a creative? The Creative Boom Podcast is a show that brings you candid conversations with new and established names from around the world as we discover more about their creative journeys so far. Bursting with insider career tips, honest business advice and incredible stories, each episode offers warmth, wisdom and inspiration to help you in your creative profession.
Elliot Jay Stocks on the meaning of success and why he's working with Google to teach others about fonts
1:06:11Those of you who remember the glory days of web design, Web 2.0, Flash and ActionScript, when the FWA and Deviant Art were just getting started, and when everything felt new and exciting, almost like a Wild West of the Internet, then our next guest will make you smile. Elliot Jay Stocks is a legend in the web design world. He began working as a junior designer for EMI Music, which he admits was a lucky break thanks to his portfolio, which had all the websites he'd designed and built for friends' bands while studying Contemporary Media Practice at university. Some of you will remember Elliot's time spent at Carsonified – the website he designed for that agency went down in the web design hall of fame and today is still seen as a turning point for the industry. With all that experience, Elliot has done a ton of talks around the world and written for magazines such as Computer Arts and Dot Net. In 2010, he launched a print magazine called 8 Faces, dedicated to type, typography and lettering. Later on, he joined Typekit as Creative Director, which has since become Adobe Fonts. Then, after getting married and becoming a father, he and his wife Samantha launched their own magazine on the elusive idea of work-life balance. Today, he's working with Google on Fonts Knowledge, a library of original guides to the world of typography. Interestingly, he's been remote since 2013, working from his peaceful garden office near Bristol and where I was invited to sit down and chat about his journey so far. Surrounded by many keyboards and instruments, showing a clear passion for making music on the side, we wanted to know if Elliot ever sits still and whether side projects and experiments have always been a focus. We wanted to ask how he feels about working for Google. And whether he's managed to achieve that ultimate goal that we all dream of – to balance life with work and be happy. Season Four of The Creative Boom Podcast is kindly sponsored by Astropad Studio.
Max Ottignon on the journey behind Ragged Edge and why people should always come first
1:20:00If you've been running a design studio for quite some time and with some success, does it feel like you've been doing so for many years? Or do you feel like you're only just getting started? This was the curious question we posed to Max Ottignon, a co-founder of Ragged Edge in London. Launched nearly 15 years ago with friend Matt Bland, the pair wanted to create a branding agency for people who "care less about how things are, and more about how things could be". That is anyone with the conviction to challenge the status quo. It's a mission that's done them proud. Today, the studio is behind fresh identities for the likes of Papier, Mindful Chef, Laka and East London Liquor Company. It's won many awards. And there's a team of nearly 40 talented designers, strategy directors, 3D artists, digital specialists and writers – all of whom the studio calls 'change-makers'. So what does this change mean in design? And what has Max learnt over 15 years of running a studio that wants to do things differently? What's it been like growing a team – from global economic crisis to global pandemic? And how does Ragged Edge stand out in an increasingly competitive industry? Does Max even feel like the studio is fully established now? Or is there still work to do? We sat down with Max to find out more. A tall yet quiet character, there's a humbleness to Max and an eagerness to push forward, keep improving and build on their success. To do the right thing. And to create something that puts people before profit. Perhaps leave a legacy that's about meaningful change and making a difference, more than anything else. Season Four of The Creative Boom Podcast is kindly sponsored by Astropad Studio.
Boma Krijgsman on why she's had to hustle and fight to get a creative career she loves
1:13:43Boma Krijgsman is a cultural champion who is currently part of the team at JDO in London. As a brand ambassador and talent manager, she helps the creative agency raise its profile to attract clients and diverse talent. A self-proclaimed 'hustle bunny', Boma began her career travelling the world, working incredibly hard and picking up skills and experience along the way. She spent two years in Vietnam as the PR and marketing manager for a large fashion retailer, which she admits was a "dream job" as she worked with brands such as Versace, Christian Louboutin, and Jimmy Choo. She then returned to the UK, where she launched her own business to specialise in project management. Today, she's settled in Kent and is the proud mother of three children, juggling parenthood with her role at JDO. We wanted to learn more about her exciting adventures and how she found herself in her current role. From a dip into tourism and then modelling to discovering a passion for PR and marketing, there seems to be no limit to Boma's infectious energy and talents. We talk about diversity and inclusion in the creative industry and why we still have a long way to go. And we share truths about confidence, motherhood and being a woman in design, and finding ourselves – realising our potential and embracing everything that comes our way. Season Four of The Creative Boom Podcast is kindly sponsored by Astropad Studio.
Gush Mundae on finding his place in Britain and growing a design studio from scratch
1:32:25What was it like to move to the UK from Delhi in the 1970s, aged just five years old? For Gush Mundae, founder of creative agency Bulletproof, he felt that, as an immigrant, he was never "invited in", so he admits it was a real hustle from the beginning. Hip-hop was just emerging in Britain, which he became obsessed with – along with all the associated culture, like graffiti art and sneakers. But Gush admits the street art "got him into a lot of trouble with the boys in blue and rival gangs" until his art teacher encouraged him to take that passion for art to explore graphic design and consider a respectable career in the creative industry. So, in 1998, Gush took the plunge and founded Bulletproof using £2,000 of his personal savings. Today, his agency works with Cadbury, Football Association Wales and Soapsmith from studios in London, Amsterdam, New York, Sydney, Singapore and – most recently – Shanghai. Describing Bulletproof as his "life's work", we were eager to learn more about what he's been through. The blood, sweat and tears. The big lessons and the bold moves. Join us for this fascinating, honest chat from one of the best names in the business – from racism and Brexit to hip hop, modern music and design; from overcoming childhood traumas and growing a global agency to adapting to the world today – Gush Mundae reveals all. Season Four of The Creative Boom Podcast is kindly sponsored by Astropad Studio.
Marina Willer on 10 years at Pentagram and the joy of looking back and realising work can still surprise you
1:04:34Our guest this week is Marina Willer, an award-winning graphic designer and filmmaker and one of Pentagram's many respected partners. Before joining the global agency, she was head creative director for Wolff Olins in London. With an MA in Graphic Design from the Royal College of Art, Marina has enjoyed an incredible career so far. She's led the design of major identities, including Rolls Royce, Oxfam, Nesta and Amnesty International. She recently rebranded Battersea and Sight and Sound Magazine. And as a multi-faceted designer, she has even designed major exhibitions for the Design Museum, including Ferrari: Under the Skin and Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition. Both were the most-visited shows in the museum's history. Elsewhere, Marina's first feature film, Red Trees, premiered at the 2017 Canne Film Festival and was released worldwide by Netflix in 2018 to much critical acclaim. She talks about it fondly in this episode and shares many other fascinating insights into her amazing creative journey. We talk about her process and inspirations. We learn more about Pentagram and how she feels about the world right now. We discuss the idea of "home" and how it feels to be in London post-pandemic. And she shares the joy of realising that work continues to surprise her, even after it's been 20 years since she famously rebranded Tate. Season Four of The Creative Boom Podcast is kindly sponsored by Astropad Studio.
Mat Voyce on freelancing, mental health and why you don't need an award to be a success
1:03:11Mat Voyce describes himself as a "non-award-winning" graphic and motion designer based in the UK – not only because he hasn't yet won any awards and wants to joke about it, but perhaps to prove a point that you don't need a trophy to be a success. And a success Mat has truly been. Specialising in 2D type animation, Mat has become known for his pioneering style that explores illustrative kinetic typography. It's actually what made him famous, as he spent the pandemic creating simple yet positive type art on Instagram. He gained a huge following, which allowed him to raise his profile and network with the global creative community, leading to huge client wins such as Disney, Google, Nike and YouTube. Spending so much time and effort on his Instagram account allowed Mat to flex his creative muscles and build on his skills. We wanted to chat with Mat about this rise to fame, his experience of Instagram overall and how when Covid-19 hit, he just got his head down and got on with his work. We talk of the treadmill of freelancing and how to find a good balance – even whether that's possible. We discuss looking after our mental health and the highs and lows of social media. And we hear more about creative copycats and how to cope with people who are a little too inspired by our own work. There's a lot that Mat has generously shared here. So we hope this "friendly neighbourhood type animator", as he describes himself, brings you some warmth and wisdom this Monday morning. Season Four of The Creative Boom Podcast is kindly sponsored by Astropad Studio.
Darnell Brown on how creatives can avoid burnout, work smarter and enjoy freelancing success
1:08:16Darnell Brown is a growth strategist and educator based in North Carolina. Originally a graphic designer, he now helps businesses to harness their superpowers, hack their time and impact lives through creative courses and consulting. It’s a career he carved out for himself after suffering the effects of burnout during his days of crafting logos and building brand identities. It was 2008, at the peak of the global economic crisis when he decided to make the change from full-time employment to freelancing, spotting an opportunity to hire himself when no one else would. Almost fourteen years later, Darnell has helped hundreds of clients to thrive and continues to apply everything he’s learnt so far – from his days as a kid in the '90s, hustling and making money from his comic book drawings, to his time helping tech startups to raise millions in funding. We wanted to hear more about Darnell's path to success. And discover all the things he's learnt along the way. Believe me, his passion for business and creativity will spark a spring in your step today. Season Four of The Creative Boom Podcast is kindly sponsored by Astropad Studio.
Sarah Hyndman on type snobbery and why we're all experts in typography
1:02:38For episode 74, our guest is Sarah Hyndman, a graphic designer and researcher and the person behind Type Tasting – a practice that's on a mission to change the way we think and talk about typography by making it fun and exciting for everyone. Sarah specialises in making typography entertaining and relevant with humour, a dash of theatre and lashings of audience participation. And she is also the author of various books on type, including the bestselling book Why Fonts Matter and the title, How to Draw Type and Influence People. Through her practice, she gets us to think about type in ways we never thought possible. Whether she's doing a TED X talk, TV interview, radio show or installation at the V&A – she takes typography way beyond the world of graphic design. Chef Heston Blu-men-thal even calls on Sarah as his "font science" expert. I wanted to pick Sarah's brains on all things type. On how typography has changed since she first discovered it as a child, looking at chocolate and sweet wrappers in her local corner shop. We hear her thoughts on trends and the overall design industry about type snobbery and why we're all experts. And we delve into the subconscious and how we feel about various typefaces. Even whether they have the power to change the world, shape our behaviour and influence pop culture. Season Four of The Creative Boom Podcast is kindly sponsored by Astropad Studio.
Constance Fleuriot on women in the games industry and the importance of gender-neutral characters in video games
1:15:36We're kicking off season four of The Creative Boom Podcast with Constance Fleuriot – a writer, games developer and producer based in Bristol who runs her own game design company, Pretty Digital. Constance also runs Grrrl Games to support women and girls of all ages to make games. A big part of her practice is helping people to develop ideas and research plans – and she encourages people of all ages to be creative producers, rather than consumers. Her work history includes creative technologies research for HP, Intel, NESTAfuturelab, pmstudio/Watershed and various community-based and educational organisations. She’s also part of the University of West of England team delivering the MSc in Data Science. In this episode, we talk about women and girls in gaming, why there still aren't enough of us and how we can inspire more to join the industry. We talk of diversity in gaming overall and whether any progress has been made in recent years. We consider gender roles and identity and why it's important to create female as well as gender-neutral video game characters. And there's a delve into the creative process of game design, and why you don't need to know how to use a computer to get started. For anyone interested in making video games, Constance is hosting a course at Clayhill Arts in Somerset from 13 to 15 May 2022. Titled Creating Stories: Game Design For Complete Beginners, it will show participants how to experiment with this rapidly-growing medium using simple, analogue tools. Season Four of The Creative Boom Podcast is kindly sponsored by Astropad Studio.
Welcome to The Creative Boom Podcast
7:19In this show, we hear the inside scoop from artists, designers, illustrators and photographers about the highs and lows of being a creative. Bursting with insider career tips, honest business advice and incredible stories, each episode offers warmth, wisdom and inspiration for anyone working in the creative industry today. Hosted by Creative Boom's founding editor Katy Cowan, guests so far have included Debbie Millman, Timothy Goodman, Gail Anderson, Dapo Adeola, and Annie Atkins. For our latest season, expect candid conversations with Pentagram Partner Marina Willer, motion and graphic designer Mat Voyce, and type expert Sarah Hyndman.