The creative industry is a tough business to get into, no matter what sector you look at, you need to stand out. Those interested are increasingly looking to their degrees to propel them forward – but is it as effective anymore or even necessary altogether? I come from a degree-less background and although I am far from accomplished, here are my thoughts on the subject.
The final years of my school education were a frenzied time for a lot of people; between applying for Universities (or colleges, for you guys across the ocean), studying for exams and deciding on what you were going to do with your life it became quite stressful. It quickly became apparent to me that a lot people were treating the decision to go to University as just the next logical step rather than considering whether they really needed to or wanted to. My reasons for eschewing my place were not fully formed at the time but looking back it was because I just felt it wasn’t right for me – how could anyone teach me how to be creative? The idea seemed counterintuitive.
The term Independent Publisher is barely vast enough to cover the amount of work and different thinking caps you need to put on to be one. In the day of the ‘Print is dead’ generation publishers are increasingly taking more and more control of their end product ensuring that it’s not just a magazine you’re picking up but rather an experience and escape from the real world – not to mention the digital world. No other publication embodies this more than the perfectly put together children’s magazine Anorak.
Since it’s inaugural issue in 2006 it has been able to capture the hearts of children before they are consumed by technology and set free the square eyes of adults after they’ve lost their sense of childish abandon. It’s a magazine that’s had incredible success and after 29 issues (and not to mention numerous other projects) it’s still going strong. I spoke to Founder and Editor Cathy Olmedillas about her start with Anorak Magazine ahead of the release of their BIG BOOK OF ANORAK, an annual 224 page compendium of stories, activities and educational pieces that ran in the early (and now sold out) editions of Anorak.
The first time I came across Erik Olson’s work was when my sister showed me an image she had found online, it had no credit and wasn’t linked to the original painter. I put on my detective hat and set about tracking it down, doing a reverse image search that lead me to Canadian Painter Erik Olson. It’s something about the way his subjects are suspended within these bold backgrounds and the frenzied and warped feature, as if they’ve been framed in some sort of swirl and blur movement, that struck me and when the time came to put together a list of creatives I wanted to talk to; he was high up on my list.
I was also fascinated by his first solo show that was held in an abandoned gas station, I love this kind of ingenuity and it is this attitude that, it seems, has got the ball rolling for him and has seen him exhibited across Canada, America and even a spot in the UK.
I can’t remember how I first met Designer and Art Director Sue Murphy but it was some time ago; and every now and then I check back on her work to see what she’s up to and find her in a different country. Born in Ireland she’s since racked up a fair share of air miles studying in Savannah, working in Amsterdam and of right this moment working as an Art Director for Ogilvy and Mather in New York. To begin this series of Creative Interviews I thought who better to begin with than the freckly, funny and flighty Sue.
She was also kind enough to takes some snaps of the office in New York and comment on them. I always love seeing these sorts of places, I can’t quite explain why but I find it interesting to see the environment that great work is created in.