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We asked figures in the licensing industry for the person, experience or object that provoked them to embark on a creative career path…
Nic Davies, Creative Director & Founder, Smart Design Studio
“It’s hard to choose between Neville Brody and Madonna – Eighties to Noughties! They both massively influenced my work throughout my art school days, and for years after. What I found particularly inspiring and exciting about them was their ability to push creative boundaries in pop culture. Madonna constantly reinvented herself visually through concepts and themes that I just found fascinating. Music was a big love for me so when I saw how design fed into this and crossed over, it sealed the deal and set me on this path.”
Scott Ham, Co-Founder and Creative Director, The Zeros
“After being glued to the TV watching cartoons for most of my childhood, I was instantly invested. Sadly, I can’t do that anymore, so I decided to split my days… Now I work with the cartoons I love, then – after a hard day’s work – I go home and watch them! After realising I could work with the characters that I still watch to this day, my mind was blown and I knew I had to pursue a profession within licensing. I’m fairly certain I’ve watched every episode of The Simpsons, up to season 13, around 30 times – and am still going!”
Mar Gili, Design, Co-ordinator, , Perfetti Van Melle
“My first source of inspiration was nature and the amazing creations we find around us. Nature never ceases to fascinate and provoke me. I’m Mediterranean and that’s deeply marked my way of seeing the world. The special Mediterranean light makes things look profoundly colourful and suggestive. The atmosphere surrounds you and invites you to create… It’s just magic! The second major inspiration was art. I’m from Barcelona, a beautiful corner of the world surrounded by the incredible modernism style of the artist and architect Gaudí. We also have the artistic footprint of celebrities such as Picasso, Miró and Dalí – the genius behind the design of the Chupa Chups logo. Art is everywhere and it’s continuously evolving. It continues to inspire me to this day.”
Stephanie Griggs, Creative Director, The Roald Dahl Story Company
“Discovering Tim Burton’s The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories aged 15, spoke to me – as an emo teenager with a penchant for gothic culture – on a new level. His exaggerated illustrative style was wholly different to the fruit-bowl, still-life painting I’d been doing at school. His macabre yet lovable characters sparked something in me and I wanted to get drawing myself… That early portfolio, inspired by Tim’s work, got me a place at art college after leaving school – and the rest is history!”
Hamish Jenkinson, CEO, The Department
“Leake Street, London. This underpass was used by taxis at the Eurostar Waterloo drop-off before it closed and moved to Kings Cross. It became a cut-through that only the brave would dare walk at night. It was home to street sleepers, drug dealers, pickpockets and thieves: effectively a no-go zone. In 2007, street artist Banksy did a deal with the Mayor of London. He donated one of his artworks in exchange for a whole street becoming a place people could legally create street art or graffiti. My life changed when I saw the opening show. Behind a Network Rail archway, I found a labyrinth of old Victorian tunnels that held trains above ground. The next thing I knew, I’d launched two immersive spaces: The Old Vic Tunnels and The Vaults. Leake Street is now home to various clubs, restaurants, a skate park and much more and the walls change on a daily basis as new artists come to create stunning street art murals. Banksy changed my life the day he donated that artwork, and this little street is now one of the best areas to experience London’s underground immersive scene and street art culture.”
To read more content from the Brands Untapped 100: 2022 edition click here.
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