Inspired – Nick Stickland

Inspiration comes from within. We all need external stimuli, of course. I learned that at the feet of Richard Rogers and Eva Jiricna. But the creative inspiration of design – of the built environment, of an exquisite interior, of a vacuum cleaner – comes from within. Here, then, is one from the heart.

Kodak’s picture-slide wheel, the Carousel, is more than four decades old. It has nothing to do with our relatively young creative design and ad agency Odd. We didn’t design the product, nor the promotional campaign. That would have been difficult because most of us here – myself included – weren’t even born when the product was launched.

But I’m a sentimentalist (OK, a great big softie), and, like many in our industry, I love the television series Mad Men. When I saw its central character, Don Draper, make his Carousel pitch, I wept like a baby. Draper delivers a take on the Kodak product that’s pure inspirational creativity: rich, emotional, driven, and true. He changes the way the Kodak people see their own product. They enter the room with a picture-slide wheel. They leave having ridden an emotional carousel. Their world is changed because they understand the true potential of the design.

It’s make-believe, I know, but the scene inspired me. It was the perfect expression of the brand and the consumers’ connection with it.

If inspiration and creativity come from within, you’re not just as good as your last piece of work. Your last piece of work is as good as you.

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