How many times have you heard the words: ‘that’s not’ or ‘you can’t’? Whether I’m meandering along the South Bank in the back of a black cab or, heaven forbid, in industry circles, I seem to happen upon it a lot. Phrases such as ‘that’s not art’, ‘that’s not design’ or ‘you can’t do it like that’ buzz in my ears like malevolent mosquitoes.
For me, a lot of great ideas happen when we are free from the fear of failure, but still want to make things work – when we know the rules, but, hey, it might be fun to break them. ‘De-positioning’, we call it in branding – the ad boys call it ‘disruption’. So my inspiration comes from those I see challenging the status quo.
Now, it’s easy to just be a rebel, but I’m talking about real challengers. The likes of Herzog and de Meuron, Zaha Hadid and especially Damien Hirst. Hirst is a brilliant thinker, a great artist and 100 per cent a challenger. He manages to blow away the exclusively posthumous success clichés of old. And, although a lot of his work is laden with memento mori, he is successful and far from dead.
When I connect with his work, I am unshackled from being a creative or a designer – and all that matters is that I am inspired.
(Pictured: The Aquired Inability to Escape, 1991, By Damien Hirst)