For me, 200 words on any subject is a mountain. So my first thought on getting this brief was to take the easy way out and write a list of things and people I find inspiring – fear of failure, St Ives, David Stuart, Josef Müller-Brockmann, Sienna Miller, Dragons’ Den, Beethoven’s late quartets… you know the kind of thing.
But then it struck me that the one thing I constantly get inspiration from is playing rugby. Nothing quite beats having my head stood on and my features rearranged for giving me a different perspective on design problems. Time and again, I’ve been struggling to solve a brief, received a good shoeing and come away with a ‘eureka’ moment.
I suppose I may just have the kind of brain that only works when it’s given a good hard jolt. But I suspect it’s probably more to do with the way that strenuous – not to mention psychotically violent – physical activity temporarily banishes all normal thought processes, thereby unleashing the power of the subconscious.
I’ve also found that a black eye can be an excellent ice breaker in new business meetings, particularly if the client is sporting a similar badge of honour.