Inspirations in both my career and life, as the two seem to go hand in hand, come from people, personalities and attitudes. I studied at the Somerset College of Art and Technology. It was here I was blessed with being tutored by William Hunt, called Widge, an eccentric man who always made you laugh, and Malcolm Swatridge, who needs no introduction.
They believed in ideas, wit and the craft that followed a moment of genius. The process from briefing to execution was one of exploring and discovering what doesn’t work, leading to what does – the gut-churning excitement when you felt you had discovered the idea that was sure to win you a D&AD Student Award.
The first thing we were advised to do was purchase the book A Smile in the Mind by Beryl McAlhone and David Stuart, which explores wit in all its forms. Malcolm and Widge were preachers of this approach and nurtured young minds, who now fill many of London and the UK’s most creative consultancies. I then worked for Taxi Studio, founded by other ex-students of Malcolm and Widge.
The two shared a belief in using wit as a form of communication. I have kept with me this use of humour and enthusiasm; it is the foundation of how I work. I still get butterflies in my stomach when we pitch to our clients, hoping that our ideas are met with the same passion we have… although not all of them are.
A big thanks to Malcolm, Widge and A Smile in the Mind.