What do creatives keep in their drawers?

The contents of creatives’ drawers have been laid bare in a new photography project, which gives us a glimpse into the minds and working practices of the likes of creative directors, as well as jewelers, textile designers and many others.

James Withers – Creative Director at VentureThree
James Withers – Creative Director at VentureThree

Aptly called, What’s in Your Top Drawer? the project has been initiated by Hiive, a social network for creatives, and photographer Harry Mitchell has been commissioned to take pictures of their drawers.

The first thing that struck us was the judicious editing that seems to have gone on, either because the subject has had a quick tidy up, or Mitchell has been kind. Maybe he should have shot their waste paper bins as well.

James Withers - Creative Director of Film at VentureThree
James Withers – Creative Director of Film at VentureThree

Venture Three creative director James Withers is a self-taught motion designer and filmmaker. He’s worked on branding projects for the likes of Sky, Penguin and King Games.

You’ll notice his Go-Pro at the bottom of the picture. He says: “I use the GoPro with a drone. It’s an amazing bit of kit that enables you get certain angles or shots that you just couldn’t get before, at least without very expensive equipment. I’m still learning though – we recently had to use two different cherry pickers to help get it out of a tree.

“I like all of these new, more accessible ways of filming – we can do a big shoot with a fancy camera but since phone cameras have got so good we can use them for tests, recording trips and short Instagram moments around the studio.”

While withers says smartphones have become just as useful as notepads he concedes: “I seem to still use a lot of notepads; you can record and keep little testers for ideas. You don’t need any serious hardware, just good ideas and practice.” The KitKat remains inexplicable and is not known to be used as a design tool.

Tessa Metcalfe – Jeweller
Tessa Metcalfe – Jeweller

Jewellery designer Tessa Metcalfe also has a strong interest in taxidermy so her top drawer is a contrast of beautiful and grisly looking items.

Her jewellery has been worn by the likes of Rita Ora and Pixie Lott and she makes up one fifth of the London Rocks collective based in Hatton Garden.

Tessa Metcalfe - Jewellery Designer
Tessa Metcalfe – Jewellery Designer

Referring to the strange-looking wood and metal clamp, centre-right, she says: “I don’t actually know what this is called, but it has little leather pads on the inside so nothing gets scratched and it’s really handy for holding jewellery – it gives you a proper handle on small objects. It’s really simple but has changed my life.”

The chamois leather goes inside a vice to hold jewels and is also used for polishing, drying and buffing.

“The hammer is my friend Kaela’s and I don’t think she knows I have it… she might find out now. I think most of tools were originally someone else’s.”

Holly Pressdee – Woven Textile Designer at Dashing Tweeds
Holly Pressdee – Woven Textile Designer at Dashing Tweeds

Tom Williams – Post Production Dialogue Editor at Hackenbacker
Tom Williams – Post Production Dialogue Editor at Hackenbacker

Lee Lapthorne – Creative Director at doll & On|Off
Lee Lapthorne – Creative Director at doll & On|Off

Alex Hern – Technology Reporter at The Guardian
Alex Hern – Technology Reporter at The Guardian

Latest articles