Hi Gordon! How’s it going? You having a good week so far?
Hey, it’s going great thanks and my week has also be very good.
Let’s start easy, shall we? For those Gluggers who’ve never heard of you, who are you and what do you do? Ok so I’ve run Middle Boop for about ten years now. This is my little agency which has evolved quite a lot over the years. I started out doing illustration for clients in the music industry and editorial then moved into advertising where I developed into more of an art director and designer and for the last year I’ve been running Middle Boop as a branding and advertising agency from my studio in Stoke Newington and have been travelling around the world talking at festivals and conferences all year.
How did you end up doing what you’re doing now, then? Have you always dreamt of working in the creative industry, or what’s the back log here? Well, when I first blagged my way to art college because I was totally bored of doing fucking I.T. at school, I discovered collage and screen printing through people like Michelle Thompson and Kate Gibb who’s work just blew me away. So, I kind of set out stubbornly after university to just do collage work in music. Then after a few years of doing that and kind of feeling like I needed to expand my repertoire (and earn enough money so I could move out of my mum's house) I redeveloped my style to be something that was a little more easy to sell to bigger clients. I then got a bit of a break when I was art directing and designing for a couple of months at McCann. Things just developed over the years really, and evolved naturally. It was definitely never a dream to do branding and make people laugh/try and inspire people on stage, but I guess I’ve just leaned into things over the last couple of years and this is how they’ve worked out. Which I’m pretty happy with. One thing I did always want to do was travel with my work which has now happened with doing the talks so that’s pretty cool.
Apart from working… What do you get up to in life? Got any exciting side hustles or passions to tell us about? I did run and edit a music reviews website for many years which ended up with about 75 people working with me in various forms from writing, sub editing, photography etc. But I decided to give up on it when I started working with Saatchi a couple of years ago as I felt I needed all of my focus to be on that. The idea was to give it three weeks and if I missed it, I’d go back to it. Turns out I didn’t miss it at all and having all of that extra time allowed me to really start developing my career. Now when I get free time I go running and took up boxing earlier this year, both are great fun but I definitely don’t go enough.
On a gloomy, totally uninspiring and day, where everything just feels like an obstacle — what do you usually resort to in order to get your inspiration back on track again? I’ve definitely had a few of those, especially this time of year where the weather’s awful and budgets have been spent for the year etc. It’s the hardest thing to feel constantly inspired and push yourself further but thankfully in my studio I’m surrounded by really driven and creative people that are doing well so usually after a chat with a couple of those guys I’ll get back on it and do things that aren’t related to creating work but benefitting the career like get my website up to date, maybe plan a strategy for SEO or social media, think about some self initiated work. Anything to do something that’s extremely beneficial to your career.
And on the opposite end — where do you usually find your inspiration in the work that you do either in your dream job or as a side hustle? A lot of the work I do now is branding from startups to small businesses and larger corporations so in order to get inspired to create a branding system that will really progress that company for the next five years, I will go into the company, work with them, do workshops, interviews the staff, basically do anything to totally get the ethos and understand the values of the company, from then I’m inspired by everything i’ve learned and can go forward and create their unique package.
Ok, so let’s get a bit dreamy, shall we? If you were to swap job with someone else in your industry, who would this be and why? I’d swap jobs with Kendrick Lamar. He seems to do alight at what he does.
And… If you were given the opportunity to move anywhere without having to apply for any visa what-so-ever and we’d sort the packing for you — where would you go? I’ve always loved New York, lived out there for a couple of months when I had an exhibition over there and could easily go back but I reckon I’d say LA at the moment. I love it over on the West Coast.
If you were to give your younger self an advice on what to go for, or think about when you’re just about to step into the industry, what would that be? I would definitely advise myself to work harder when I was in my early 20’s. Spend longer on projects, put more effort and to value my time more wisely. I feel like there were definitely a few opportunities that could have gone better if I’d have not been partying as much or doing other things. But then again I also had a lot of fun so it’s all a balance.
Ok, and last but not least! Please give a link shout-out to 5 pieces of inspirational, or just plainly awesome, work that you’ve stumbled upon recently… Or… just 5 people!
- Buy my friend Radim's book http://www.bookofideas.co.uk/. It’s packed full of inspiration and is doing really well.
- My friends Leta and Wade do wonderful work, their latest Gucci project is wonderful.
- These guys at Hawrafare doing awesome things.
- Tamas Arpadi is amazing for his Everyday project.
- Here’s a Spotify playlist I made recently which has my top music of the year on. Enjoy!
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