Hi Viv, how are you!? Good week so far? Yes thanks, pretty good week so far!
Fab, great to hear. So, let’s start easy, shall we? For those Gluggers who’ve never heard of you, who are you and what do you do? I’m Viv Bowdler and I’m a Creative at Twitter. I sit within a team called Brand Strategy and spend most of my days thinking up Twitter campaigns for our biggest brands. I’m also lucky enough to illustrate the Twitter brand emojis (Mini Usain Bolt is my favourite so far).
Oh, wow! Now that sounds amazing, had no idea you were behind these!? So, how did you end up doing what you’re doing now, then? After graduating from University with a degree in Graphic Design & Communication I travelled to London in search of my first full time job. I began working at a media agency as part of their inhouse design team. For four years I designed campaign mock-ups and pitch presentations for global brands, soaking up valuable knowledge from the more experienced designers before moving on to creative studios, and finally arriving at Twitter in 2013.
Oh, so you've been there for quite some time now! Did you always dream of working in the creative industry, or what’s the back log here? I was lucky enough to attend a school with an amazing design department so Graphic Design has always been an obsession for me, so yes, I guess I always knew I’d love to work in the creative industry. Having studied Graphic Design at GCSE and A-Level I knew exactly what I wanted to do when applying to universities. Moving to London to follow my dream definitely paid off!
Yes, indeed! Have you had any mentors along the way of your career so far? If not, why not? I wouldn’t say I had a mentor as such although in my first manager, Becky Wharton, I found an amazing friend who has guided me in the right direction. Over three years we established ourselves as the go to for design - not just for the internal teams but across a global network - and eventually our humble team doubled in size. In the early years, we would often find ourselves propped up next to our computer in the early hours of the morning finalising pitches - although our work/life balance could definitely be questioned we had a lot of fun in the process. I’ve recently read a medium article by Google designer Angelz Guzman about her time at Apple and she shares her experiences of how design leads to friendship, and that friendship leads back to design - this certainly was the case for me too!
Yep, so so true, it's a cycle indeed. 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? When I graduated from university I, perhaps naively, applied for a role as a Design Manager at a company that I really wanted to work for - as expected I was deemed too inexperienced for that position however I was put forward for a role in their sister agency that I was perfect for.
This experience taught me to be brave - if you go to interview for a role that isn’t quite right don’t be put off, if you’ve made a good impression you never know what other positions may open up in the future.
Brave is key, totally agree with you on that. Apart from working… What do you get up to in life? Got any exciting side hustles or passions to tell us about? I am a huge Manchester City fan. I have been a season ticket holder since I was seven so I often spend my weekends up in Manchester. The standard has most certainly improved since my first match!
Haha, love it! And... If you’re running low on inspiration, what do you do (or where do you go) to get this back on track again? For a hit of inspiration, I head to dribbble.com - there are so many amazing designers on the platform. A quick browse through there can really help me to remove those creative blocks. I also use Twitter’s previous character limit to sense check concepts I’ve come up with – if the idea cannot be explained within 140 characters then it is too complicated. My rule (which I’ve nicknamed the #RuleOf140) helps me to structure creative narratives, pitches and inspire simple and exciting ideas.
Ah, I remember the #RuleOf140 from the talk you did here at Glug in London back in... What was it? Like 2016 I think. Anyway... Let’s get a bit dreamy, shall we? If you could swap job with anyone in the industry, who would this be and why? If I could swap jobs with anyone it would be Jenna Huerta. Jenna works as a Graphic Designer at Pixar Animations Studios. Not only does she get to work at the amazing Pixar Studios but her hand-drawn type is insane and something I’d love to be able to do!
Oh, good pick! And… If you were given the opportunity to move anywhere without having to apply for any visas what-so-ever (and we’d sort the packing for you) — where would you go? If could swap jobs with Jenna Huerta I’d move to San Francisco tomorrow!
Fair play! Ok, and last but not least! Please give a link shout-out to 5 pieces of inspiring/epic/awesome work that you’ve stumbled upon recently… Or… just 5 people!
Because I work at Twitter I’m going to do this a little differently and give you five of my favourite
@mioestudio - I recently came across an illustration/animation duo called Mioe - based in Sheffield - Mike (illustrator) and Chole (animator) create gifs, and short video animations. I love their use of colour and always look forward to seeing their work in my timeline.
@DanLeydon - Dan is an amazing illustrator and follow on Twitter. He is known for illustrating famous footballers and has produced worked for the brands such as Nike, BT Sport and ESPN. He keeps his Twitter timeline updated with illustrations reacting to the day’s news - it’s exciting to see who he’ll draw next.
@StayOutside_ - Toria Jaymes is an Art Director / Illustrator whose work I love. In my early days at Twitter I came across her work when she was briefed by one of the teams. I loved what she came back with and have followed her work closely since then.
@adamrowetv - Adam is a Creative Director at Man Vs Machine. Their 3D work is so incredible that I always love to check out what they are up to!
@OneMinuteBriefs - One Minute Briefs is a concept created by a guy called Nick Entwistle. OneMinuteBriefs challenge their creative community on Twitter to respond to a brief in one minute flat! They then share and reward the best ideas. Seeing what talented creatives can come up with in under a minute is pretty incredible!