rehabstudio is full of passionate and talented oddballs; whatever happens in the future I know it's going to be fun and fruitful.

question Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

I was born a Yorkshire Lad in Bridlington in the North East. I had the Yorkshire beaten out of me in the Midlands before arriving in London to pursue a design degree at East London University.

I started my career at Rockstar Games, then moved to digital agency Picture before joining rehabstudio nearly 4 years ago where I'm now the Creative Director in our London office.

What do you do for inspiration?

Generally I don't think inspiration comes from specific activities; I guess I just try to live as full a life as possible so that I have experiences and references to draw from.

What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Getting to where I am now by teaching myself to be talented. A lot of skills, like design, can be learnt if you're committed. Ol' Milton Glaser sums it up...
“The real issue is not talent as an independent element, but talent in relationship to will, desire, and persistence. Talent without these things vanishes and even modest talent with those characteristics grows.”
Also my daughter Roxy is pretty cool.

How do you relax or unwind?

To be honest, booze often plays a key part in unwinding after an intense week. But I'm all or nothing; I'm either on a two-day bender around London or I'm doing a big walk on a beach in Norfolk. Either way, laughing with friends and family.

If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?

When it all gets too much I fantasise about a quiet life as a high-end carpenter; on my own, in a big, light open-plan studio sanding-down a desk I've just built.

question What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?

The biggest buzz is hearing that we've seen off the competition and won a high profile pitch that we've busted our balls on.
The hardest part is when a project we've spent the last three months pouring everything into gets pulled for 'strategic reasons' a week before launch.

If there are any pivotal experiences/decisions you could point to that helped shape your career, what would they be?

My first experience of being totally absorbed and creative in a digital medium was when I was about 10. Me and my brother used an Acorn computer and this very basic animation program to draw, frame by frame, these crude, epic battles and death sequences. We would sit for days just to create 20 seconds of gory, blood splattered action. Kids eh!

What area of web design lacks the most?

What that question makes me think about is the more positive point about how fast technology is moving. A lot of things that were lacking a year ago have been solved today and what's lacking today is getting tinkered with right now by a very clever person somewhere. 

Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?

For sure. FWA is an institution in the industry. As well as giving our work great exposure, winning is a big morale booster for the team.

Are there things you do OUTSIDE of work to ensure that you are in the right mindset to be creative and/or successful in whatever you are doing?

I think it's important to have a clear division between your work-life and your home-life. Properly switching off when you leave the office, engaging with friends and family and other interests - that's what renews your energy so that when you are back in the studio you have a clear head and are 100% up for the challenge.

What was the last digital effort you saw (or were a part of) that used social media in a way that really made sense. Why?

Even though its getting old now, I think Life In A Day is the social media campaign to date that has made the most sense. It had everything… global scale, a real reason to be part of it and a properly valuable outcome. It was a historic social experiment that brands and agencies have been trying to recreate ever since.

Looking 10 years in to the future, how far can websites go?

It's exciting to think how much more in-tune with our bodies our devices are going to become, and how powerful data can be in helping us to take control of our health. Imagine walking into a supermarket and your device tells you to have some pistachios with your lunch, because you are low on vitamin B. That kind of data will be hard to ignore!

Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?

I'm pretty proud of our latest collaboration with Ace Hotels on their website. We love the brand & the whole Ace experience anyway but I think we have converted it really well to a digital platform. I think we've nailed the art direction and conceptually it works hard to show off the individuality of the Ace properties.

What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?

100%. University didn't teach me much, although it did afford me the space to teach myself.

If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?

Students should study and copy what the industry leaders are doing. It shows you where the bar is set and it teaches your eye what good design looks and feels like. You won't have to copy for long - all the lessons you've learnt will become instinctive habits and tools.

How difficult do you find employing the right people in a world where everyone calls themselves a web designer?

Recruitment is one of the biggest challenges in this industry. You'd think London would be bursting with employable talent, but all the good ones are taken. Talented people with good communication skills and a good attitude are pretty rare; if you're one of them hit us up! happylife@rehabstudio.com

How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?

By being a user of new digital products that make my life better. When our industry does its best work it solves peoples' problems rather than sells them things. I like having my problems solved.

There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?

I would love to be part of any digital project or initiative that helped tackle the gross inequality in our world. Anything to do with education, learning and opportunity that helps level the playing field would massively appeal to me.

What does the future hold for your company, or you as a person?

rehabstudio is full of passionate and talented oddballs; whatever happens in the future I know it's going to be fun and fruitful.

What are you excited about learning next and is there a long term challenge you are considering tackling?

Ideas, design and technology are why I'm in this industry. I use my skills in those areas to tackle advertising challenges, but one day I look forward to applying them to a project that makes a real difference in peoples' lives.

What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?

By brother works at Burberry and sometimes hooks me up during the sample sales. So I loiter in a dark blue Burberry mac.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

My late Nan told me never to trust anyone with thin lips.


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