This is a team sport. Embrace the account, strategy and production folks. They’re all in it to make great work too. The sooner you realize that, the better you’ll be.

question Please give us a brief bio of yourselves.

GROVES: I’m a creative director at 180LA where I work on Adidas, HP, Pepsi and a bunch of other cool brands.

RYDER: I’m also a creative director at 180LA. Adam and I have been partners for over six years.

What do you do for inspiration?

GROVES: Look at design blogs, photo books and walk around.

RYDER: Read. Walk around with Adam. If we really need to get inspired, sometimes we hold hands.

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

GROVES: If we’re just going off the sites Chrome says I visit most, then it’s Hypebeast.com, ffffound.com, upandguts.tumblr.com

RYDER: Grantland, Digg, Diapers.com

How many hours do you work each week?

GROVES + RYDER: 60. Sometimes more depending on the project.

How do you relax or unwind?

GROVES: A steady diet of booze and Korean BBQ.

RYDER: I wish I could say I had some cool hobby that helped me relax like canoe making or something. But the honest truth is I hang out with my family.  

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

GROVES: Lobster fisherman.

RYDER: I was pretty close to becoming a high school English teacher. So probably that. 

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

GROVES + RYDER: Our favorite part is the making part. We love working with really smart people to help bring our ideas to life. Plus, this business is full of characters. It’s fun to get to know them and figure stuff out together.

The hardest part is crafting. It takes a long time to make something well. There are no short cuts.

 When we get stuck, we usually try to talk about the problem with people we admire. Sometimes talking it out with someone who knows nothing about the project is the most helpful thing you can do.

What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?

GROVES + RYDER: 36 hours on a night shoot in Bangkok. 

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

GROVES + RYDER: Coming to 180LA four years ago. Before we got here, we knew nothing. Seriously.  

What software could you not live without?

GROVES: Photoshop

RYDER: Spotify 

How many projects does your company juggle at any one time?

GROVES + RYDER: We have eight big clients at 180LA. So there’s always tons of stuff going on.

Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?

GROVES + RYDER: It’s great for everyone on the team to get recognized for all of their hard work. It’s definitely good for morale. 

Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?


RYDER: I barely have time to read a book, let alone write one.

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?

GROVES: I’m always taking on little design projects to stay sharp.

RYDER: I like to box. It’s amazing what hitting people/things can do for your mindset.  

The web is getting out of the web. Do you find that thinking in digital solutions alone hinders you? Do you feel the urge to solve the problem using all mediums necessary?

GROVES +RYDER: Unless the brief calls for something really specific, we never start with a particular medium. We try to find a truth about either the product, the target or what’s going on in culture. Then we just try to figure out interesting ways to bring those truths to life. 

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

GROVES: To the moon.

RYDER: Who still goes to websites?

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

GROVES: If you have the talent, a good eye, and great taste I think you can get a job in the field. However I think it is important to go through some type of training. We are all constantly learning and growing. I think people might feel a sense of urgency to jump right in to the field, but really school is an amazing time to make things and challenge your creativity with very few rules.

RYDER: Adam went to design school. He’s good at his job. That’s all the proof I need.

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

GROVES + RYDER: This is a team sport. Embrace the account, strategy and production folks. They’re all in it to make great work too. The sooner you realize that, the better you’ll be. 

What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?

GROVES: Dodge Challenger SRT8. Black.

RYDER: My first car. A 1967 Chevy Nova SS. Still got it. 

What country excites you the most in terms of innovation?

GROVES + RYDER: The country of Los Angeles. There’s tons of awesome stuff going on right now all around us. But please don’t move here. Houses are already expensive enough.

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

GROVES + RYDER: Actually, the 2Days Beat Project we just made for HP was something we’d always dreamed of doing. We’d tried for a long time to produce a totally live experience that people could interact with in real time on Youtube. The fact that we got to make a hip-hop track as part of it was pretty cool too. 

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

GROVES + RYDER: It’s a really exciting time to be at 180LA. Our clients are brave. The work is great. And it’s only going to keep getting better. 

What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?

GROVES + RYDER: Our office is across the street from the beach in Santa Monica. So we often spend the afternoon drinking beers in the sun with our coworkers. That can get expensive. Last week's tab was over $300.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

GROVES + RYDER: Never get in a helicopter on a shoot. The lamest way to die is making a commercial.

It has been a privilege, thanks very much

GROVES + RYDER: Thanks. This was fun. 


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