Having flunked out of art college early (my only regret), I started my creative life off as a PA in the 80’s working for an incredible & inspiring creative director, Jon Lys-Turner, @ Fitch RS, then Imagination; after 8 years of this work, I knew I only wanted to ever be in the creative world.
I moved into managing a graphic design studio working mainly in the music business producing beautiful record sleeves for artists, which was very rock ‘n’ roll!
I went to live in Ibiza for 2 years, ending up working in production on shoots from photography through to feature films, c/o an amazing casting legend on the white Isle, Patsy Dodd (Mother to highly successful make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury). Returning to London, door’s opened and photographers wanted me to work for them – I dived in.
Since the heady days of Ibiza, I went from being a producer/rep for my own photographic agency Blow Up Management, to working for many other fabulous photographic agencies in London, before moving into ad agency life as an art buyer - I have accumulated over 20 years’ experience, both client and agency-side, producing high quality creative production, which led onto my current position, working in-house at TJX Europe – owners of TK Maxx and HomeSense, as Head of Creative Production.
What was your very first job? What does it feel like to look back at it now?
My first ‘proper’ job was working as a PA to Jon Lys Turner, (long term Creative Director at Boots) at Fitch RS & then went with him to Imagination. It was incredibly good fun and wild in those heady 80’s in Soho - working for Jon, an extremely inspiring creative, with a wicked sense of humour, we worked hard and laughed. A LOT! Jon gave me huge inspiration to discover who I was and who I wanted to be.
Please describe, in your own words, what your current job is and what work it entails.
I am Head of Creative Production at TJX Europe – (owners of TK Maxx & HomeSense). Having joined over 5 years ago on a freelance contract, I became full time after 1 year & have loved it ever since. (I never stay anywhere more than 2-3 years please note!!!) I manage a production team scaled up/down to respond to workload, I commission/produce all fashion/lifestyle, interior/homeware for the 2 brands integrated European advertising campaigns for all BTL media, including moving image content, radio ads for both brands. I work alongside our partner agency Wieden & Kennedy on their ATL campaign work too. Managing key client stakeholders & creative; to handling logistics/budget – from key creative/client sign off covering art buying, production, post and wrap/reconciliation services.
How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? Which train of events did bring you to where you are today?
In the 80’s reading the Face magazine and wanting to be part or take part in London ‘culture’ somehow. I loved and love art & having very arty parents & an incredible painter for a sister (now a fabulous motion producer), it was always going to be the creative world without a doubt for me. In regards to the second question, yes, when I got my first job at Fitch RS.
In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how and where do you usually find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?
Online always & good ol’ word of mouth from creative friends and work colleagues.
If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, especially for the creative work and innovation it required rather than its recognition or industry success, what would it be?
There are a few which I cannot talk about, but I have had them for sure!