Last night I went to see Ian Wharton talk at the Apple Store in London. He’s one of the ADC “Young Guns” (ADC stands for Art Director’s Club) and he is a very accomplished fellow who is in the third phase of a distinguished career at the age of only 25.
He designed Jamie Oliver’s recipe app for the iPhone. Finding out more about this app was the clincher for me to attend. He had other things in store.
Rewinding a bit, I saw a tweet from @markwardstudio via the really talented special effects guy @vectormeldrew. I checked out Ian’s online profile – suited, cold stare, power stance, flash website. I thought “young gun” is about right!
As it turns out, while this guy Ian is certainly a talented creative, he also has one hell of a marketing head on him.
When he started his presentation, we didn’t get a media hard-ball (thank god), we got a nice lad from Preston who has become slightly disillusioned with advertising and who’s proudest creative moments are including a twitching owl in the corner of a website for an eccentric Lake District photographer and his animated student film about two characters who send the moon into space every night on a railway track bent into the air (BTW the animated short is called Solar and is seriously slick).
What really came across was that Ian knows that keeping the creative light alive is all about staying pure and true to what you do, trusting your instinct, and working your arse off by all accounts… He has managed to stay untainted by the industry, with his discipline and work ethic intact – not that you’d know any of this from his steely marketing persona, which seems like a well crafted protection shield that allows him to stay true to himself. All creatives need one!
The notes I took were mainly quotes from people who had inspired him on his journey. Here are a selection -
“When you wake up in the morning, if your day ahead doesn’t inspire you, do something else”
“Embrace aspects of youth, especially the ridiculous”
“Instinct > Experience” (instinct beats experience)
“Creativity is being just crazy enough to not realise you can’t do something”
So thank you Ian for sharing your creativity, and giving a guy ten years older then you unexpected lesson in staying true to yourself and being disciplined.