Creative Connection

5 Things We Learned At February’s Nicer Tuesdays

Last month at Nicer Tuesdays, we met with multidisciplinary creative Rhea Dillon, illustrator Alex Jenkins, animator Anna Malin Mantzaris and graphic designer Craig Oldham.

Each took to the podium and showcased their bold and unique work whilst sharing their inspirations, personal creative process and upcoming projects.

Here are our top five takeouts from the event…

  1. Inspiration can be found everywhere, even in the mundane

Animator Anna Malin Mantzaris focused on the mundane for her recent film ‘Enough’, which draws inspiration from everyday life experiences such as taking the bus or a meeting at work. This resulted in a thought-provokingly playful and hilarious short which explores the question ‘what if you could react to everyday stresses in the way that you secretly want to?’ – such as lying on the pavement with all your shopping when you’ve missed the bus!

“Looking back, I was inspired by the time in my life when I’d moved to London and I’d take public transport at rush hour and witness lots of passive aggressiveness,” Anna explained. ‘Enough’ is often extremely relatable to its audience, providing a short burst of relief and laughter from the day-to-day burdens that can weigh us down.

  1. Don’t be afraid to use humour to tackle serious subjects

Illustrator Alex Jenkins delves into satirical surrealism with his unique and imaginative illustrations, explaining that many of the themes mirror things he worries about in life – from work stress to maintaining good health.

He likes to weave humour into his illustrations which are all created on an iPad, describing himself “as a big bumbling guy with an awkward sense of humour.” It was by experimenting with different creative mediums that led him to settle on comic strips, as the panel format “works best for humour as you have to be punchier.”

  1. Don’t feel you need to have all the answers – talk to others

Animator Anna Malin Mantzaris spoke of her fear that because her project for Greenpeace, ‘The Handmade Gift’, was so successful, her second project wouldn’t be able to match it. At first this clouded her creative process as she struggled to find her next ‘big idea’, however it was by sharing her woes with friends and other creatives that helped her break through that barrier. When brainstorming with a friend, they suggested that the images and animation ideas she had come up with already could all fit together in one project, hence ‘Enough’ was born.

  1. Make your projects personal

Multidisciplinary creative Rhea Dillon led the audience through a presentation of her work from the very beginning of her career, up to her latest project which explores afro hair and its culture. She talked through her personal beliefs and experiences of growing up with afro hair, taking the audience on a journey of what it means to be discovering your cultural identity. Through her photography and her film ‘Process’, she has been able to observe people from all walks of life and uncover what it means to truly feel comfortable in your own skin.

  1. Be inspired by your passions

Craig Oldham talked through his work on film, publishing and graphic design. Craig splits his time between running his own studio, Office of Craig and writing books with publishing company Rough Trade Books. Through RTB, Craig has been working on a new series – Epiphany Editions – which brings to life the fictional books seen in films.

“The idea was to create a series of books taken from films in which these books are props; the prop that provides an epiphany to the characters, or are a catalyst in the film’s story,” he explained. Having always had a passion for film, Craig uses this to help drive his creativity to new levels.

Tweet us @AdobeUK and let us know which of our Nicer Tuesdays’ February takeouts have inspired you the most!

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