• 14 Days - A Creative Partnership

    Remember when a fortnight of isolation sounded like a long time?

    Like many of our friends, colleagues and clients these days, we (Katie and Brennan) have been experiencing a new (and if we’re honest, odd) relationship to time itself. January seems years ago, while this week is flying by – or was it last week that flew by?

    In this state, we’ve been working to find, and hold onto, perspectives that are somehow helpful and good. Throughout, questions have been easier to find than answers. And while we love questions in general, and tend to think that answers are overrated, in these times of crises and change, our hope is for answers as well.

    • What’s going on?
    • What should we do about it?
    • How should we understand ourselves?
    • What should we do about it?
    • What actually, really matters?
    • What good things does the world need at this time?
    • And what should we do about it?

    These questions have always been woven into the human condition. But today they seem to be rising to the top of our collective consciousness all the more.

    And to be honest, we’ve been torn.

    On the one hand, we could recall and pass on perspectives that are essentially the equivalent of philosophical sugar: sweet ideas that go down easily but burn up quickly. At the other extreme are ‘protein-rich’ postulations: important, but difficult to digest.

    With the ’14 Days’ of ideas and images we've put together, we hope we’ve struck a balance of perspectives that are both uplifting and sustaining. Uplifting because each would not exist without hope, but sustaining because the messages we’ve collected (none of which are original to us) reach down into the deep and offer a foundation on which to build a way forward.

    This creative collaboration has been positive for us in this time. We hope it is for you as well. And if it sparks anything for you, let us know. We’d love to know the perspectives you care about most at this time too.

    To digest all of our 14 Days, head over to Instagram.

    Brennan Jacoby (Philosophy at Work)

    Katie Steel (Supafrank)

  • The Uncomfortable Truth about Creativity

    We’ve all been there - Wednesday afternoon, scrolling blindly, head completely empty. You wonder if you might have actually seen every image on the internet or if you will have an original thought again. This is known as creative block.

    When we accept blocks as part of the creative process, we can use them to our strength. Over the years I have come to know my blocks and I quite like them now – they free me from my screen and challenge me to open up my mind and think again.

    Here are some of the things I think these blocks are trying to tell us:

    > Move – walk, cycle or jiggle around. Physical movement can shift the brain when it is determined to stay stuck.Get into Nature – our greatest teacher.

    > Get away from your screen – follow your curiosity. It can feel like procrastination when the clock is ticking but it always helps bring fresh light.

    > Talk and listen to somebody you wouldn’t normally talk to – find a new perspective.

    > Get a dog – they love you and won’t judge you, even if your ideas are bad.

    Deadlines, Discipline and Discomfort

    A real deadline forces you to go past the foggy seedling of an idea to arrive at something that might actually have legs. Discipline means chipping away at your idea no matter what. Remember that Picasso quote about how inspiration exists but it has to find you working? That’s what I mean when I talk about discipline.

    Accepting discomfort is another part of a creative process too - embrace it. In fact, I think you have to be a bit uncomfortable if you are really pushing yourself to create meaningful work. Often I have to force myself to sit down and get the moldy thoughts out of my head to let new ones flow in.

    If your pencil is still doodling and your brain is saying.. ‘that will do, I think maybe everything else really has been done’, try these techniques:

    Building not bashing

    In the creative industries, you are taught to see things as others might, to become really judgmental. Learning how to turn this on and off, and make sure feedback is helpful rather than a bully is crucial because it can help you be less judgmental with your own and other people’s ideas. It’s tempting to throw the piece of paper out of the window but there might be a little seedling of joy in there.
    Be open it.

    Idea Mashing

    I love to experiment with totally contradictory themes and try mashing them together. How can the topic of mental health be beautiful? Or how can the use of plastic be thoughtful? How would a hairdresser look at the problem? Could we grow it (whatever the ‘it’ is)? How would a philosopher approach a food brand? What would a banker do to help a charity?

    I hope you enjoy your next block - they are a necessary part of the creative process. Please get in touch if you would like a new way of looking at yours.

    Katie Steel

  • Love Brownies New Shoot

    Its been a total pleasure to work with Anna Wilkins (Stylist) and Jonathan west (Photographer) to bring the brand new Love Brownies website to life.

  • Love Brownies Franchising

    It's been an incredible journey to work with Love Brownies from baking brownies on the kitchen table to a franchisable proposition that has over ten shops across the UK. I think its fair to say we have all learnt a lot over the last decade but one thing we always got right. We have grafted (sometimes day and night) to create a brand that absolutely full to the brim with heart.

    You can see all our hard work in Ilkley, The Barn in the Yorkshire Dales, Harrogate, Islington, West Kirby, Southgate, Stirling, Guildford, Canterbury and Swindon.

  • London Flower School

    We are really pleased to say our latest project for London Flower School is now live. See much more about the project here. Thanks for sharing Dexigner and Creative Boom.

  • The Alice Pattullo illustration commision

    Working with Department Store for the Mind to create a range of products to help us count our blessings. A bless you for being yourself mug, set of greetings cards and a may you always be proud of your roots tea towel make up the charming product range. 

  • Exhibition Stand

    We designed and commissioned a modular exhibition stand. Really flexible for lots of pop-ups for the Department Store for the Mind.

  • Marc Johns Product Range

    We created a characterful set of products named 'First Aid for the Mind' in collaboration with Department Store for the Mind and illustrator Marc Johns.  A hug in a tube that you can send in the post, a set of simple reminder stickers and a bracelet to help you take ten deep breaths in tricky situations are available to buy here.

  • Dept. Pop-up in Old Street

    A pleasure to be involved in getting the Department Store for the Mind Christmas, Old Street pop-up to Pop! With special thanks to illustrator Veronica Wood for the window vinyls. 

  • An illustrated box of walks

    A fantastic opportunity to work with Sophie Howarth to commision a set of illustrations about the virtues of walking. We worked with Alexandra Ethell to produce this beautiful set of cards. See them here.

  • Number 5 Project

    We loved being able to help out at Number 5 Project. They are an independent homeless shelter in Guildford. Illustrated by Veronica Wood.

  • We've Been Published

    Thanks to Viction:ary for publishing our work in 64 Eminent Creatives from Great Britain - we feel blessed!

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