What’s the most creative advertising idea you’ve seen recently?

Advertising ideas I respond to grab my attention in the same way that a film does, using visual storytelling about characters that make me care, or through a unique or groundbreaking visual expression of an emotional state. I love ads that make me care about a character and their story, and/or draw me into a world or experience that changes my perception of reality. The ads that come to mind are Forever, for The Farmer’s Dog (dir. Goh Iromoto) for its storytelling and heart, Burberry’s Open Spaces (Megaforce) and Hennessey X.O’s The Seven Worlds (dir. Ridley Scott) for that surreal, emotional, 'wow! factor.

The Farmer's Dog – Forever

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What website(s) do you use most regularly?

I read The Verge for reviews and media culture commentary, and because I love science fiction and fantasy stories I’m constantly checking for new published works and authors to follow.

What’s the most recent piece of tech that you’ve bought?

I recently bought the Apple Airpods Max because I already love my Airpods and I wanted to try a more comfortable over-ear option while editing sound.

What product could you not live without?

Honestly… pen and paper. That’s a pretty mundane answer, but when I need to get a story or visual idea out fast, for me nothing beats rough scribbles on paper. Drawing traditionally improves my skills and techniques with digital methods too.

What’s the best film you’ve seen over the last year?

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinnochio. I’ve seen other films in the last year that have been incredible feats of vision, storytelling, craft and technical acumen, but in terms of a film that communicates a director’s singular storytelling and artistic vision that I enjoyed, felt moved by and would want to watch again, it’s del Toro’s Pinnochio. Re-watchability is a good barometer for me as to whether something is hitting the mark on a deeper level.

What film do you think everyone should have seen?

The Man Who Planted Trees, by Frederic Back (1987), based on the short story of the same name by Jean Giono. This beautiful, animated short film is a meditation on the responsibility mankind has to nature, a message that couldn’t be more important today. In terms of technique The Man Who Planted Trees is a pinnacle of artistic craft in hand drawn animation. Today, the film feels like a breath of fresh mountain air in a busy attention economy and an ode living simply and with purpose.

What’s your preferred social media platform?

I take breaks from social media but, when I do engage, I often use LinkedIn for professional updates and Instagram for keeping up with friends, following artists, and posting artwork from my own projects.

What’s your favourite TV show? 

I don’t currently have a favourite TV show but I enjoyed The Last of Us, on (HBO)Max.

What’s your favourite podcast? 

Pivot, with Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway. I enjoy their perspectives on current events and of course their banter.

What show/exhibition has most inspired you recently?

I’m very interested in the MSG Sphere in Las Vegas, which I suppose isn’t technically a show or exhibition I’ve seen in person but more a platform or space.

If you could only listen to one music artist from now on, who would it be?

When I listen to one music artist on repeat too much I start to lose interest, so I would never want that to happen to any of my favourites, but I gravitate toward music that tells a story or opens an emotional space. Whenever I am in need of creative peace and inspiration I return to Joe Hisaishi. 

If there was one thing you could change about the advertising industry, what would it be?

Reducing personal data-scraping and seeing the return of privacy of the individual. 

Who or what has most influenced your career?

In the past few years the person who has influenced my career the most on a day to day level is the wonderful Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Supervising Director of the R-rated Netflix animated series Love, Death + Robots. She’s a wonderful mentor, advocate and lunch and coffee buddy. We’re both women directors drawn to telling interesting science-fiction and fantasy stories, predominantly in animation, though we both also enjoy working in live-action. There’s a creative tenacity and risk taking that we both share.

Creatively speaking, other writers, artists and filmmakers whose work has influenced me include Ursula K. Le Guin; J.R.R. Tolkien; Neil Gaiman; Shaun Tan; Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud; Sergio Toppi; Ridley Scott; Akira Kurosawa; Stanley Kubrick; Hayao Miyazaki; Peter Weir; Andrei Tarkovsky; George Miller and Peter Jackson… to name a few.

Tell us one thing about yourself that most people won’t know.

I often daydream about running my own bookstore, art gallery and studio space one day. There would, of course, be great coffee served there too!