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Le Book interview Jonathan Emmins
Jonathan Emmins on the positive forces that shape good work + creative energy...
Read the original article at Le Book, originally published 19th October 2016.
What was your very first job?
A car washing business when I was 9. I so desperately wanted a Commodore 64. I threw myself into it, as with everything I’ve done since. Approach anything with an upbeat outlook and who knows where it will take you. All experiences, bad and good, can and should be a positive force for shaping the future ‘you'.
Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.
Amplify was founded as a home for creative people and clients. My role is to push forward and oversee our creative output, working with both the team and brands direct. I also spend quite a lot of time looking at the future direction of Amplify, and mentoring the new agencies we’ve helped set-up.
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? What was there train of events that brought you to where you are today?
Creativity is an approach, a slightly different way of looking at things. My Mum was a lawyer and my Dad was a graphic designer - in the era of Letraset, marker pens and typesetting. This gave me a good mix of thinking linearly and laterally, and both really compliment one another.
For some reason I kept trying to do the ‘sensible' thing, but thankfully the creative side won. In 2008 I set-up Amplify up, driven by a desire and knowledge that there was a better, more creative way to approach the work I was doing.
In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?
At Amplify our role is to strategically and creatively direct, taking our clients on unique and exciting journeys. To keep both us as individuals, and our work exciting, collaboration is key – and where I can I prefer to work with younger, emerging talent. It might take longer but the results are always stronger and more surprising. When I was younger I benefitted from those with more experience giving me opportunities, a leg up, and some cases clearing the path to let me do what I do best. I think we all have a responsibility to pass that on… Our recent 'Young Blood' film series, exploring the hope, fears and realities of growing in today’s Britain, was all centred around giving a platform for 13 – 25 year olds.
If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be?
For me it's more important that the the work and projects we undertake are deemed a success by the person and brand who commissioned it. Anything else on top is a bonus. I’m genuinely really proud of all of our team’s work, with some of our work for Converse, Lexus and Red Bull being particular highlights. That said I prefer to move on quickly, and I’m always looking ahead to what’s next. The briefs I prefer to work on most are the really tricky, sometimes unglamorous onesm or where you’ve worked really openly with a client to take them into a new space. It often comes down to who you are working with, and how brave they want to be. I would rather work on a less cool brand with a brave client, than a cool brand with someone who isn’t willing to try something new.
What social media artist are you most influenced by?
More artists who are on social media, but without a doubt the feeds I most regularly check out is Kaws, Polly Morgan and Futura.