Category Archives: Digital

I [heart] America


There’s been a lot of hullabaloo this past couple of years because of the Cheeto-in-Chief of the good ol’ U S of A.

What with cosying up to dictators and alienating allies he certainly cuts a divisive figure. Unfortunately, this has had a backlash against America in general and its people.

So, to redress the balance, I wanted to write a positive post about some of the things I love about America. After all, one Mango-Mussolini shouldn’t taint the whole country.

In no particular order…

MUSIC

From Elvis Presley to Tom Waits to the Talking Heads. Who could argue that America has produced some of the greatest artists and genres the world has ever seen. Who are your favourites?

f9a83804312097dafc53cd110c6b62f0

076a0af223e3fde0e482daec21dea667

1a0fc3339ab6db5f9d83e0267b671008

Next up, MOVIES.

When we think of American movies we tend to think of Hollywood blockbusters. But there are so many unbelievable directors and actors. Here are some of my favourites, who are yours?

fb21736cabe240c1c6b9d685d983a163

17db73b4f983822ecd0f9758f1c4d964

ae862ac132d0ce987e056660137a8981

bb63a539ab118fd52d4b211c822b14f8

As I have a penchant for the Arts, I’m going to pick out a few photographers who have inspired me over the years.

PHOTOGRAPHY

3c619aa72059ba15902bb456dc72baaf

Marilyn Monroe by Eve Arnold

9ba447cbaf5df32d320cfa29699d6523

Gloria Swanson by Edward Steichen

5dc1809ac7044b8a90e7ddeb8728e645

Vivian Maier

5f1e7162127537afe47a7c51bf9d3005

Ansel Adams

d053f4cd7c1a5293215d43a8884991ac

Cindy Sherman

e6e4755b1fc7a8f7faf1da91c499951a

Saul Leiter

Understandably, most people couldn’t give a rat’s ass about advertising. But I do, because I worked in it for 30 years. When Doyle, Dane, Bernbach set up shop in the 1960s they revolutionised advertising. They focussed on simple product truths. Their ethos/philosophy permeated continents and generations. Still does. I had the privilege of working for DDB Dublin.

ADVERTISING

a2733323f3f384509870afab449b8921

Leading on from advertising we have GRAPHIC DESIGN, and this iconic classic by Milton Glaser for the New York tourist board. which has been ‘parodied’ a trillion times. (Yes, including me.)

27811149cca24f2d149b20c588c5badf

Milton Glaser

Next up, ARTISTS. Again, a multitude to pick from. Here are a couple of my faves.

0379e7b1a95d88c7bbb0da8c664deba5

Jean Michel Basquiat

d47c01293531e5af7b91d44108fb66e4

Edward Hopper

dadf136856fb64e89675d5bcf8229955

Mary Cassatt

Moving on to something non art related – LANDSCAPE. America has such a diverse landscape, from snow-capped mountains to sun-scorched deserts.

9eaf07f8f1db1e1d76f53837977a173f

7d92ccf15716d331da89c3548f51fec5

f880402b54f68b307bb65416309f926b

I’ve always loved CLASSIC CARS, Mercedes, Jaguar, Citroen, Volvo. But I also love American cars for their sheer ostentatiousness.

1ab901c84421a142db90543876c659c1

133e3a8275e87cdc2c11e2092e226d29

e1bd9c7715e010b1c915ac7909bcf69e

af53ad0aa2b6896cb7a961728b973056

I couldn’t write a post about America without including a few WRITERS. Too many to choose from. Here are a few of my heroes who have inspired me over the years. Recommendations anyone?

2c060977e52817a14375ac71022f2cdd

08af8c6f1f93bea8437c738195bf72b9

13e59b8450492f2d1c74ed81c56e5f93

e93691ccd832278595bd4aacebc6da45

e333432d8e0a949514d0eed6741034e2

What else do I love about America? I really like their ARCHITECTURE. Whether it be a monumental skyscaper or the traditional colonial white-picket-fence style complete with veranda.

9af05b45bdb2e5c5f608fc450610f280

91fcf12bc2ee4d8072105cb4372bdc84

481b849c00bb3f8207ecc17d6c9d352d

You won’t get very far in the States without some top-notch tucker. What is more quintessentially American than the humble DINER?

3d7b546033c31e9e26346a44bc84eaf9

Who says Americans don’t get irony? They make some fantastic COMEDY and have some wonderful comedians. Obviously, you’re not as funny as us Brits. But you’re getting the hang of it. (Benny Hill.)

3ab39169c1acce200dc6a153dd86f2d2

f5468eaacb6027084fc423ac399a138d

17e04d86a88ef62c42b23b4fe55f1744

450f210834c849819b668f4b5f489395

There you have it. Have I forgotten anything, anyone? What would you have included?

Obviously, there is one other thing I would like to give credit to. And that is the American people. (Well, only those that didn’t vote Trump.) You’re an innovative and inspiring bunch. Not only that, you saved our asses in two world wars! So, cheers for that.

My, (our), world would be a lot poorer without you.

 

Advertisements

10 Comments

Filed under Advertising, Animation, Architecture, Art, Books, Cartoons, Children, Comedy, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Design, Digital, Economy, Education, Film, Food, History, Ideas, Illustration, Innovation, Inspiration, Inventions, Literature, love, Music, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Politics, Science, Screenplays, Short stories, Uncategorized, Writing

A Sneaky Peek…


Here’s a sneaky peek at some of my photographs being prepared to be exhibited at the Oasis Cafe at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport.

Money raised from the sale of my work goes to the Mental Health Unit at Stepping Hill, a little bit goes to Arc, (the charity who I volunteer for, and who organised this), and some to me! Yay!

Ultimately, the real objective is to make people happy. Make people feel positive and inspired. And to raise awareness of Arc’s many wonderful programmes and services for mental wellbeing.

Anyhoo, they range between £45 – £50 for a framed print if you fancy one. They come with a window mount, glass frame, printed on a fine glossy stock. (Postage would be on top.)

I’m going to pop in to Arc tomorrow, so I can get dimensions for you then. But, they’re roughly A3 in size. Two are larger and in a square format.

Send me a message in the box below, or email me at: thereisnocavalry@icloud.com if you’re interested.

Thank you.

FullSizeRender(4).jpg

Arc Studio

FullSizeRender(2).jpg

Goyt Valley, Peak District.

FullSizeRender(3)

Ribblehead Viaduct, North Yorkshire.

FullSizeRender(1).jpg

White Scar, near Hawes, North Yorkshire.

FullSizeRender.jpg

Dry-stone wall, Grassington, North Yorkshire.

IMG_0480(1).JPG

“Wuthering Heights”, Haworth Moor, West Yorkshire.

 

White Scar, Hawes, North Yorkshire. 32.5 cm x 42.5 cm £45

Goyt Valley, Peak District. 35.5 cm x 35.5 cm £45

Drystone wall, Grassington, North Yorkshire. 32.5 cm x 42.5cm £45

Wuthering Heights, Haworth Moor, West Yorkshire. 32.5 cm x 42.5 cm £45

Ribblehead Viaduct, North Yorkshire. 52.5 cm x 52.5 cm £50

 

Save

10 Comments

Filed under Art, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Digital, Ideas, Inspiration, Literature, mental health, Nature, Photography, Uncategorized

Things for which I am grateful #365/365.


Some folks might think this is a bit of a cheat. I started with my kids and I’m going to finish with them. In my defence, I have two of the little rascals so I’m counting it as one post apiece.

There is nothing more precious to me on this Earth than my two daughters. Anyone who has children will know that something changes inside of you – chemically, biologically – and nothing else seems to matter.

Of course, this doesn’t apply to every parent, and true, the pesky varmints do get on your nerves a lot of the time. And yes, they bicker constantly. And they manage to talk in a stream of consciousness James Joyce would be proud of. But, when all’s said and done, they don’t outweigh all the adorable moments. I simply couldn’t live without them.

It’s been an epic year of blogging. Thank you for sticking by me and I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

Right, I’m going for a lie down.

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 16.32.04

Here are my 365 things that I am grateful for:

1 My daughters

2 Water

3 Poetry

4 Baths

5-7 Notebooks, pens, pencils

8,9 Butterflies and moths

10, 11 Softball and baseball

12 Fresh coffee

13 Sound / masts

14 Indoor toilets

15 Stepping Hill Hospital

16 Birds of Paradise

17 Roget’s thesaurus

18 Mother Earth

19 Clingfilm dispenser

20, 21 Yorkshire pudding and onion gravy

22 Jorge Luis Borges

23 Classic cars

24 Curry

25 Tim Berners Lee

26 Charles Bukowski

27 Yorkshire

28 Shiraz

29 Food

30 Katell Keineg

31 Tao Te Ching

32 A roof over my head

33 Peat fires

34 Street art

35 Friends (as in – mates, not the T.V. show)

36 Wilfred Owen

37 The Penguin Café Orchestra

38 The fry-up

39 Wolves

40 W.B. Yeats

41, 42 Cherry blossom trees and haiku poetry

43 Bread

44 Boules

45 Maps

46 Refuse collectors

47 Candy Chang

48 Sparrows

49 The tomato

50 Studio Ghibli

51 Oliver Jeffers

52 Johannes Gutenberg

53 Tom Waites

54 The cello

55 Mothers’ day

56 The Phoenicians

57, 58 Bacon and brown sauce

59 Tulips

60 Fish and chips

61 Giselle

62 Airfix

63 Firefighters

64 Rain

65 Libraries

66 Raymond Carver

67 Toulouse-Lautrec

68 The Goldfinch

69 Wings of Desire

70 Silence

71 Elizabeth Barrett Browning

72-99 Ireland

100 Talking Heads

101 Sylvia Plath

102 Yorkshire Sculpture Park

103 My mum

104 Modigliani

105 Kurt Vonnegut

106-128 Electricity

129 The pop man

130-147 Comedians/comedy

148 Commando magazine

149 Pastry

150-156 Social media

157 David Bowie

158 Football

159 D-Day

160-194 France

195-230 Novels

231 Graphic Design

232 Viva! Roxy Music

233 – 274 Art

275 Betty Blue

276 Writing

277 Joy Division

278 – 287 Scotland

288 – 324 Italy

325 – 352 Photography

353 Leeds Utd

354 Love

355 Universe

356 Advertising

357 Pan’s Labyrinth

358 – 363 Democracy

364 Miscellaneous

365 My daughters II

If anyone wants to read any of the previous posts simply type the title into the search box on the right. (It’s underneath the ‘topic’ cloud.)

18 Comments

Filed under Advertising, Animals, Animation, Architecture, Art, Books, Brand, Cartoons, Ceramics, Children, Children's books, Children's stories, Classical music, Comedy, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Dance, Design, Digital, Disability, Economy, Education, Film, Food, Football, Games, Haiku, Ideas, Illustration, Innovation, Inspiration, Inventions, Literature, Music, Nature, Philosophy, Photography, Poetry, Politics, Radio, Science, Screenplays, Sculpture, Short stories, Sport, Strategy, Writing

Things for which I’m grateful #356 – Advertising.


Yes, advertising. Nike,1990s,UK It’s hard to think of an industry more vilified by the general public than advertising. With the possible exceptions of bankers and estate agents. Oh, and insurance companies. We’re all wankers in the public’s eyes. It’s true that I’ve met quite a few charlatans in my time but I’ve also met lots of lovely people whom I admire, respect and have maintained long-lasting friendships. Advertising has given me many happy years coming up with ideas for stuff. Then having them bludgeoned to death by account handlers and clients. I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with some fantastically talented directors, photographers, illustrators, writers and art directors. I’ve also had the good fortune to have gone on the odd exotic TV shoot. come-along-gentelman In my 30 years in the ad industry I reckon I’ve only had three decent jobs out of about – actually, I genuinely can’t remember how many jobs I’ve had. The three best agencies I’ve worked for were BRAHM in Leeds, Owens DDB and Chemistry, (both in Dublin). They probably account for about 10 out of my 30 years in advertising. That’s a long time spent working in crap agencies. Of course, young hipsters will think someone like me is past it. I’ve heard a few digital johnnies bleating on about how traditional advertising doesn’t engage in a dialogue with consumers like online media can. Bollocks. As soon as you get a customer thinking about your ad you are engaging in dialogue. Whether that’s via the medium of television, press or on a billboard. Think_Different_poster_billbernbach Just because you have the capacity for a customer to literally respond to your message on social media doesn’t mean you’ve entered into a dialogue with them. In fact, judging by the mass majority of offer/promotion-based ads on social media, I would argue that this is monologue, not dialogue. The key to a successful engagement with a customer is to have an idea that resonates with what’s going on in their life. Without an idea, you have nothing. And, what digital johnnies lack is the ability and experience to come up with big advertising ideas. Of course, there have been one or two great online campaigns. (Old Spice springs to mind.) But not enough. And ad agencies today need to go back to the old ways of doing things but with today’s media and technology. Is it just me, or is there a dearth of good advertising around? interbrew-sheep-small-51151 Advertising is very simple: A great idea should contain two things: An insight into your target audience and a brand/product truth that will match the consumer insight. For example: If only everything in life was as reliable as a Volkswagen.

  1. A) ‘If only everything in life…’ = Life is full of ups and downs (consumer insight).
  2. B) ‘…was as reliable as a Volkswagen’. = If all else fails, you can rely on your Volkswagen. (Product benefit).

A + B =     Ta-dah! (Told you it was simple.) It’s often overcomplicated by people using big words to make themselves look more intelligent who try to portray it as a science. Great ideas come from great propositions. Here are a few straplines from yesteryear, when advertising was great. See how many you can match to their brand. (And they’d all translate brilliantly to online media.)

  1. Probably the best lager in the world.
  2. The world’s favourite airline.
  3. Think different.
  4. I bet he drinks…
  5. Good food costs less at…
  6. It is. Are you?
  7. …refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach.
  8. Australians would give a … for anything else.
  9. Beanz meanz …
  10. The Ultimate Driving Machine.
  11. Just do it.
  12. Vorsprung durch technic
  13. Reassuringly expensive
  14. It’s a new toy every day.
  15. We try harder.
  16. Happiness is a cigar called…
  17. The cream of Manchester.
  18. Hello Tosh, got a…
  19. You know, when you’ve been…
  20. I smoke ‘em, cos my name’s on ‘em.

That doesn’t mean that every ad campaign needs a strapline. (The Economist being a good case in point.) What a great strapline does is encapsulate the client’s strategy, which each individual concept/execution has to fit into for consistency of message. cream-of-manchester   So my advice to any young whippersnappers out there thinking of a career as an art director or writer is, whatever you do, don’t rock the boat. Tip the fucking thing over. There are too many safe-sailor-suits and bland-brand-bosuns as it is. N.B. None of the examples of great work I’ve shown here are mine.

Addendum:

Of the places of work I have really enjoyed working, I would have included TBWA Manchester – a really great team of people and a cracking account to work on. But, as I was only there a wet weekend, it seemed a bit of a stretch to include it. For the all too brief period of time I was there, I enjoyed every minute of it.

7 Comments

Filed under Advertising, Brand, Comedy, Creativity, Cross of Iron, Design, Digital, Film, Ideas, Inspiration, Photography, Strategy

The Boating Party with Sean Hayes


Luncheon of the Boating Party, 1881. By Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

The Boating Party is a series of interviews with writers, artists, photographers, filmmakers, musicians, sculptors, illustrators, designers and the like.

In times of economic hardship, the Arts are usually the first things to be axed. But, in my view, the Arts are one of the most important aspects of our civilisation. Without the arts, we wouldn’t have language or the written word. Without the arts, we have no culture. Without culture, we have no society. Without society, we have no civilisation. And without civilisation, we have anarchy. Which, in itself, is paradoxical, because so many artists view themselves as rebels to society.

To me, artists aren’t rebels, they are pioneers.

And perhaps, most importantly; without the Arts, where’s the creativity that will solve the world’s problems? Including economic and scientific ones?

In this interview, I am delighted to welcome Irish creative director, Sean Hayes.

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 18.47.27

 

Who inspires you?

People who have discerning minds.

 

What inspires you?

A belief that everything is malleable. Nothing is set in stone.

 

What was the last thing that inspired you?

Rupert Sheldrake’s banned TEDx talk on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKHUaNAxsTg – t=1088

 

What makes you unhappy?

Misunderstanding.

 

What makes you happy?

Understanding.

 

What are you reading?

‘Who Owns the Future?’ Jaron Lanier.

 

Who, or what, are you listening to?

The rain.

 

What’s your favourite film?

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey

 

If you could go back in time, where would you go?

December 5th 1975. Bob Marley and the Wailers in concert at the Lyceum Theatre in London to witness the recording of one of the greatest live albums ever – Bob Marley and the Wailers LIVE!

 

What frightens you?

People who do not possess discerning minds.

 

What do you do to relax?

I take photographs. It’s a form of meditation for me.

 

What do you do when you’re angry?

Anger is fear in stealth mode. Deal with the fear and the anger vanishes.

 

What can’t you live without?

Oxygen. Family. Friends. In that order.

 

What’s your motto?

Say simple things in unexpected ways.

 

Where is your Utopia?

West Cork, Ireland.

 

If you only had one year to live what would you do?

Spend the year visiting and thanking all the family, friends and folk who have loved and supported me in life and apologize to those where I failed to return their love and support.

 

Up who’s arse would you like to stick a rocket, and why?

Sepp Blatter. (Swiss football administrator who serves as the eighth and current President of FIFA). Blatter represents everything that is perverse with the prevailing corporate culture of winner-take-all. He exudes a deep sense of unquestioning entitlement and is mindlessly corrupt.

 

Who would you like to be stuck in an elevator with?

Scarlett Johansson.

 

What are you working on at the moment?

Increasing my understanding of the world and everything in it.

 

What is your ambition?

To love and be loved.

 

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Throw the Internal Combustion Engine onto the ash heap of history. It has stunted the development of cleaner and more sustainable energy sources because the Petrochemical conglomerates make vast fortunes from oil and actively suppress technologies that challenge their hegemony.

 

Which six people would you invite to your boating party?

Elon Musk (Business Magnate, Inventor, Visionary), Rupert Sheldrake (English author, lecturer, and researcher in the field of parapsychology), Scarlett Johansson (Elevator repair person), Graham Hancock (British writer and journalist), Linda Moulton Howe (American investigative journalist and ufologist), Nick Cave (Musician and author).

 

What would be on the menu?

 Ideas.

 

What question would you have liked me to have asked?

Hy-Brazil – a mythical island off the west coast of Ireland – appeared on nautical maps from 1325 until it’s disappearance from seafaring charts around 1865. Why? A great mystery.

 

Thank you, Sean.

To see more of Sean’s work click on any image to go to his Tumblr site.

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

tumblr_n26lk2w1Fx1tvpczso8_r1_1280

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

© Sean Hayes

 

Sean Hayes’ biography:

I’m an advertising Creative Director with over 25 years experience of planning, creating and executing marketing campaigns for European, American and Japanese brands. In 2010, I started taking pictures of the world around me with a newly purchased iPhone. I haven’t put it down since. All the images in my gallery have been shot and processed using my smart phone. Preferred subjects to photograph are portraits and landscapes. My photographic work has been exhibited in galleries and exhibitions specialising in mobile photography in Brussels, Milan, Miami, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

I was a runner-up in the Landscape category of the global Mobile Photography Awards 2013 and was awarded 2nd place in the People category of the same competition in 2014.

Links:

http://seanski50.wordpress.com

http://seanmobilephotos.tumblr.com

http://seanmobileportraits.tumblr.com

 

8 Comments

Filed under Advertising, Art, Brand, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Digital, Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Photography

Things I am grateful for #150-156: Social Media


Did you miss me?

Whaddaya mean, you didn’t notice I was gone? Sheesh, I could’ve been lying in a gutter for all you lot cared.

My computer decided to pack up on me and has been in the shop for the past brace of weeks being mended. Hence my tardiness at keeping up to date with my things to be grateful for. I wouldn’t mind, but it’s only six months old. Bloody shoddy workmanship if you ask me.

If you’re a newcomer to this series, it’s my attempt at putting into perspective just how lucky we actually are compared to a lot of people around the world who might not have some of the things that we take for granted. (Like a laptop!)

Today’s topic is Social Media (150).

I really missed it when I didn’t have my computer. Sure, I have an iPhone, so I could keep track of Facebook (151), Linked In (152) and Twitter (153). But it’s not the same. When you get to my age, I can’t be bothered typing with that fiddly little keyboard, what with my sausage fingers, an’ all. I end up rewriting 60% of what I’ve typed. And writing a post on WordPress (154) is just a no-no. Likewise for downloading on Pinterest (155).

So, a large part of my life is made up of connecting with people on social media. Some people say this is a bad thing and that I need to get out more. Except that, I went out to pubs and clubs for 25 years, so I don’t want to go out much anymore. It just gets very messy and it takes me three days to recover.

I’m quite happy looking after my children and relaxing in the evening with a glass of Shiraz while looking at my friends’ posts of kittens on Facebook. Or checking out England’s bleak chances of getting out of their group in Brazil in a couple of weeks.

Obviously, there’s a less trivial side to social media too. What with things like the Arab Spring gaining momentum on Twitter and You Tube (156). Or troops being brought to justice for war crimes. And more recently, the riots in Brazil over injustice towards the poor in favour of the olympics and the world cup. The ongoing crises in Syria and Ukraine. Governments must hate it. Unsurprising that the US and UK want to put internet restrictions in place. Western news media spoon-feeds us what our governments and corporations want us to hear. So, having social media to highlight to us a different side of the story is essential. Albeit, in many cases, unverified or edited. But that’s okay, because we have brains to help us to add up the pieces and form our own opinions.

Anyways, whatever we use social media for, I am very grateful for it. If I didn’t have it, I might actually have to go out and talk to people in the flesh. God forbid.

Meanwhile, here’s a budget airline stewardess going the extra mile. (Not that kind of extra mile, you cheeky things.)

Thanks to my mate Markham for sharing.

Oh, and then there’s this…

6 Comments

Filed under Comedy, community, Digital, Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Inventions

A little application required


This is a recruitment campaign I’ve been working on recently for the Careers Service at The University of Manchester which is being rolled out at the moment, both on and offline.

Shot by the wonderful Jonathan Oakes in his Manchester studio using real students, and ably assisted by Anthony Cassell. The shots were styled by the fabulously talented Lisa Westwell.

Special thanks too, go to my clients: Tracey Campbell-Monks and Anne Milligan. (No relation.)

The colours look a bit fruity on here and are better when downloaded.

Photographer: Jonathan Oakes

Stylist: Lisa Westwell

Assistant: Anthony Cassell

Image manipulation: Jonathan Oakes

CAREERS1

CAREERS2

CAREERS3

CAREERS4

CAREERS5

CAREERS6

CAREERS7

CAREERS8

10 Comments

Filed under Advertising, Brand, Creativity, Design, Digital, Education, Ideas, Inspiration, Photography, Strategy