Gavin Strange claims to have used "bright colours and child-like enthusiasm" to build a successful career, despite not being that good at what he does. We don't believe him about that last bit, but it's clear that his extraordinary energy propels him into working on a lot of interesting projects.
He's going to be at our conference, Generate London, on 26 September, executing his mission to rile up attendees with his intense passion and excitement. If you haven't got your ticket yet, head over here - there are still some left. It's a great deal. You also get to see other inspirational people such as Jeremy Keith, Meagan Fisher, Anna Debenham, Dan Cederholm and a host of other fantastic individuals.
To give you a taster of what you can expect on the day, we asked Gavin to tell us what he's been up to recently and why he's stoked to be coming to Generate, both as a speaker and an attendee.
What are you going to speak about at Generate, and why did you pick that topic?
My talk is quite fluffy, it's about everything and nothing specific! It's hopefully a time for me to energise people on the privilege we have working in this industry and the rad opportunities that present themselves and making the absolute most out of them. It's going to be a fusion of excitement, inspirational truth nuggets and GIFs to get the creative juices flowing!
I picked that topic because it's something I believe in very much. I wouldn't have a career if it wasn't for making the most of being enthusiastic and wonderfully naive. I like to try my hand at everything and I don't let my lack of abilities stop me, I want to encourage more people to step into the creative unknown and just start making more stuff!
What have you been working on recently?
Quite a lot and I love it that way! At Aardman, my day job, I’m working on designing and directing a new app for the forthcoming Shaun in The City art trail next year, designing a couple of new websites and also designing and directing a motion graphics sequence for the Shaun the Sheep feature film that’s due out next year!
I’m also painting a 5-foot tall Gromit to celebrate a year since Gromit Unleashed as well as preparing for Shaun in The City, a trail of 120 artist-painted 5-foot Shaun the Sheep statues on display in London and Bristol next year!
Outside of Aardman I’m trying my hand at everything - writing a book, designing branding for a skatepark, designing some new toys and I'm going to try my hand at writing a screenplay! I’m also very very fortunate enough to have quite a few talks coming up soon too!
I’m a very lucky pup!
What are you excited about at the moment?
EVERYTHING! I get so stoked to be able to do what I love and to work with rad people and on rad things! I love juggling lots of projects and being involved in as much stuff as I can!
I designed a Gromit sculpture for an exhibition out in Hong Kong and they turned my design into a four metre tall version (here are some pics). It’s being shipped back to Bristol once the show is over later this year, so I can’t wait to see it with my own eyes!
I’m also just so excited to see what new projects and opportunities are around the corner. I try and plan stuff loosely but I love not knowing what email may pop in my inbox or what exciting thread I can pull on to unravel something new and exciting!
For example, just today I got the chance to meet and photograph the TV legend that is John Craven as he was visiting Aardman! I’m not a photographer but I love shooting snaps, and I like to always shout about what I’m excited about, so in turn I get used as a photographer from time to time, and today was a great example of that - just putting yourself out there!
What do you think makes a good conference?
A varied and diverse set of speakers, a good setting, an engaged and excited set of attendees and of course, lots of tea and coffee. (Some nice biccies don’t go a miss!)
The aesthetics and planning of a conference make a big difference too, I think. It's good to have people on hand to help direct the flow and react to the vibe of a conference, and great AV that does a belting job of seamless presentations. A conference is the sum of all its parts, so the stronger the parts, the stronger the whole thing is!
Are there any speakers you're particularly looking forward to seeing at Generate?
All of them! I love Anna Debenham’s work, Dan Cederholm is the bomb and Chris Murphy is the man! I am genuinely excited to be a part of the whole caboodle though. I think it’s the biggest honour to be able to talk about what you love, so to be given a platform to do that, well that’s just the bestest thing ever!