Sam Bailey Studio Tour

Sam Bailey Studio Tour

This year for our Autumn campaign we enlisted the help of London based designer Sam Bailey to curate ten acid house inspired posters to further emphasise the collections inspirations of early rave culture.

We sat down with Sam to find out a bit more about the overall project as well as life as a freelancer designer in London.

€Most of my personal style elements are happy accidents.€

Talk us through your involvement in our Autumn €™17 campaign, how and why did this project develop? What were the inspirations behind the work you created?

Myself and James (Photographer at Lazy Oaf) wanted to use early/mid-nineties rave graphics and pay homage to their art by referencing and creating posters from the era directly. The aim was to curate a shoot which could also incorporate post production effects which would interact naturally with the set, models and overall creative concept. We had been talking about working together on a project which combined photography with post production for a while and this seemed like the perfect fit.


Do you enjoy working towards specific briefs in this way?

I enjoy the challenge and to occasionally be put on the spot. I think a balance between more open jobs and fixed ideas is good.

€œWhen it'€s not happening, I'€™ll do anything that isn't work... I find doing something fun until I have the urge to return to whatever I'€™m working on helps a lot.

When approaching a commercial project how do you find the balance between delivering the clients vision whilst maintaining your identity as a designer? Do you find you ever have to compromise?

I don'€™t feel like I compromise much and that's down to knowing what I'€™m getting into. If someone asks me to do something that isn’t my vibe, it's up to me to agree to it in the first place there'€™s so many variables to agreeing to work.
Generally, as time goes on I’ve been able to weed out the work that isn’t very… inspiring. Everyone’s gotta do some bullshit sometimes though!


Do you think in the current creative climate graduates need to be multi-faceted in their skill sets? Is there a danger that without the correct development the industry may end up a bit... €œJack of all trades, master of none€?

Yeah possibly, I think being a specialist will always be in demand. Especially as our attention spans collectively decline, and people find it harder to dedicate uninterrupted concentration to learning.
I was always frustrated that I couldn't just stick with one thing, but I've kind of accepted being a jack of all trades, and I'€™ve probably turned that into my most valuable skill.
I remember somebody saying it'€™s good to know something about everything€ and that stuck with me.

What do you find is the best approach to developing new skills, outside or post University?

I personally didn’t go to University so I feel there is a lot you can learn without it. My methods are probably similar to how a lot of people learn;€“ Google, Youtube and internet forums.
It'€™s about finding people who are teaching skills in a way that works for you and learning to flick through tutorials, taking the little pieces you need to create with.


On days when the juices aren't flowing, where or what helps you with inspiration?

When it's not happening, I'€™ll do anything that isn't work. Normally I'€™ll crawl out of my lair and see some friends. I find doing something fun until I have the urge to return to whatever I'm working on helps a lot. It's a luxury to be able to step out when you'€™re not feeling it, but if you'€™re not in the zone I think it'€™s better for your long-term productivity to not stress about it.

Anyone who is already familiar with you or your work will probably know, like us, you have a strong affinity to Japan. What is it for you that draws you in?

I lived there for a few months and went back recently to see some friends and check out Naoshima Island's art museum installations. I really admire the time and care they dedicate to things which I don't think are prioritised here in the UK. A friend told me that it stems from the belief that everything has a soul which I think is nice.
I'm careful not to fetishize Japan for its "€˜otherness" though, I want to travel more and learn about other places and cultures too.


What developments would you like to see your work take over the next few years?

Going with the flow, see where it takes me.


Any words of advice for readers...

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