Highlights from the creative working world in 2022

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If You Could Jobs

To celebrate another year of the If You Could Journal, we reached out to a selection of creative industry voices to ask them about their role models in life and work; who or what has been creatively inspiring them; and which publications, podcasts and other resources they’ve enjoyed over the last 12 months. Read on below to hear their thoughts.

Which individuals and organisations do you think are the best role models in the creative industry today?

Sam Hornsby, Co-Founder of ERIC:

WeTransfer – “They’re doing an amazing job of connecting and supporting the next generations of creatives. And any company who invests time and money into opening doors wider and encouraging inclusion is always a winner in my eyes.”

Isabel from I Like Networking and Creative Mentor Network – “They are both doing particularly amazing things to help young people get a foot in the door to the creative world”

Mae from ERIC – “She is devoted to encouraging Asian creatives to pursue their dream careers. Mae inspires me every day and I think everyone should be following her and what she does!”

Adrian Shaughnessy, Co-Founder of Unit Editions:

We Are Plan B – “Increasingly I’m attracted to young practitioners who are proving that design can be more than a cog in the service industry… Designers who are doing what I call creative entrepreneurialism – making their own work, staging exhibitions, publishing and other self-generated activities.”

Sebastian Koseda – “An ex-RCA student who designed and curated an exhibition that showed how the historical craft of silk weaving has echoes in modern binary code, crypto-mining, data-harvesting and other digital activities.”

Matt Pyke – “The founder of Universal Everything, and his research arm Everyone Forever. He calls it a ‘beneficial design lab for future-positive digital products.’”

Accept and Proceed are doing very well in guiding their designers to become forces of positive change. As a reputable B Corp, it's inspiring to see the agency interrogate new work and support like minded brands; it's all very intentional and focused.
Jesslyn Guntur, Founder of Gubns

Justyna Green, On Design podcast creator and host:

Antonia Bonello – “Ex Buzzfeed – now Evil Geniuses – who champions gaming for everyone”

AMV BBDO – “The team that works on the Essity account, for all their work to date – it inspired lots and lots of period product brands. They shook up the space with their Womb Stories / Painstories and previous campaigns like Viva La Vulva.”

Spacepopular – “For how they imagine our future lives, intertwined with the metaverse”

Nikky Lyle, Founder of Nikky Lyle Creative:

Cindy Gallop and Vikki Ross – “My forever role models for inspiration”

Cat How of How&How – “There’s amazing work coming out of How&How and the transparency they have on their salaries is refreshing”

Jesslyn Guntur, Founder of Gubns:

Accept & Proceed – “The London-based design agency is doing very well in guiding their designers to become forces of positive change. As a reputable B Corp, it's inspiring to see the agency interrogate new work and support like minded brands; it's all very intentional and focused.”

Thierry François, Creative, Head of Digital; Werklig:

Kurppa Hosk – “Holistic offering and impeccable craftsmanship”

Which people have inspired you creatively in 2022?

Sam Hornsby:

Reuben Christian’s Dream Rehab Series – “He's a super inspiring character and has created something from a really vulnerable, creative place to inspire young people who want to explore creative careers.”

Leigh Adams from BFI – “His passion for creative education has really inspired me. I enjoy hearing his take on creative education or the latest creative news.”

Mike Cobb-Pernak from Creative Portal – “A creative ball of energy. I'm currently running a new event series with him to help inspire kids to learn about careers in the creative industries!”

James Greenfield, CEO of Koto

“The list is almost too endless to share. It’s rare for me to not see, read or listen to something that doesn’t spark my mind more than once a day.”

Mary Hemingway, Director and Founder, Design by Women:

Iranian Women of Graphic Design – “It's an example of the power of design when challenging oppression and inequality”

Lisa Hanawalt for creating Tuca & Bertie, and talking about serious life topics through the medium of adult cartoons
​​Justyna Green, On Design podcast creator and host

Justyna Green:

Lisa Hanawalt – “For creating Tuca & Bertie, and talking about serious life topics through the medium of adult cartoons”

Kelly Anna – “For creating incredible work and championing women in sport”

Natsai Audrey Chieza – “Her work on biomaterials and on teaching the whole biotech industry that design should be part of their process”

Adrian Shaughnessy:

Martha Nussbaum – “She applies philosophy to real world issues such as justice, ethics, sex and the stuff we encounter every day. I find her thinking inspirational.”

Thierry François:

John Schoolcraft, Global Creative Director of Oatly – “I love his approach to branding”

What have been your favourite publications this year?

James Greenfield:

The Financial Times – “The one thing I read relentlessly. Lunch with the FT delivers a cast of characters and stories that are diverse and engaging without fail.”

Justyna Green:

Creative Review – “I value high-quality journalism and super interesting articles. I get their newsletter every day and always find something interesting. Otherwise, I consume content digitally, from people I follow on Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn.”

Aisle One Digest is a regular online mailout, and although it’s mostly graphic design it also offers architecture, product design, photography and music.
Adrian Shaughnessy, Co-Founder of Unit Editions

Adrian Shaughnessy:

Aisle One Digest – “A regular online mailout, and although it’s mostly graphic design it also offers architecture, product design, photography and music”

Divisare Journal – “An architecture mailout which I love”

Mary Hemingway:

SICK magazine – “Self-published by Olivia Spring which challenges harmful stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding disability. It's an example of a well designed and thoughtful publication, that aims to increase representation of sick and disabled people in the publishing and creative industries.”

Jesslyn Guntur:

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour – “For its brilliance”

Thierry François:

Savee.it – “Fresh inspiration”

What have been your favourite podcasts this year?

Sam Hornsby:

Tom Fairey's The Back Yourself Show podcast – “I've learnt loads about running a startup from this. Great for creative and non-creative businesses.”

Qcode – “These fiction podcasts are super creatively done. Real immersive audio experiences.”

The Daily and Today in Focus – “I learn so much from them about what's going on in the world. They can be a bit heavy though, so I like to offset them with podcasts like This Paranormal Life, which is super light-hearted and easy to listen to!”

James Greenfield:

“I think we’ve reached peak podcast with far too many indulgent three hour epics which are pretty unengaging. Editors exist for a reason. That said, I have been enjoying Katie Cadwell’s The NDA Podcast. Lots of industry content in there.”

The NDA Podcast is 100% my favourite podcast this year because it opens up discussion about the issues we often feel afraid to talk about freely and challenge in the creative industries.
Mary Hemingway, Director and Founder, Design by Women

Mary Hemingway:

The NDA Podcast – “100% my favourite podcast this year because it opens up discussion about the issues we often feel afraid to talk about freely and challenge in the creative industries”

Adrian Shaughnessy:

“I’m not a podcast listener. I know there are some good ones around, so I’m sure I’m missing out. I spend a lot of time glued to YouTube. Amongst all the cat videos, Trump speeches and how to build Ikea cupboards, there are some amazing talks, lectures and documentaries on music, philosophy, art and culture. Not to mention old editions of Minder!”

Justyna Green:

The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett – “For interesting conversations with creatives and people at the forefront of change”

Rich Roll – “For all my wellbeing and growth content”

Jesslyn Guntur:

Archetypes with Meghan – “An incredible, mind-opening podcast that breaks down the stereotypes and labels holding women back”

Thierry François:

A Change of Brand – “Nice to hear what goes on behind the output, especially client dynamics”

If you’ve enjoyed this conversation, there’ll be plenty more in 2023. In the meantime you can find further insights, opinions and advice here.


Thanks to all of our contributors for their responses:

Katie Cadwell is a freelance Design Director and Founder of The NDA Podcast

Thierry François is Creative, Head of Digital at Werklig

​​Justyna Green is creator and host of the podcast On Design

James Greenfield is CEO of Koto

Mary Hemingway is Director and Founder of Design by Women

Jesslyn Guntur is Founder of Gubns

Sam Hornsby is Co-Founder of ERIC

Nikky Lyle is Founder of Nikky Lyle Creative

Adrian Shaughnessy is Co-Founder of Unit Editions


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