101 episodes

Join host Katy Cowan as she enjoys candid conversations with creatives to uncover the secrets to success, and all the practical advice, funny stories and honest wisdom that will help you build a booming creative career.

The Creative Boom Podcast Creative Boom

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 147 Ratings

Join host Katy Cowan as she enjoys candid conversations with creatives to uncover the secrets to success, and all the practical advice, funny stories and honest wisdom that will help you build a booming creative career.

    The Creative Boom Podcast: Christmas Special 2022

    The Creative Boom Podcast: Christmas Special 2022

    It's been two years and nearly a hundred episodes since we launched The Creative Boom Podcast. With 2023 fast approaching, we thought a Christmas Special might be in order. One that celebrates how far we've come and pays tribute to the people who helped us get here but also allows us to look ahead and consider what's next.

    What better way to do so than return to our very first guest? And that's Malcolm Garrett. The esteemed graphic designer and creative director also happens to be one of the co-founders of Design Manchester, an annual festival in our home city and one that holds a special place on the international design calendar.

    It's actually where we headed last month to meet Malcolm but also catch up with other former guests of our show plus meet some new names. It seemed particularly fitting to make our Christmas Special during Design Manchester, as this year's theme is about Legacy – something that honours the late great Professor David Crow of the Manchester School of Art, who was one of the champions and supporters of the festival.

    Held in the Benzie Building of the esteemed art school, the event meant that everyone was reflecting on the legacy of Design Manchester as well as their own creative journeys, and how that legacy plays into the future. It was an honour to capture some of that reflection for Creative Boom – much of which we'll share now. And to just add a little fun, we asked everyone for their own Christmas memories – a time of year that means something different from one person to the next. But whether good or bad, it was agreed that the festive season brings people together. And I also asked about new year resolutions and how they feel about 2023.

    We kicked things off with Malcolm but then also chatted with former Creative Review editor Patrick Burgoyne, creative director and stylist Harris Elliott, graphic designer and artist Ian Swift aka Swifty, graphic artist Anthony Burrill, designer and artist Sarah Boris, artist and illustrator Stanley Chow, designer and digital whizz Zoë Hitchen, material and performance artist and artistic director Naitiemu Nyanjom, designer and illustrator Jane Bowyer, designer Ian Anderson of The Designers Republic, and Sir Misha Black Awards Chairman and Arts University Bournemouth Honorary Fellow, Mary V Mullin.

    That's it for Season Five of The Creative Boom Podcast. We're going to take a short break, but we will be back in 2023 with lots of new guests, covering many different themes – topics important to you as a creative professional. Until then, from myself and everyone at Creative Boom, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous and peaceful New Year.

    • 2 hrs 33 min
    Deliberately closing down a design studio to go freelance again, with Angela Roche

    Deliberately closing down a design studio to go freelance again, with Angela Roche

    It's our final guest of season five. Angela Roche is a graphic designer and creative director who runs Manchester studio, Love & Logic.

    We've been trying to get Angela on the show for quite some time. Disclaimer alert: we're great friends and once shared an office when she was running Design By Day – a brand and digital agency that had tremendous success, working for clients such as the NHS, Barnardo's, and Brother.

    We fondly remember leaning out of the window of our Northern Quarter base, watching the world go by as we helped each other figure out all the challenges of running a business. Or when we had swivel chair races across the floor. Or create fun videos for her agency's Instagram feed. Or when we dressed one of our team as a 'hipster', complete with a fixie bike, turned-up jeans and a little hat. They were great times and great people: Sami, Jonathan, Rob (whom we've also had on the podcast), Parham and many more that followed. Angela looked after them all, offering a great place to work and grow.

    But after 12 years – 16 months spent during the pandemic – Angela found herself at a difficult crossroads. After much soul-searching, which we can imagine wasn't easy for someone we know who cares hugely about other people, Angela decided running an agency wasn't for her anymore. And so, she closed Design By Day and launched her solo venture, Love & Logic.

    In this episode, we'll talk about building a design agency and its many challenges, and we'll hear of Angela's experience of closing it down, despite its success. We'll cover themes of the fear of failure, confronting gut feelings, and opting for difficult choices when you know they involve more than just you.

    • 1 hr 27 min
    Leaving a comfortable job in graphic design to become a freelance illustrator, with Meredith Schomburg

    Leaving a comfortable job in graphic design to become a freelance illustrator, with Meredith Schomburg

    Our next guest is Meredith Schomburg, a Brooklyn-based illustrator originally from North Carolina. Today, we'll be hearing about the interesting twists and turns of Meredith's career thus far. Like many of us, she was told as a child that art wouldn't make a living, so she went down the more "constructive" graphic design route.

    After graduating in the field from North Carolina State University in 2015, she secured an internship at IDEO in Boston, which led to her first full-time job at a small creative shop before landing the role of Experience Designer at Airbnb in San Francisco a year later.

    In 2019, she joined Koto in LA as a senior designer. It was during her time at that studio when the pandemic hit, which proved to be especially difficult for Meredith but also valuable. She realised she really did want to pursue a career in art, turning to illustration as her full-time gig. Well, it's been almost a year since she went freelance, all is going well, and she's just been signed by the agency, Jelly.

    In this episode, we talk about Meredith beginning her journey as a fully-fledged illustrator, having previously worked in-house at some of the world's leading brands and design studios. We hear more of how she found herself in a bit of a bad patch during lockdown and why she decided to move away from a full-time design role. And then we get to grips with how she made that happen, how she found her optimistic and colourful style, and how she kept going. And how her voice has finally taken shape.

    We even talk about all that practical but necessary business stuff. Because, as a freelancer, no one really tells you what it takes to work for yourself, so she was keen to share what she's learnt on that and much more.

    • 50 min
    Creating a Neighbourhood Skate Club to tackle sexism & women's issues, with Lyndsay McLaren

    Creating a Neighbourhood Skate Club to tackle sexism & women's issues, with Lyndsay McLaren

    This week's guest is Lyndsay McLaren – account director at All Conditions Media and founder of Neighbourhood Skate Club.

    Lyndsay has spent the past decade in marketing and creative communications for action sports, outdoors, fashion and lifestyle brands worldwide. We're talking Patagonia, Go Pro, Adidas, Arc’teryx, Yeti and many more. Originally from Scotland, she graduated in Corporate Communication from Robert Gordon University in 2008. But then went to the States to study Performing Arts at the University of Florida, where she discovered a passion for skateboarding.

    That's where she stayed for a while, securing her first step on the career ladder at Bern Helmets in Boston before returning to the UK in 2014 to further her career in the outdoor and action sports world. It's been a whirlwind adventure ever since. She spent five or six years in London, where she continued her love of skating and also launched Neighbourhood Skate Club, which aims to create more opportunities for women in the UK to skate, connect and community-build. It's also designed to address issues such as consent, street harassment, domestic violence, sexual harassment, catcalling and male violence against women - while offering support to survivors and victims. 

    Today, Lyndsay is based in Leeds after the pandemic forced her to take stock and realise she needed to leave the capital. It's where she continues to run the Club and work for All Conditions Media, immersing herself in the production and marketing world of extreme and outdoor sports. 

    Her new project and short film, A Land For Everyone, is something she's also recently been involved with – it aims to show skateboarding in a new light while breaking down some of the barriers that exist within the sport - and in fact, action sports and the outdoor industry in general. We sat down with Lyndsay to discuss all of this and discover why – despite everything she's been through – she's hopeful for the future.

    • 1 hr 28 min
    The power of side projects and spreading positivity, with Dyneisha Gross

    The power of side projects and spreading positivity, with Dyneisha Gross

    This week's guest on is Dyneisha Gross, an American graphic designer based in Washington DC, currently working at Ogilvy, one of the most respected creative agencies in the world.

    Dyneisha describes herself as someone who loves to tell stories, spark conversations and solve problems, starting with paper and a good writing utensil. Her punchy and colourful work reflects her bubbly and outgoing personality. And it was also one of the things that got her noticed after university, leading to awards and recognition that put her work in front of Ogilvy and landed her that dream job.

    A graduate of Graphic Design from the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, Dyneisha spent her final year in the depths of the global pandemic, trying to navigate the "new normal" and finish her degree. She began a side venture to keep herself sane during that time, creating and selling greeting cards in her distinct lettering style. These cards feature many positive messages that she admits act as affirmations for living a good life.

    In this episode, we talk about the struggles she's overcome, the lessons of lockdown, and what she's found has helped her get noticed and succeed in her current career. We talk about social media and how it can be a blessing and a curse. We delve into the content she creates, which shows how she loves to spread some love and positivity, helping others in a similar position to succeed.

    We also talk about diversity in the industry and how she feels about the future of design. It's always great to hear from those at the beginning of their creative careers, and Dyneisha doesn't hold back.

    • 53 min
    The importance of collaboration and play in creativity, with Michael Freimuth

    The importance of collaboration and play in creativity, with Michael Freimuth

    This week, our guest is Michael Freimuth – the co-founder and creative director of Franklyn, a respected design studio in New York City.

    If you find yourself on Michael's personal website, you immediately get a sense of his character. There's a whole heap of humour and a dose of humility. He doesn't take himself too seriously but is passionate about the people and causes he gets behind. Whether he's focused on branding, design or illustration – collaboration and play are at the heart of everything he does.

    A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Michael's already enjoyed much recognition during a varied and rewarding career. He received the ADC Young Guns and New Visual Artists awards early on, recognising the world's top creatives under 30. A decade later, he's happily still at the helm of Franklyn, but much has changed since the pandemic and, more recently, since becoming a father.

    In this episode, we get quite nostalgic, talking about Michael's childhood in Chicago and how his time spent with friends and growing up watching John Hughes movies inspired how he is today. With collaboration being so important to him, it almost feels as though that '80s innocence of bike rides, tree climbing and scratched knees, and occasional shenanigans with friends has never really left him.

    It's this optimism that shines through his personality and his work. We've mentioned how he feels about "play", which comes across in his illustration practice – but whilst he mostly pokes fun at the world around him, he simultaneously highlights important issues.

    Here, he gives us a wonderful insight into studio life beyond New York City, the difficult balance of career and fatherhood, and the legacy he wants to leave for his son. And we discover why he might just make a short film with childhood friends, inspired by those seemingly simpler times.

    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
147 Ratings

147 Ratings

Angela from Design By Day ,

A hero of the creative industry!

Yunno what’s great about this podcast besides the amazing content?

It’s that Katy champions creative talent from the up-and-coming, to the established, to the rock stars!

And keeps it real. The people behind the work. Genuine conversations.

JL Schmidt ,

3 scoops of creative goodness

Katy is refreshingly authentic in her approach to the world of art and creativity. Her interviews sparkle as she speaks candidly to guests, giving the listener a feast of auditory goodness. Worth listening to whether you are a seasoned creative or an understudy of a life well lived.

buckychainsawmassacre ,

The truth about working in the creative industries

This podcast is an essential companion for anybody working in or considering a career in the creative industries.

Speaking to a diverse range of figures from different disciplines and backgrounds, whether you’re wondering whether you’d enjoy joining a creative agency, you’re already working in the industry and want to see whether your experiences are shared with your peers, or you’re just interested in the process behind design and working to a creative brief, this podcast is packed with insights that are personable and hard-won.

Working creatively can be lonely at times, spending a lot of time trying to make something where nothing existed before. The Creative Boom podcast takes you into the studios and offices of others who are in the same boat, pulling back the curtain and revealing what goes into the design and creative process of others.

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