Plethora_Magazine_Issue_5_side_4 for Kyle Harman Turner MCL FCB

my creative life

Tutoring, 'creative crack' and short stories: Kyle Harman-Turner's creative inspirations

From Sinatra's cold to the brave tailors of Maida, delve into the creative insights and inspirations that drive FCB's ECD and creative partner

By Kyle Harman-Turner

Frank Sinatra Has A Cold

I love these short stories by Gay Telese, who was a journalist for The New York Times and Esquire in the 60’s.

Each presents a ‘challenge’ and a way of flipping the negative into a positive.

The title refers to the winter of 1965, when Telese went on a job to profile Sinatra, only to find he was under the weather and unwilling to be interviewed.

Whilst most would admit defeat, he persists with the job, talking to family, friends, associates, to build a wonderful profile of the man, that becomes one of the most celebrated pieces of journalism ever written… I particularly love the description; “Sinatra with a cold is Picasso without paint, Ferrari without fuel.”

Another favourite story in the book is ‘The Brave Tailors of Maida’, published in April 1988.

The factories would make clothes for the mafioso of the time. One of the apprentices accidentally cuts through the knee of the suit on the day of collection.

The same apprentice ingeniously asks everyone in the factory to take off their trousers, cut slits into their knees, and resew. They invent the ‘knee pleat’ and the mafioso boss goes down as the best dressed guy in town.

I’ll stop spoiling the other endings for you now…

Plethora Magazine

I first discovered Plethora Magazine on a date to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art with my amazing partner, Rebecca.

“Magazine” doesn’t really do them justice. They’re art. Aesthetics good enough to frame and writing that transports you somewhere you never expected to go.

They’re these huge broadsheet style pieces, each focusing on different subjects, from ‘The Moon’ to ‘Wave and Ripples’ or 'Extreme Human Anatomy’.

They cost about a hundred quid, which I do appreciate might seem insane for a magazine in a cost-of-living crisis - but this stuff is like creative crack for me.

It keeps my brain inspired, especially when the majority of my free time is now spent at Peppa Pig World, with our two wonderful children, both under six years old.

The amount of times I’ve used them in projects is insane. Makes them worth every penny.

At this point I should also give a big up to Steven Watson at Stack Magazines - a service that delivers magazine inspiration to your doorstep.

Central Saint Martins

I’m a Summer School Tutor at my old University and I swear I get more out of it than they do.

You’re basically paid to be connected into thousands of the best and most inspiring young creative talents in the world.

One of the briefs I like to set them is to research and present ten amazing insights to the rest of the class - and together we then shape them into “ads”.

It always brings up magic. For example, one gave me the line that “Most men receive their first bouquet of flowers at their own funeral.” Wow. Shouldn’t we tell the men in our lives how much we love them before they’re gone? Could make a great ad for a florist, like Bloom & Wild, on Father’s Day.

I’ve always kept a scrapbook of insights since Uni. They’re a lovely accelerator to any brief.

I highly recommend going to the end-of-year show, across all the disciplines - as well as the auction where you can invest in artwork made by the next powerhouses.


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