my creative life

The ICA, Design Podcasts and His Daughter: adam&eveDDB's Chris Chapman Shares His Creative Life

adam&eveDDB's first creative director of design shares the inspirations that keep him alight

By Chris Chapman

Institution: The ICA

I’ve been helping the ICA lately so am full of facts to impress you with. Like did you know they were the first institution to show Pablo Picasso and Francis Bacon? Or that it was the birthplace of Pop Art? What about how it hosted performances by The Clash and David Bowie? Or was where Steve McQueen launched his career? No? That it held the UK’s first all-women art show? Probably not. I don’t want to be rude but you probably didn’t know all that stuff. And it’s still at it! Exhibitions, exclusive events and performances (I’m writing in my Notes app on my way to one right now)… plus a rave night called INFERNO, independent films... And last but not least it has a great bookshop. Plus plus plus a cute cafe.


For a 24/7 hustler like me there’s an obvious multitasking benefit to the podcast format—one can really drown out their reflective inner voice while doing the dishes. But as a designer there’s a less obvious appeal in hearing about the process and thinking behind visual work.

There are lots of great podcasts which discuss graphic design, like It’sNiceThat, On Design, A Change of Brand, NDA and Creativity Sucks. Behind the Billboard is great for the traditional craft of making ‘out of home’ advertising. And podcasts like New Models often discuss the types of technological and cultural shifts that influence visual culture, if that’s your thing.

Person: My daughter

I know I’m not the first parent to insist their six year old is a “creative inspiration” and an “artistic genius who will one day be not only feted by the art world elite but a household name, known and loved by all, even their Dad is now famous”.

In fact you’ve probably already stopped reading so this can just be me talking to her: Sades, you have a joyful capacity to totally immerse yourself in an imaginative world (maybe because you don’t waste time worrying about how everything connects to a career). But you wear it lightly, playfully adapting your approach in response to stakeholder feedback or production pitfalls (like me insisting my shoelaces need to go back in my shoes). But seriously you have to start cleaning up after yourself.


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