My Creative Life_Dentsu_Sue Higgs

Death, Bowie and Days spent at the RA exhibition: Sue Higgs' Inspiration

The Dentsu executive creative director shares three creative stimuli that are currently hitting home

By Sue Higgs

Creative inspirations. It's difficult for me to choose three things that inspire me, because it always changes doesn’t it?

I can get inspired by anything and everything…the more inane the better... bus rides, sitting in cafes, art, books, music, podcast, cheese. But if you’re forcing my hand…

David Bowie

Not a lot of explanation needed, the man's a genius. A legend. A unicorn. And the world has gone to shit since he died. His mastery of the word and visual arts is unique, provocative and witty.

He wrote. “ Keeps all your dead hair for making up underwear" and this is a lyric that has never left me.

He loved culture, created culture and became culture. AI couldn’t do that... Could it?

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

A highlight of the social calendar, it’s an inspiration overload. Packed into the Royal Academy’s hallowed halls is work curated to a chosen theme and it’s incredible.

All kinds of art are represented - from paintings to immersive experiences, architecture to sculpture. You get to see work from emerging artists as well as established Royal Academians.

I’ve been introduced to so many artists whose careers I’ve followed over the years, and each year you get to do it all again. And if you’ve the cash, you can even buy one.

“The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion

I wanted to say Death here, but being British, I’ve put “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion.

An incredible essayist and pioneer, she wrote the screenplay for A star is Born, the best IMHO one with Babs and Kris. In fact, all her essays are inspirational and worth a read.

This book, though, on how grief changes you is infinitely fascinating and inspirational. Didion talks of how death is like a brain injury and alters your world view. Yet there is such a thing as post-grief growth.

As someone whose parents have gone on ahead, it’s life-affirming to realise our time is finite so you gotta cut through and do stuff that matters. My dad, also an incredible inspiration, always taught me to say yes, and choose adventure. SO yes, I’m the weirdo who finds understanding our mortality weirdly-inspirational, not at all morbid.

As someone once said, 'Don’t worry about the dying, worry about the not living.'


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