my creative life
Peter Blake, Helmut Krone and ads on the tube: Mark Elwood's creative loves
Leo Burnett's executive creative director shares three key creative drivers that currently fuel his vision
01 March 2023
Three things that define my creative taste? If only there were three constants... But thinking about it this week, these examples all feel like inspirations that I return to again and again
1/1Sir Peter Blake
Artist: Peter Blake
I love the way he’s commercialised his art without ever not being totally cool. Painting, Collage, Printmaking, Album Covers, Whiskey bottles, even Deck Chairs, constantly roaming beyond the confines of the fine art genre. Truly populist creativity.
Studio Tackboard No.1/No.2 is a great example of a Pop Artist putting his creative influences out there for all to enjoy, his Pinterest boards if you like. I had the pleasure of working with him, his studio was so full of ephemera, a true Aladdin’s cave reflecting his creative mind. An inspiration to all of us for collecting and keeping anything that catches our eye for future reference.
Art director: Helmut Krone
In second place, I started my advertising career in the studio, so design is still my first love.
Helmut Krone, is in my humble opinion the greatest art director/designer that’s ever lived. His book, catchily titled, Helmut Krone. The Book: Graphic Design and Art Direction (Concept, Form and Meaning) After Advertising’s Creative Revolution, has been a constant source of inspiration since 2005. He’s well known for his work on VW (Lemon and beyond) and Avis (when you're only No. 2, you try harder) but it’s the work for Porsche and Polaroid that I fell in love with. A lesson in organising information in an engaging way or creating such beautifully crafted images that didn’t look like advertising at all.
Transport: The tube
Lastly, The Tube, I love getting on the underground, a live showcase of advertising from Boohoo to Marc Jacobs, McDonald’s to M&S. A barometer of what the nation is feeling, what we’re buying, wearing, watching, eating, from fin-tech start-ups to established brands all jostling for attention in the tunnels. Always something to love and hate. I never see it as a wasted journey, I get positively excited when the escalator panels start and you’re heading down to the platforms. Sad maybe? But true.