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my creative life


Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Radical partnerships and London living: Steve Aldridge on his creative loves

Wunderman Thompson's chief creative officer shares some of the things that make him tick

By Steve Aldridge

Lifestyle: London living

Inspiration is all around us. That’s what I love the most about living in a mega city. To me London is a special place, it feels like a global creative hub. It’s a place that’s truly alive and, living and working here, I feel connected to its creative mainframe. From Bond Street to Brick Lane inspiration really is everywhere, as long as you look hard enough and want to find it.

London has so much to offer, but it’s not just the art, music, culture and diversity that inspire me, it’s the very changing nature of the city itself. Something, somewhere is changing every day, even when you have a set daily routine. Every time you leave your home in the morning, step outside, look up or walk out of the office, you see something different and that change is inspiring, infectious and demands attention. The architecture, the road layout, the new coffee shop, spontaneous street art, the girl dancing with her headphones on outside the station. The city feeds my creative spirit and the creative people around me. Nourish it.

Artist: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

In my creative life, I’m always striving to be better and improve at what I do. As a result, I find myself drawn to others who are pushing themselves – artists, performers, those pushing into new media, new formats. They’re restless and unrelenting, often with exceptional results.

Currently I'm really inspired by and love the work of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, who creates figurative oil paintings of people. Her work is beautifully detailed and emotive and feels so real, yet they’re fictional portraits painted entirely from her imagination. It’s inspired and, like all great art, when you look at her work you’re transported through your own imagination as you visualise the back-story, the life, the struggles, the hope and despair of the figures in the paintings.

Radical partnerships: Gucci x Adidas

The theme of reinvention and re-evaluation that currently runs through high-end fashion brands is breathtakingly energising. They are constantly searching for new ways to engage and stay relevant. The flamboyant creative directors are often living embodiments of their brands, constantly testing how far they can go, often through inspired brand collaborations. I love the Gucci x Adidas collection, who saw that one coming? I love it not because I want to wear it, but because of its creativity, taking design codes and cues from both brands to create something new. It’s a great example of a brand making a small shift in what their audience expects to see, to have a huge impact. Just look at the subtle twists in both brand codes to create the formal tracksuit, a classic Gucci suit and a classic Adidas tracksuit reimagined, a 70’s tinged, tailored suit in classic red with three white stripes. It’s genius!

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