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my creative life

From Bastards to Hip Hop Artists, Hideo Kojima and the Simpsons

The Or's ECDs Charlene Chandrasekaran and Dan Morris shed light on their biggest creative inspirations

By Dan Morris and Charlene Chandrasekaran

Dan Morris' Influences

Behind The Bastards

This podcast is currently dominating my life. Hosted by an ex-Cracked editor (once one of the greatest websites on the early internet) and war reporter, this is an unearthing of all the bizarre things the worst people in history got up to in their everyday lives. It’s equal parts hysterically funny and incredibly informative. A great reminder that even a history lesson about humanity's most appalling representatives, if handled in the right way, can still be wildly entertaining.

Hideo Kojima

Few push the boundaries of creativity like Hideo. Blurring the lines between cinema and gaming (it sounds shit, but I promise it’s not), Hideo never fails to transcend expectations with his projects, whilst also confounding you in the best way. I appreciate stuff that doesn’t become homogeneous in the very global landscape we currently reside in, and Hideo stays true to his Japanese origins by doing things I don’t necessarily understand, but always end up loving. Like literally just climbing a ladder for three minutes in Metal Gear Solid 3 and making it the most iconic part of one of the biggest game releases of the year.

BBL Drizzy

As a Hip-hop fan, Kendrick vs Drake was the best thing to happen in recent times. However, one thing that fascinated me was BBL Drizzy. An instrumental diss track by super producer Metro Boomin after Drake told him to ‘shut the fuck up and make some drums’. BBL stands for ‘Brazilian Butt Lift’ by the way after Drake’s long rumoured ab-based plastic surgery.

The incredible thing was the song it sampled was created by a comedian using AI in the style of a 70’s soul singer crooning about Drake’s shortcomings. Metro sampled it, put the song out and said he would give a free beat to the rapper who put the best verse on it. 24 hours later and it’s everywhere. Even the Duolingo bird has had a go. It’s a perfect example of creative people using AI as a tool to bring an idea to life and most not even knowing it’s AI.

Charlene Chandrasekaran's Influences

Kehinde Wiley

I love portraiture and I saw one of Kehinde Wiley’s works in an exhibition whilst on holiday a couple of years ago. It was a fleeting visit as my baby was screaming the place down at the time, but I remembered thinking how glorious it was in real life. Then recently I was at The Brooklyn Museum and there were loads of them. His work is a rich, contemporary take on old master paintings. They’re stunning and even more so when you see the sheer scale of each piece in a space. They completely commanded the room. I managed to get 95 per cent of one squeezed into a photo.

The Simpsons

Every creative answer you’ll ever need can be found in The Simpsons (pre-2000). We reference this show at least twice a day. Dumb gags and storylines everywhere, it’s been a fertile starting point for us and always will be. It’s perhaps not the most sophisticated source of inspiration, nor the most contemporary. But we like it. And it has helped contribute to the birth of some of our best ideas in the most tangential of ways.

‘Glorious Failures’

Monumental creative failures are just the funniest things to me. They’re creatively so bad that it’s somehow pure brilliance. Take, for instance, the recent Willy Wonka experience or perhaps the now non-existent Great Yarmouth version of Madame Tussauds. Both seemingly epic fails, but the energy and belief (albeit maybe misguided) that has gone into them is so inspiring and joyful. It’s an energy and belief I want to feel in everything I create.


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