Our latest installment of 5+ features industry veteran Creative Director, Ian Schwey.
I first met Ian when he was over at JWT, and we continued to have the pleasure of seeing layouts come in from him while he was working at ZIG and most recently Doug & Serge. An award-winner (Bessies Gold, ADC Gold, Cannes Silver, One Show Silver, etc.) and one of the funniest guys in the room, Ian is also an amateur magician – who knew!
Nikki Ormerod and I had the pleasure to hook up with Ian for lunch and a chat at The Burgernator down in Kensington Market for what Ian called “one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten”. So kick back and have a scroll though the 5 things that keep Ian Schwey at the top of his game.
Ian Schwey © Nikki Ormerod
There are many things that inspire me. Some are expected, others, not so much. As in, don’t ask, I can’t explain. All I can tell you is that they all do something for me… just not always sure what.
Things my kids say
Now I know a lot of parents will say that, as all kids say some very cute things. But one of my kids in particular, Rowen, my middle son, really speaks words that often leaves me speechless. Here are a couple examples:
Daxton (7): Do you think anyone has ever seen God?
Rowen (5): What’s my sense of God? I think the first person in the world saw God and that’s it. That’s what my sense told me in my quiet vision.
(Driving, half way between Ottawa and Toronto:)
Daxton: When will we be home?
Rowen: We’re already home.
Daxton: This minivan is our home?!?
Rowen: This continent is our home!!!
Ian: Rowen, where do you want to have your 5th Birthday Party? Chuck E Cheese, Laser-Tag?
Rowen (4): I’d like to have my birthday party in an invisible Hall of Justice inside my mouth.
I love listening to comedians that see things in similar ways to me, confirming that perhaps I’m not totally alone in my bizarre interpretations of the world. And I love performing stand-up as well, though I’m not currently doing it as much as I’d like. Getting that reaction from a crowd is incredible, and again getting approval that I’m not alone with my twisted mind is somewhat reassuring. I think. And my humour that doesn’t make its way into my TV spots, usually ends up in my ‘act’.
For some inspiring hilarity, I’d recommend Mitch Fatel, Steven Wright, Jeremy Hotz, Mitch Hedberg, and the obvious, Louis CK.
Films by Neil Labute or Todd Solondz.
Unsure why I have a thing for dark and disturbing dramas. There’s just something about watching the discomfort, as these well-written films examine the complex dynamics of human relationships in unconventional, unsettling, and sometimes cruel ways. Perhaps after watching them, I’m inspired to be the complete opposite of the films’ characters.
Yes, they inspire me. They demonstrate that in life, there are no boundaries. Why stop at orange when there is kiwi. And pineapple. Passion Fruit? Hells yeah!!! We work in the communications industry where walls need to be broken every day, so why not look to the almighty KitKat chocolate bar for inspiration. In Japan alone they have well over 200 flavours! Here is just a small sample of my personal collection.
I love discovering random signs posted. I love seeing them in their purest form. Without a strategy that was slaved over for months. No focus groups. Just an individual with a thought, a paper, and a marker.
This first one I really love.
Oh sure, we’ve all seen Korean bronze statues go on sale for 60% off, or maybe even 70% once in a blue moon, but when, WHEN I ask you, have you EVER seen Korean bronze statues go on sale for a whopping 85% OFF?!?! This is a sale not to be missed!
Here’s another one I really enjoy. Not hand-made, but the name of a business:
Is it a good auto repair? Well… I wouldn’t go so far as to say good… but decent, it’s a decent auto repair. No need to over-promise. I appreciate honest advertising.
I also once saw a babysitter’s sign, name, phone number, etc, stapled to a wooden pole. I thought that was great. Why not put the lives of your children into the hands of someone that comes highly recommended by a telephone pole!
If you’re a member of the advertising world, get inspired by things, and want to share them with the world; shoot an e-mail my way and let’s talk. Many thanks to Ian for sharing some of his inspirations with us all!
Images © Ian Schwey