Melding Creative With Business, Studio Minx Creative’s Inspiration Kicks in Organically
Minx Creative is a London-based service design and illustration studio. Melding creative with business, Roz Nazerian and Nicola Graham, co-founders and creative directors of Minx Creative have an impressive portfolio with clients such as Pathé International ( Cannes and Berlin Film Festival brochures ), Durex ( their famous 45 rpm vinyl single for the product launch invite ), Social Fabric Exhibition for Iniva ( Institute of International Visual Arts ) and many more.
Inspiration kicks in organically once they begin their research work. Their creative ideas come from location, architecture, people, artists, designers, exhibitions, talks, events, fashion, books, travel, film, music, products… The choice is ever-changing and in abundance.
“A well-prepared brief inspires the moment you start to read it and a further fleshed out one gives us an even greater boost. But invariably, external inspiration kicks in organically once we begin our research work.” Minx Creative
ABOUT MINX CREATIVE
CM: Where are you based and what do you do?
Both: Minx Creative is a full service graphic design and illustration studio based in East London. We create integrated campaigns and design for print, identity, branding, display and digital based projects.
CM: What has had the biggest influence on choosing your career path?
RN: I really do think my mum was my earliest and biggest influence.
NG: Earliest, biggest influence was Jeff Cropper, my A level design tutor.
CM: Did you study your trade, if so where?
Both: Kent Institute of Art and Design (renamed: University for the Creative Arts). We became best friends on our degree course and haven’t looked back.
CM: What does a typical day in a creative studio looks like?
RN: We started the studio with a very idealistic view, most of which remain pertinent to present day. However, we totally overlooked the equal attention and grasp required for business running and financial management to keep our dream a reality. Thankfully along the way, our commercial souls found enlightenment!
So, our day covers three main areas, melding creative with business. In a typical day, we would be immersed in several of the following:
Creative – creative and art direction, preparatory, research, conceptual, design, grids/layout, typography, illustration, comping, editing, proofing, copywriting, implementation etc. – we will get involved in all aspects at some point for each project we work on and some more so than others.
Administration – everyday paperwork, client estimation, project proposals, RFQ’s, tender submission, presentation writing/preparation and delivery, print sourcing/specifying and buying, client liaison, meetings, supplier visits/meetings/reviews, procurement etc.
Business – all aspects of financial planning, management and forecasting (with our accountants of course), business modelling, strategy, monthly performance reviews, marketing, social-media, HR and reviews, property management, legal etc.
CM: Describe your working environment?
NG: It’s a happy, proud, productive, efficient, focused, collaborative, organised, supportive, calm, engaging, bright, warm and clean working environment.
CM: Do you need inspiration to start a project or is a brief enough incentive?
RN: A well-prepared brief inspires the moment you start to read it and a further fleshed out one gives us an even greater boost. But invariably, external inspiration kicks in organically once we begin our research work.
CM: Do you ever encounter creative blocks? How do you deal with those if any?
NG: Happens from time to time yet we work as a team on all projects and when one team member is feeling blocked another tends to keep the flow going. Blocks do not remain for long!
CM: Where do your ideas or inspirations come from?
RN: Inspiration comes from everywhere and anywhere. We are not short of choices for seeking inspiration or stumbling across it, particularly living in London. It can come from location, architecture, people, friends, family, artists, designers, illustrators, printers, exhibitions, talks, events, social media, blogs, portfolios, magazines, fashion, books, travel, film, music, products…the choice is ever-changing and in abundance.
CM: When working to a brief, how do you satisfy your own creative needs?
RN: The entire creative process and especially the conceptual is when you’ll find us smiling from ear to ear.
CM: Are you usually fully satisfied with the end project or do you wish you could revisit it?
Both: We haven’t yet delivered on a project that we thought we would like to revisit. We have long-term working relationships with most of our clients and it’s great when you see an identity programme, website and such evolve/utilised once our part has completed.
CM: What materials and programs do you use?
NG: We are Mac based and work extensively with Adobe Creative Suite. Some projects are strictly digital based and others are totally mixed media from papercutting to pen and ink illustrations.
CM: Which is your most proud project to-date and why?
RN: I would say that the bridge parapets design project has been our most unusual commission – we really loved working on that. In truth though, every project that we have produced is a proud one.
CM: What inspires you in your home city?
NG: Not too dissimilar to where our ideas and inspirations come from.
CM: Which trade shows, blogs and magazines do you favour in your industry?
RN: There are lots of bold, smaller publishers out there: Wrap, The Shelf Journal, Little White Lies, Huck, Flamingo, It’s Nice That. Oh Comely…
NG: Blogs — so many good ones, here are a few: September Industry, Beast Pieces, Aisle One, Identity Designed, Typetoken, Many Stuff, Collacubed…
CM: What are the biggest challenges and the biggest advantages of working as a creative in your city?
RN: the biggest advantage is the city. What it provides to us as creatives, residents and a business is continued change and possibilities.
NG: The challenges are probably more business-focused. To remain in demand within an industry that is fast-moving and changing is a challenge, the fact that we have done so is an achievement we acknowledge but never take for granted.
CM: What have you learned about yourself by working in this industry?
Both: We’re a tenacious pair. We’re always learning!
CM: What would be your dream collaboration with any other creative field and or creative personality?
RN: Reza Abedini, Zaha Hadid, Philippe Starck.
NG: Amy Butler and Orla Kiely.
CM: If you had to live another life entirely, what would you be doing – and why?
NG: Marine biologist.