As the creative director at Carmichael Lynch, Brock Davis has helped his agency win numerous awards including the prestigious Cannes Lion for creative excellence. More than that, Davis keeps his ideas flowing, constantly pushing his own creative boundaries by his self-initiated projects where he works in a variety of different mediums. These include sculpting, photographing, drawing and, of course, illustrating. As a regular on Threadless under the pseudonym Laser Bread, Davis is known for his witty illustrations that are often a play on pop culture. He has that ability to instantly draw out an emotion in anyone who sees his work – you not only connect with it, you feel inspired to create something clever yourself. As a longtime fan (see our older posts here and here), we were thrilled that we had a chance to finally interview Davis. Read that below after enjoying his wonderfully witty work.
How has working at an ad agency helped you develop your style? I feel like my art has probably influenced my ad work moreso than the other way around. There is a lot of formulas and unoriginality in advertising when it comes to creative ideas. I always try and seek out the original idea, which is difficult, but I think my art has helped to create work that is hopefully more unique. I think If there is anything I’ve learned from working in advertising that has affected my artwork, it is the practical attributes of working in a business. Working to a deadline, dealing with clients, that sort of thing. In this day and age, do you feel as though art is important component to an ad campaign? I think effective advertising needs to connect with people on a human level. Art relates to people more natural than any ad campaign ever could. So I strive to make work that makes people feel something. I want them to get excited and want to talk about what they’ve seen and want share it with their friends. I do that more effectively when I’m being myself and approach work as an artist making art who happens to work in an ad agency making ads. I really enjoy your clever style, how did you develop it and what influences you? I love the confines of a page. I think the best way to develop strong visual thinking is to confine your ideas to a single page. Try to create something that can make that space brilliant. There are so many outlets for artists and designers today, but I still like to go back to a square and figure out how I’m going to fill it up. With influences, I can’t pin down one thing, I watch a lot of movies, listen to a lot of music and observe as much as I can. It’s good to have all of that moving around in your blood. Who are some artists who think are putting out groundbreaking work? Thomas Heatherwick, Stefan Sagmeister What’s the most creative thing you’ve seen lately? There was a billboard in Australia for a cooking pan. They hired people to dress up like vegetables and skateboard in this giant pan, so when you drove by the billboard, all of these veggies are flying up out of the pan on skateboards. What are some of your tips for idea execution? I try to let the execution come from the idea. Not every execution works for every idea, so I tend to be a shapeshifter. Sometimes you have to experiment to find which execution is best. If photography is the best way to portray the idea, then I will become a photographer. If sculpture is best, I will learn how to sculpt. Finally, what are some of your tips for people who want to get creative? I think it’s important to not be afraid to fail. I have a lot of ideas, sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. I just keep trying until it works and I learn from the times that it does not. I also think it’s good to always be a student. Absorb as much as you can, be a student of art, design and popular culture. Thanks for the interview, Brock. Your work is a great example of how we can all take something ordinary and make it extraordinary. Brock Davis