Creativity for Sale Podcast - Episode S1 E5

In search of the right balance - David Sedgwick

Mon, 19 Feb 2024

“I've hit a point where I can just turn around and say, I'm not going to work today, I'm going to go on a school trip with my daughter.”Graphic designers Radim Malinic and David Sedgwick traverse through the evolution of creativity from album art to the era of Instagram.

Show Notes Transcript

“I've hit a point where I can just turn around and say, I'm not going to work today, I'm going to go on a school trip with my daughter.”

Graphic designers Radim Malinic and David Sedgwick traverse through the evolution of creativity from album art to the era of Instagram. ~

Radim and David discuss the shifts in the design industry towards digital platforms, the enthralling yet exhausting facets of social media engagement, and adapting to the new norms ushered in by the pandemic.

They also share candid stories of professional burnout and the importance of finding a balance between work and personal life, emphasizing a renewed perspective on success. 

Insights into the universal challenges and transitions over time - in all professions, particularly in creative fields, are particularly relevant.

Key Takeaways:

  1. The Importance of Communication: Good communication is vital for presenting designs effectively and appealing to clients.
  2. Adapting to Change: The necessity of being flexible and adaptable to change, particularly with regards to social media and design platforms.
  3. Balancing Productivity and Personal Time: How achieving a four-day working week can improve quality of life allowing you to spend more time with family.
  4. The Impact of Technology on Creativity: How the digital age has affected the creative process, with social media platforms enabling designers to gain instant feedback on their work. 
  5. The Joy of Design: Despite the challenges, the satisfaction and joy derived from being a designer, creating impactful designs, and seeing your work being appreciated by many.

Creativity For Sale: How to start and grow a life-changing creative career and business by Radim Malinic - Out now.

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Signed Books

David Sedgwick:  so I've realized as I've perhaps got a bit older, a little bit more uglier, that, the key here is, is the client happy?

David Sedgwick: has it answered the client brief? Has it done what I was briefed to do? And if the client is happy, has Then they'll give me more work and that will produce more work through them and potentially people that they know  

Radim Malinic: Hello and welcome to Creativity for Sale podcast, a show to help you start and grow your life changing creative career and business. My name is Radim Malinich and creativity changed my life. You see, I believe creativity can change your life too. I even wrote a book about it and it inspired this podcast. I've set out to interview the world's most brilliant creatives, designers, writers, musicians, makers and marketeers about their life changing experiences with creativity.[00:01:00] 

Radim Malinic: If you ever wanted to know how people go from their humble beginnings to the pinnacle of their success, our conversation should provide you with an intimate look into triumphs, challenges and untold stories behind their creative endeavours. We also discuss the highs and lows of creative careers and creative life.

Radim Malinic: So Thank you for joining me on this exploration of passion, creativity, innovation, and the boundless potential within us all. Let creativity change your life. Are you ready? 

Radim Malinic: Today's guest is the perfect example of someone who lives and breathes graphic design every day. Through his studio work he creates meaningful design solutions for a variety of clients worldwide. His use of bold typography, whimsical illustration and vibrant colours are all put in focus on visual storytelling that carries his excellent signature style.

Radim Malinic: I've been a fan of his work for a while and I'm sure he'll convey it to you too. It's my pleasure to introduce [00:02:00] Manchester's finest expert, David Sedgwick. 

Introduction and Welcome

Radim Malinic: hi Dave. It's good to see you and welcome to Creativity For Sale podcast. 

David Sedgwick: Thank you

David Sedgwick: for asking me to be here today. I appreciate it.

Radim Malinic: I've 

Reminiscing About Past Encounters

Radim Malinic: got a bit of a design crash on you, right? Cause you have my opinion. Let's start from, 

Radim Malinic: let's right out of the gates. Let's start with a compliment. No, I I've always, laughed from afar. I've always loved what you are doing. I have been doing, and then I've met you in person and you're so nice guy.

David Sedgwick: Oh wow, thank you.the feeling is mutual. I think we met, we met in Manchester, didn't we? Got a few years ago now. 

Recalling the Glug Event

David Sedgwick: We did both did 

David Sedgwick: a talk at something called Glug. in Manchester and yeah, we, we've stayed in touch since then properly, haven't we? On and off, obviously, like everyone, but through social media and the odd phone call and bumped into each other occasionally at various design events.

David Sedgwick: So it's nice to, it's nice to have a proper, we've got an hour now, haven't we? So let's really,

Radim Malinic: [00:03:00] an hour. Yeah. 

Radim Malinic: I think we can talk about that GLAG event for an hour. I think I, uh. I, I've, I'm still, I've got some sort of like a PTSD from that event because if you remember, I had to like out shout the room because no one was, literally after the break, no one was paying attention.

Radim Malinic: So I have to shout, 

Radim Malinic: which looked better in person rather than on the video. I somehow, my tummy was showing from my, from, from my t shirt as I was like, it was like, I was, I'm glad that video's actually gone. It was a good, it was a fun talk. the picture looks good. Like I've got like a panorama, like a whole wide angle picture, but I'm glad that they took it off.

David Sedgwick: I don't know why it's gone. Cause I searched for it the other day for some reason. I think someone was asking me if I'd done any design talks and I thought, I'll show them that one. Cause I knew it was online. I couldn't find it anywhere. So yeah, maybe they just, I don't know.

David Sedgwick: It's good to 

David Sedgwick: still go. I 

Radim Malinic: it's, it's, got, it's gone under. I believe it's gone under and luckily they took it off. And there's actually, there's a secret, your clicker that didn't work.

David Sedgwick: Yeah, you did that 

David Sedgwick: You, 

Radim Malinic: That was, my clicker[00:04:00] 

David Sedgwick: you set that up for 

Radim Malinic: No, I didn't set it up, but somehow they gave me my clicker and, yeah, that didn't work. 

The Challenges of Public Speaking

Radim Malinic: So it's just when you think about like how to tackle nerves, there's nothing better than the technical issue because you're not thinking about what was I supposed to say?

Radim Malinic: What was I supposed to do?

David Sedgwick: Absolutely. I 

Radim Malinic: it happened to me. It happened to me. I did it in 2016 when my first book came out. I was contacted by Adobe, to do talk for them at Adidas. And I was a fresh parent. I think, I think I was, it was naughty for me to actually not only part to Germany for three days, but, yeah, it was like six weeks, eight weeks in.

Radim Malinic: And like you don't sleep. You just basically like you just jaded. 

Radim Malinic: And I remember going to Adidas, feeling all of the shaky, just just, just, you don't sleep. You just do your body's a mess. And I think I had a pint, In a hotel night before, and literally I was just, I was not like the most confident speaker

Radim Malinic: to go on 

Navigating Technical Difficulties During Presentations

Radim Malinic: and my slides just wouldn't work.

Radim Malinic: They just I was just there and I was like, at this moment, [00:05:00] I just feel everything's fine because I've got a problem to solve. I don't 

Radim Malinic: have to stew in my head. And, yeah, yeah, it was just, it was just this, this moment,there's, there's nothing better than it's not part of your show when you have to fix something.

Radim Malinic: I think that makes always the difference. I

David Sedgwick: it settles down the audience, everybody as well. it's not, I think there's an element that they see you suffering and that makes them feel at ease as well. So everybody's at ease when somebody goes wrong. I think if it's too polished and too highly professional, then everyone's like on edge, nervous, including me.

David Sedgwick: I just did a talk this year off and I was so nervous. I was like physically being sick before it because I was just really, really nervous about it and I hardly slept the night before, and then I thought, come on, I can pull this together, Dave, right? you're on stage. There's loads of people waiting.

David Sedgwick: And I walked on stage and it had been working fine. The equipment had been working fine. We'd had it on screen. Everything was fine. And it just completely cut off the whole screen, just completely. As I [00:06:00] walked on, it went off. So I just turned and walked straight back off again, to a bit of a laugh and everyone relaxed.

David Sedgwick: And then it got on again and it was fine. It was absolutely fine. I was like, let's do this again. Let's go back on again. And yeah, you need a little bit of that. And I think like that glug event and, it's a shame that they decided to end it because I know how hard it is putting events on. I don't know how difficult it is and I don't know that things go wrong.

David Sedgwick: And I think we accept that, and people accept that, and that helps to make it a memorable occasion. You have to have some challenges, don't you? Like you say, you have to have some problems to solve, and that's That's part of the, part of the enjoyment of these kind of things. 

The Importance of Timing in Conference Talks

Radim Malinic: was in the same room as Barcelona, but I made a mistake there. I've agreed to be on, on the third day. so that was a major mistake. I have

Radim Malinic: learned from that 

Radim Malinic: mistake. Absolutely.

Radim Malinic: get it out of the way because I mean, in my opinion, it's a good secret that I always try to go as one of the first speakers, A, because everyone's still keen and then everyone knows who you are for the rest of the conference.

David Sedgwick: So they actually say, Hey, it's not like an ego, I sell books, Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You [00:07:00] need that. Yeah. Yeah.

David Sedgwick: Well, it's funny you said that. you did it because of the books. I did it so that I could have a few beers. So I stayed relatively, sober and, on form the night before, did my talk and then I was able to really relax and enjoy it and have a couple of, beers in the sunshine of Barcelona and, 

David Sedgwick: and watch some of the other talks relaxed, knowing that I've done mine and I could just enjoy the next 24 hours. 

David Sedgwick: Yeah, but you're right, if you're there trying to sell, not sell things, but you're there to, you want to, you want, you want people to buy your book, then it's great that you've, if you do it early, then they can, they'll 

David Sedgwick: find you, 

Radim Malinic: To a degree, I think it's more of an icebreaker. You want to connect with people because, you've got this sort of speaker energy. And unless, unless, you either care, you don't care, you think, am I, is anyone actually going to show up? I think that's just the main sort of thing that is anyone going to show up?

Radim Malinic: Am I doing the right for the right reason? So selling books is secondary. It's more it's nice to connect because then the conversation that you have, let's say you go on as a second to last speaker. [00:08:00] And then you've got four hours before everyone goes home and everyone wants to have a good conversation because mostly I'm there for conversations to see what is the state of the industry, how everyone's operating, what's the current problem, what's the current pain point.

Radim Malinic: It's more about conversation, of course. There's also switching off and enjoying and relaxing and my problem was with Barcelona in 2015 was that I was relaxing far too much before I was doing my talk. And, idiotically, I think I wrote seven talks in one, which was like, I had so much content that actually then became a book because I was so much and I had so much to do.

Radim Malinic: And yeah, just for every talk, once you do it once, I always try to get it recorded and, and then analyze it and improve it. It's basically once you do it six or seven times, that talk is golden and you can do 

Radim Malinic: it for the rest of the year. But, 

Radim Malinic: 

The Role of Confidence in Presentations

Radim Malinic: that surprised me because you, you, you came across very confident, in Manchester, but, I guess it was a clicker.

Radim Malinic:

David Sedgwick: [00:09:00] yeah. Yeah, no, I 

David Sedgwick: think, yeah, a little bit of that. And also, I don't know, I felt obviously I was really grateful to be asked to speak off and, and I really, really enjoyed it. I was just nervous that people, there's options, isn't there, off, you, it's not just one, one event going on. There's a lot of events going on and there's some big, real big hitters in the design and creative industry speaking.

David Sedgwick: And, and I was thinking, why would people want to come and, and hear little old me, talking about, my background and my journey. But, I feel, it's a bit embarrassing saying it, but it was an absolute sellout. Like I was shocked, like I, I got in there. about half an hour before I was due to start, and it was already pretty full, the sort of lecture theatre, and I had a few mates who had come as well to off, and they were texting saying we can't get in, there's a queue, we can't get in, which I guess, yeah, gives you a little bit of an ego boost, makes you feel, so I relaxed a little bit about that, but certainly in the morning of the event, and the lead up to doing it, I definitely felt a massive amount of nerves.

David Sedgwick: [00:10:00] I'm fine once I get up there, once you start, absolutely fine, but that kind of The lead up to anything, whether it's, I don't know, any kind of occasion, I'm always a little bit nervous, always a little bit daunting, but I think you need a little bit of that, don't you? If you go in overly arrogant and confident, then you, you, you, you you mess up.

David Sedgwick: So nerves help to some extent.

Radim Malinic: They definitely do. And sometimes, I don't know if you ever get it, but things can go well. I have pushed myself in the first few years of doing 30, 40 talks a year 

Radim Malinic: to, uh, 

Radim Malinic: dismay of my partner. what is it that you want to do and what you want to achieve?

Radim Malinic: But it became an easier, it's just because you, you 

Radim Malinic: get more confident. And I remember like hearing this quote by Michael Phelps. The American swimmer and he says, if you're not prepared, you're nervous. If you're not prepared, you're nervous. And you get so many design speakers who are still tweaking their slides or trying to work out the slides the night before.

Radim Malinic: And that's the problem. That's why we are nervous because we, I've seen people, including [00:11:00] myself, like we write what we want to say. 

Radim Malinic: And because you want to anchor yourself, because otherwise you can say anything. And then you end up trying to remember what you said, and there was a joke I wanted to do, and when you let go, that's where the good stuff happens, when you let go, and, when people dread, oh, I've lost my slides, and my slides wouldn't work, I don't know what's, 

Radim Malinic: you have the story, you have lived the story, the reason why you're on the stage, you have the story, 

David Sedgwick: that is 

David Sedgwick: so true. Yeah, absolutely. First few talks I did at university, that would have like actually cards, like best man's speech type cards, that would be like holding them and reading directly from it and then you'd your eyes are constantly on these cards and you're not engaging with the people listening and you're, because like you say, you want to say the right things and you want to, you want to come across in a certain way.

David Sedgwick: But actually, I've realized that there's much more to it than that. It's much more about, yeah. genuine honesty and truth and you being yourself and you can only truly do that. I think, yeah, you've got to be prepared. You've got to have something to talk about, but the idea of having like presenter notes or anything like that for [00:12:00] me, I don't bother with that anymore.

David Sedgwick: I'd rather just go in any direction and let's see where it takes us. I've always, you've always got a next slide. I think the good thing about presentations, if there's imagery is if it's going wrong, you just press the arrow key and you're on the next one and you can start again. You can start fresh like a hundred times in the talk every time you click it.

David Sedgwick: a button. So yeah, that's the way I see it. 

Radim Malinic: the best bit is that no one really knows what you should be saying next, so you can say anything. But, on the topic of speaking, were you 

Radim Malinic: always a confident speaker in your work? for example, were you always confident presenting your work? Or, I had to learn it. I 

Radim Malinic: literally, even to my mid twenties, I was just like, I could not.

Radim Malinic: verbalize because of the lack of practice. I didn't know, because we all thought, especially in mid 2000s, that the words doing the speaking on our behalf, you don't have to, promote, don't have to promote, you don't have to, speak to clients too much. But then you find yourself going against these walls to realize I have to defend what I've created.

Radim Malinic: I have to verbalize what I've actually put [00:13:00] into this. how was your journey? Were you always confident speaker or was it

Radim Malinic: 

Radim Malinic: had to learn?

The Intersection of Creativity and Communication

David Sedgwick: I think communication is paramount to success in personal life and business life. And as a quote that I use in some talks, along those lines, I think, the ability to be able to communicate is massively important, especially in the industry that we work in. I see a tremendous amount of young creatives, graduates.

David Sedgwick: Amazing portfolios, fantastic design skills, but they've, they've got a lack of,communication skills when it comes to presenting their work or talking about their work. I think, I do myself an injustice to say that I am not confident. 

David Sedgwick: I think if I've done a really good project. Or I feel it's a good project and I feel I've answered the client brief and I feel like they're going to like it and I feel like it's going okay, then I am really confident that presenting it because I can only do the best that I can do in the time I've got and the budget I've got.

David Sedgwick: So I present it and say, look, this is the solution. And 9 [00:14:00] times out of 10, the client, the client's happy with that. And I'm. Yeah, it's what you talked about a minute ago. If I'm prepared enough, if the work's good enough, then I'm confident in presenting it. If I'm not sure, if there's some things that I'm not 100 percent sure about or not certain about, if I don't think it's quite right, then an element of nerves and fear will come into my presentation.

David Sedgwick: I was always, going back right to the beginning, I was always a bit of a show off at school. I was, I was always loud. I was always a bit, I wasn't a naughty kid by any stretch, I didn't get into trouble with the teachers, but I was. I would always be putting my hand up. I would always be trying to act a bit of a, a joker in the class and make people laugh and I think that probably comes down to being quite short as well, in terms of height, stature, always having to make yourself bigger than you physically are by your voice and your, and show confidence. I am not, I'm not a 100 percent massive confident person. if I walk into a room, I wouldn't be like, everybody listen to me by any stretch. It takes time to develop that confidence with people. But, [00:15:00] but yeah, I was definitely always into drama and performing. I liked being on stage.

David Sedgwick: I liked singing and reading and acting on stage at school. and I suppose I like that element of performance in terms of. presenting. I like the, I like taking clients on a journey and making them feel like you haven't just knocked something up overnight on a computer. I like to be able to take them through this is where we started and this is where we are.

David Sedgwick: And I think that's really important for clients. I think they need to see that journey and they need to hear that story. And I think they need to feel that. Soul and, and realism about the project. I think that, that they buy into that. And I think that's really important. And to be able to present and talk about your work is really crucial, especially in 2023, where you can buy design over the internet, and somebody in some part of the world is designing it.

David Sedgwick: You have hardly have any [00:16:00] interaction with that person. And then they present a logo or a website at the end of it. And for me, I still love that interaction with the client, that kind of presenting, that kind of debating and discussing. Um, So, yeah, I'm not sure if I've answered your question there. I think I've gone off on a bit of a tangent, but, I definitely think presenting confidence in your, in your, in your presentation, in your work is important.

David Sedgwick: And finally, I would say, like I say, I see a lot of design students who have got great skills, but there's a shyness about students who presenting their work that then makes me question, I look at it and I think, Oh, that's really, really good. And then they'll, they'll come in with Oh, I'm not sure about this.

David Sedgwick: I've just put it in there because it's, it's something we did in year two or year three. And as soon as they show you that element of they're not so sure, or they're a little bit negative, then I start to think, Oh, I'm not so sure about it anymore now. So you can, you can portray an element of confidence and that then, that shows off in the, in the work as well, I think.

David Sedgwick: So it's important [00:17:00] to remember that when presenting.

Radim Malinic: Oh, dude, there's so much you just said, that I can, um, I can, I can speak about. But no, it's amazing. Cause, yeah, that, that little, like the extra food that you need to grow, extra food, In height, you know, it's just like, 

Radim Malinic: but that, your personality, we all have that little sort of crutches and little props that.

Radim Malinic: I'm six foot two and I think maybe I have overgrown my confidence. I was just like a little bit, I was just, I was terribly shy. I was literally, I was terribly shy at first because, what you mentioned, like the drama, singing, that kind of stuff. I was petrified of that until. I discovered alcohol, literally, I remember in my sort of mid teens, I was in a band standing on a stage playing to a few hundred people, some incoherent death metal, but it was because found a way how to switch off the voices and things that, no one, I don't know about you, but I, I've never met anyone in my life who would say, I want you to be great, man.

Radim Malinic: Let's, let's see how this, what steps we can take. How to make you great. So you, you try and sort of,you wanna shut off the outside nose [00:18:00] 'cause because you think that people think you're rubbish or whatever. there's so much. And then I went to be on a DJ and the DJ said, always go better after a couple of pints, because it was like, okay, we are in.

Radim Malinic: But I remember being terribly shy about, how to get, to the next step. And it was just the interpersonal and, and working myself within of okay, I need to learn how to be. More, vocal about things. And the best thing I did was to move to a different country, speak second language, and just, okay, now we do it now.

Radim Malinic: And the change of scenery did the trick for me. 

Radim Malinic: But,

The Evolution of a Creative Career

Radim Malinic: with the stuff that you mentioned, did you ever think that the drama and that kind of stuff could be something that you do, full time or is it like, how did you, obviously from, from your school, how did you end up in, in design? And was there any chance that you could be something completely different?

David Sedgwick: I was definitely always gonna go down a creative route. I felt much more confident at primary school and high school in writing and in art and in, as you say, drama and that side of things than I did [00:19:00] in maths. In fact, I failed my maths GCSE I got a, I got a D, despite having a tutor for the last kind of year of my, of my, my time at school.

David Sedgwick: And it's funny, they let me on to do A levels because I was doing something called Media Studies, I was doing English Language and Literature, which I'll come to in a second, and I was doing Art. And they let me on, they said, but you have to retake your maths, because, you need maths GCSE,we have to have that done.

David Sedgwick: So retake it, re sit the exam, and you'll pass it, and that'll be fine. I retook maths, it took about six months of tutoring again, I retook my maths GCSE, I'd already been at college for six months by that point, so I was a quarter of the way through my, your time on A level. And I failed it again, I got a worse grade, I got an E.

David Sedgwick: So I've gone from a D to an E, so I don't have maths GCSE, I struggle with numbers, I struggle with things, I struggle with the academic side of learning, but creatively I feel more strongly and more confidently. But I [00:20:00] loved writing, I really loved writing, I wanted to be a journalist basically, I joined like a Sort of junior journalism group.

David Sedgwick: I was writing for the WWF, like the world's, wildlife Foundation. I was writing articles for them. I did like a school magazine, a school kind of news newspaper, like a, a zine every kind of, every, every few months. I loved writing. I loved words. I still do. I really, I was chatting to a guy from a design agency called D8 in Glasgow, a guy called Adrian Carroll.

David Sedgwick: I don't know if Adrian or not. he's a lovely guy and he was saying like, in my work, he really likes the use of language. there's also a guy you might know him called Christopher Doyle in Australia. he's a fantastic creative designer and, he likes language and words as well in his work, and I'm not a copywriter.

David Sedgwick: I'm not pretending or trying to be. I really still like words and how words make us feel. And I think, so I combined that really. So I, I, I want to be a journalist. So I studied language. and literature, English language and [00:21:00] literature at A level, with the, with the aim to be a journalist.

David Sedgwick: That's what I wanted to do, but I got introduced to something called graphic design. I didn't even know what graphic design was at college. I was doing an art A level. I thought it was about just drawing, drawing flowers in a vase or, or drawing still, Human models, life drawing.

David Sedgwick: I've forgotten the name of it. That's what I thought art was. And I enjoyed it, but I wasn't great at it. I couldn't draw very well. I really struggled with drawing. There was people who would just draw beautifully with pencil and they could make everything look so real and amazing. And I really struggled with drawing.

David Sedgwick: And then one day, my tutor, a guy called Carl Jordan, He just said, have you ever heard of graphic design? And I was like, no, I don't think so. And he showed me a book of like album covers and I was like, that's graphic design. And he was like, yeah. And I was like, that's it all everything came together.

David Sedgwick: I was like, that's what I love. I love all that. I love like album covers. And I love posters and I love VHS video [00:22:00] cassette covers and he was like, there's a, that's a career. You can make a career doing that. And there was about 40 of us on the, on the art course. And I think six or seven of us got together and said, could we do that instead?

David Sedgwick: And he was like, yeah, okay. They didn't have a graphic design A level at Runshaw College where I went. But they made it. They made it for us three or four. that was back in what, 96, 97, something like that. and then that was it. I just never, I never looked back. I did a foundation course, which I don't know if you do similar work where you studied, but it's like a year after A level.

David Sedgwick: It's It's 12 months of intense creativity, let's use it that as a term, where you do a bit of photography, a bit of film, a bit of graphic design, a bit of everything, it all kind of like, you taste everything, and then you decide what you want to do at university. But I was, Obsessed with design then, and the English and the journalism and the writing just [00:23:00] went and, and all, and I just focused on design.

David Sedgwick: And that would've been, yeah, about 19 90, 19 98, something like that. so it was always gonna be creative. Originally writing, still love the use of language, but design took, design has my heart now, and that's, that's what I love. And it's, it's down to a chance conversation to some extent with a tutor back at, he probably doesn't remember me now, but, he, without him, like I could be doing something completely different.

Radim Malinic: What an incredible story. yeah, there's so much again, it's just all of these sort of sentences that make trigger memories because around 96, I was, 90, We were in the studio, I was like 94, and I was 16, 15, and I was, I was the one who fell into, like making the covers for the tapes and,didn't even have a CD and,a CD was still like, to have your own CD that was like, oh, you have to be on a proper record label, you have to do

Radim Malinic: this, and 

Radim Malinic: I remember I was the one who was like, I suppose I'll do it, but then I remember finding Coral Draw on a computer, in [00:24:00] someone's office, like it was the local, print studio or whatever.

Radim Malinic: And you're like, Oh, wait a minute. Like it 

Radim Malinic: falls together, falls nicely together because I think our backgrounds are somewhat similar because for me, it was the music who got me 

Radim Malinic: into the creativity because I didn't join the dots until a very long time later. Oh, wait a minute. People like me can do this because there was zero graphic designers in my upbringing around my time.

Radim Malinic: There were people who were using computers and they were 

Radim Malinic: like trailblazers, but. There was like wacky ways of comms design or whatever, but it was nothing. There was not this, this, this, poetic way of, it's graphic design. I'm a graphic designer. I do this for a living. I can actually sit here if I get it dirty.

Radim Malinic: to an extent that was, that was super, super exciting. But for me, it was, yeah, it was. The mixture of different worlds together and, and language was through the lyrics. I always find that sort of heavier music had the most beautiful lyrics and then you can, it's almost like sort of poetry and music poetry in motion.

Radim Malinic: And I always find that way, like, how can you just, [00:25:00] how can you adapt the, the reality into something different and just actually entice people to actually pay attention. do you remember, like you mentioned it was the book of album covers, but was there a specific piece of work when you said, that's it, I want to be as good as this, I want to create this?

The Impact of Music on Design

David Sedgwick: I seem to, I seem to have a memory of it being something non exciting as, a Lightning Seeds album cover. I think it seemed to have some straw, seemed to remember it having some strawberries on it or something. I must check that out, actually. But you're completely right. music is definitely a sort of vehicle to getting into, into design.

David Sedgwick: And you touched on it then, like, tape cassettes. He used to make tape cassettes all the time, like hand drawing, like the, yeah, pull them out and you draw like all the, all the sort of song titles and, and you'd use different colored pens and paste pencils and, electric set and anything you get your hands on to make these amazing tape cassettes.

David Sedgwick: And I guess, like you say, at the time you're just doing it because. It's fun or it's enjoyable, or it's a process recording the [00:26:00] charts off the radio and then making these tape cassettes to listen to on a Walkman. but they became, that to look back and you think, that was the beginnings of designing and putting, putting type on paper.

David Sedgwick: music, music's massively important, isn't it? And I guess back in the 90s when we were, starting our careers, the late 90s, it was still the dream for most designers was to create. album art, this beautiful kind of square format. It was obviously going more into CDs then, but it's still this, this square format.

David Sedgwick: And that was, that was the aim. It was like, can we design a CD cover or can we design a record sleeve? I'm still, still love. album art and still love,uh, you know, but, but now more so the way that music and design have really interweaved.

David Sedgwick: So you look at artists now that, and it's not just the album art, it's the video, obviously the music they've produced, the way they It's showcased on in social media, the way it looks in a digital format. the [00:27:00] merchandise that they're producing, the collaborations that these artists, these musicians are doing with, with, with fashion and culture and, and art and things like that.

David Sedgwick: I think music and design are really intertwined and, and long way that continue. And, and I know that we're in a very different world now in music where we, we listen to it on our headphones and we listen to it, in the car that there's still. A real visual sense to music. It's not just audio.

David Sedgwick: It's everything. So it's important that it stays like that.

Radim Malinic: I think it's exciting how things have changed, like since, just the vinyl records and the musician, in, in, in essence, what all they have to do is just to record music and then show up for the gig. And that was 

Radim Malinic: pretty much all they had to do. Whereas now. We all have a sort of similar responsibilities.

Radim Malinic: if you, if, cause when you think about it, a musician now records an album and they work to make sure that people hear the album, that you get, you get, 

Radim Malinic: a load of, cause we see okay, here's the album. I'll take a year off and we'll see what happens. And, it's, it's this process of actually to make a connection with [00:28:00] people, you have to get out there and actually meet people, 

Radim Malinic: So I think there's a lot of interesting points you made there, because if you think about it, how the world's changed, before a musician had to make an album and then had to show up for the gig and the rest was 

Radim Malinic: done by managers and stuff.

Radim Malinic: Whereas now we've got fewer gatekeepers in all of this, you know, you can record the music and putput it on Spotify tomorrow.

Radim Malinic: You can make your own cover, like you can be a designer and make your own music and you can be a musician making your own, making your own covers, because it's just, we are also more, much more intertwined.

Radim Malinic: it's just a transition, isn't it? Like it's, it's how, how do we perceive it? Because we might see this as a, as a more of a hindrance to, okay, now I have to run my social media. I have to do this. I have to do a podcast with some uncle Radim, you know, you know, it's, we do more than ever. But it's quite exciting, I think, in a way, because even though our focus is slightly getting less away from the task at hand, because you can spend, six months on the record cover 25 years ago, you can be really laboring the process, whereas now we sometimes hope that a record cover will happen in [00:29:00] 5 10 minutes, because, 

Radim Malinic: oh, I've got an idea. Is this good enough? Whereas, I think visual portrayal of something as important as an album is so hard to get right because you can look at something, it makes sense, sometimes you're like, I would never have thought of this, it's how amazing, and I think it surprises you. 

Radim Malinic: for me, the most Putting a piece of design that I've actually, that made me realize I could do this was actually a piece of the, it was a copy of the Guardian.

Radim Malinic: I remember it was the Neville Brodie Helvetica Heavy, piece of Guardian. I was like, it just clicked because I was like, there is a lot of work here. Like literally, 

Radim Malinic: like we, we weyou talk about one album cover and then you've got like a hundred pages on a Tuesday. I'm like. Who's going to read this?

Radim Malinic: How did they make it? What's going on? And it was just that, that element of it's a sort of click to me. And it sounds very rudimentary, very simple, but that was the moment. It was just

Radim Malinic: like, Oh, yeah. 

David Sedgwick: I wonder what the 

David Sedgwick: moment will be for, this generation or the next generation. And I think that's, that's exciting, isn't it? And it, like [00:30:00] we're talking about album covers and newspapers. two things that are now, not as,as powerful as they once were, maybe 20, 30 years ago, be interested to see, I think that's, how do people get into design in 2023, what are they, what are they going to say is that it's a thing that made them go, wow, okay, I can do this.

David Sedgwick: Like you just said, I saw an album cover and thought I could do it. You saw a newspaper and thought you could do it. I'm interested to know what, yeah. the 18, 19, 20 year olds. Is it going to be a TikTok video of some guys showing a Photoshop tutorial? maybe it will be. For me, I see that and it's oh, whatever.

David Sedgwick: But, for those guys, they might be, that might genuinely be their moment, seeing somebody doing something on a computer and going, oh, It's just a case of clicking, click there, press that, do that, set that, done. That's my concern. I'm going off on a tangent slightly, but that is my slight concern with those kind of videos, those sort of tutorial videos, and don't get me wrong, I have, they come up on my Instagram occasionally, and I think, oh.[00:31:00] 

David Sedgwick: That's quite clever. I've never seen, I've never seen how that, that done before in, in Illustrator or in Photoshop, but I'm also left feeling a little bit empty because I'm like, all right, so anyone now can do that. anybody can just do that exact same process, go on the computer, follow it step by step and produce the same piece of work.

David Sedgwick: Whereas the album cover and the, and the newspaper that you're talking about, yeah. Yes, you looked at it and thought, Oh, wow, that's a job. I can do that. But there was no tutorial to it. There was no kind of like guide. It was just there in front of you. And I think there's something lost a little bit in the world of design now in the sense of I don't need to know how the Mona Lisa was painted.

David Sedgwick: I just need to know it was painted and I think that we are now living in a world in design where we, people are like, this is how I do this. This is how I do that. And I think we want that information, but there's also got to be a little bit of, of magic. There's got to be a little bit of magic [00:32:00] still there, because that's what elevates, that's what keeps us going, that's what makes us creative people, there has to be a little bit of the dark arts, a little bit of a secret somewhere along the way, because if we give every single trade secret away, then what have we got left at the end of it?

Radim Malinic: I think, I think what, what I sort of generation of what I current time and make us believe that everyone's, everyone's day is that as their sort of highlight reel, like every day is amazing day and I 

Radim Malinic: just, it all works. It's all fine. And when you look at it, like you can't. I was talking to someone about it the other day about like getting into galleries, like to get into gallery, like there's gatekeepers, like there's a certain level, there's there's a criteria.

Radim Malinic: Getting into magazines in mid 2000s was quite, was still, you have to be good enough to get in there. Whereas, You can broadcast your stuff easily, all day, every day, 

Radim Malinic: and still people believe that the good stuff should be following you as, as you go. And I remember recently I was reading a book called from, it's called From Strength to Strength by [00:33:00] Arthur Brooks, and it's literally about how to find happiness in the second, no, second part of your life.

Radim Malinic: and he's documenting like how, for example, J. S. Bach. famous composer was outgrown by his kids. Like the kids did better work than him. he was he grew into obscurity. He had he had this sort of sunny period and then things get, and he was happier being educated and doing other things, but we I think the way we turbocharged the expectations and the world out there that we make make people very little experience being fresh in the industry, let them believe that, you know what, it's going to be amazing all the time.

Radim Malinic: And the 

Radim Malinic: truth is. It won't 

Radim Malinic: be. I mean, it shouldn't be because, unless you fight it out with a blank piece of paper. You haven't really achieved something that you need to grow, like just to, I don't think artificial intelligence is a necessary problem right now, but it makes people believe that there's a shortcut because I remember copying all lynda.

Radim Malinic: com tutorials, Oh, how do 

Radim Malinic: you draw a pencil in Illustrator? How do you gradient and stuff? 

Understanding Your Craft

Radim Malinic: And of course, like these things keep coming up again, because you [00:34:00] need to know your tool. Like when you 

Radim Malinic: see a musician on a stage, And if they're very good, it happens that they must have at least practiced for, 10, 20, 000 hours, because that's what makes them amazing.

Radim Malinic: No one is talented out of the gates, you know, no one is okay, 

Radim Malinic: I was born with amazing fingers and I can play, everything. You might be, you might have a sort of predisposition to, to, to, to, to work and be good, but you have to work on yourself. 

Radim Malinic: And I think in that case, it's just it goes.

Radim Malinic: So far back to actually realize, Oh, it started clicking, it started clicking now and it's, it's good. 

First Steps into the Professional World

Radim Malinic: do you remember what, what was your first piece of work that you did?

David Sedgwick: Oh, I was thinking about this the other day, actually, because I'm behind, I've got loads of boxes here and all around the studio and some at home in the, in the attic and things like that. And, I don't think I ever did any paid design work or anything that was a commercial until I got my first job.

David Sedgwick: And I was fortunate I got my first job almost straight away out of university. But there was a method to that because I, I started to get [00:35:00] internships and placements whilst I was at university. So any half term holiday or any break I had, I was doing an internship at, in an agency and I, so when I left. my degree, that sort of final day where you say goodbye to everybody.

David Sedgwick: I had things lined up and I had an internship at an agency called Tucker Clark Williams in Manchester. and they, they, they gave me a job after two weeks, which was, which was really good. And they gave me a, a small piece of work. I might have it actually, behind me. I won't get it, but it's in there somewhere.

The Joy of Seeing Your Work Materialize

David Sedgwick: And it was, all it was, was a series of simple postcards for a travel company, student travel company. it's horrendous to look at it now, it's awful. I remember just being so amazed. I'd produced something and it was printed and it came back, a couple of weeks later and these big cardboard boxes and everybody was looking at these pieces of work and I was, I was sure there was going to be some mistakes and some errors.

David Sedgwick: I've done something wrong. It was, some beer mats and it was these cards and it was a kind of student [00:36:00] travel promotional thing. I just was so proud of myself that I'd gone from three. a number of years of education. Certainly three years at university of struggling a little bit and feeling completely out of my debt to getting a job and producing something that was printed and public, and out there in the public.

David Sedgwick: just being so happy about it. As I say, I've kept it. I've still got it behind me. It's, it's still, it's still with me 20 odd years later. 

The Drive to Create More

David Sedgwick: But then that just opens up another kind of, power, doesn't it? Within you, because you're like, actually, I want more of this. I want to produce more stuff. I want to print, I want more stuff to be printed.

David Sedgwick: I want, I want to be doing more work. I want my work to be seen by more people. I want, I want to be doing advertising around the whole of the city or the whole of the UK. I want, I want more of it. And, it's a drive actually. It's, it's nice to see your work that you produce maybe in isolation, or in a small space being seen by more people.

The Impact of Social Media on Creativity

David Sedgwick: Which is when social media came along and it was like, Oh, I can [00:37:00] actually. put my work out, out there and it will be seen by more people than just me or just the client or just a few people. and that was, that was a real eye opener, the beginning of sort of Instagram and, and things like that.

David Sedgwick: And social media was like, wow, this, this could, this could be pretty cool. Actually, I could get my work to more people. again, I've gone off on a massive tangent. I do remember the, to answer the question, I do remember the first piece of work and I do remember feeling extraordinarily proud about it. And, and, and I'd hope that any young designer, whatever it is, whatever piece of work they've done, it does not matter whether it was, some packaging for some, dog food or whether it's a campaign for Nike or whatever.

David Sedgwick: it's. It's so important to feel that sense of pride in producing your first piece of design work and proper design work, not a student brief or a university brief, but an actual piece that has been briefed to you by a client and you've [00:38:00] gone through the amends and you've artworked it and it's gone to a printer or it's gone to a coder or it's gone to whoever to be properly made.

David Sedgwick: So Yeah, never lose that.

Radim Malinic: There's definitely the magic when you've got a piece of whatever you've created and you're just looking at it over and over and over again. It's 

Radim Malinic: almost like a hypnotizing piece of work. 

Radim Malinic: And mine was terrible. Mine was a flyer for an Italian restaurant, for a Brazilian night in an Italian restaurant. And I knew that was the first freelance piece of work.

Radim Malinic: And I was equally happy because I've made it, I got paid, I got a client, I've sorted out the printing and I was equally disappointed. I was like, that's my history. This is where we start. 

David Sedgwick: it's good that you knew that at that point you were like, this is going to be important. I suppose I must have done really because I've kept it. I didn't chuck it away. I took a sample and I've kept it in a drawer and then that drawer became a box and that box became a series of boxes. 

David Sedgwick: And then 

David Sedgwick: that boxes became in the, yeah, so I've kept it.

David Sedgwick: So yeah, we both knew at that point that we needed to keep them.

Radim Malinic: I was lucky [00:39:00] because afterwards I worked for a printing company. So I did dozens and dozens of flights a week and stuff. And you normally keep a stack of Oh, I'm going to keep 10 of those and 20 of those and fine. And 

Radim Malinic: then you just, you move in house and like just checking two tons of paper because no one's going to ever need it.

The Double-Edged Sword of Instagram

Radim Malinic: But what was interesting when you mentioned just a second ago was the arrival of Instagram. And I remember in your talk, you mentioned you had this blockbuster thing with Foil Co. When you rebranded FoilCo, and you were like, it had X amount of thousands of likes, has X amount of new thousand followers, zero new work.

Radim Malinic: I think, was that like, was that the story?

David Sedgwick: yeah. that is true, isn't it? look, I'm not going to sit here now and pretend that I don't care about Instagram likes. I think we would be lying if we didn't. We put work out there on social media. We want people to like it. We want people to say this is good. We want people to follow you.

David Sedgwick: And it's like a little dopamine hit, isn't it? When someone gives you a like of a piece of work, you get that minute amount of dopamine. I've seen some talks by [00:40:00] some really good people talking about what, how social media works and that kind of like little ping, ping, like thing. I was obsessed by it for a while, I'm not going to lie.

David Sedgwick: Instagram became an obsession. I would be posting stuff like constantly, stuff that wasn't even finished, half done stuff. Just, I Instagram to some extent, I was doing stuff to get likes. I was doing stuff to get followers. I was putting work out there that, hadn't been completed and hadn't been finished.

David Sedgwick: And I suppose it was probably about two years ago, maybe three years ago, maybe the pandemic, I started to think I'm going to be a little bit less, obsessed with it and less, less about putting, work in progress on there and more about actually, when I finish a project, I will put it on as a finished project as opposed to just posting stuff for the sake of it.

David Sedgwick: So I guess I was trying to curate an Instagram page that was, Like a website, really, a finished work, not just some people use Instagram. I got his is my view out the window today. Here's my, here's something I'm working on. I just want to use it more as a website. But going back to your [00:41:00] point about the foil code project.

David Sedgwick: Yeah, I think we, we, we take on work to answer a client brief and to service our clients needs and to get paid for it. 

The Shift in Perspective with Age

David Sedgwick: And that's, That happens, hopefully, in every project we do, and maybe one or two go wrong, but most projects, the client's happy, they get what they need, and they pay you for it, and that's fine, that's enough.

David Sedgwick: and then Instagram comes along, and you're like, I want to put it on, I want to put it out there on my social media and get some, get some likes and some followers. because I just want that little bit of ego boost, and I want, I want to feel like it's, that people like what I do. but it's trying to, it's trying to get the balance right, isn't it?

David Sedgwick: I think as the last few years have gone on, I've realized it's not that important. Like I can put stuff out on Instagram now and get 10 likes, 20 likes. The algorithm has changed, Instagram has changed, the way we use social media has changed, it's, there's many reasons why you might not get as many likes now as perhaps you want to get, and so I've realized as I've perhaps got a [00:42:00] bit older, a little bit more uglier, that, the key here is, is the client happy?

David Sedgwick: Has it, has it answered the client brief? Has it done what I was briefed to do? And if the client is happy, has Then they'll give me more work and that will produce more work through them and potentially people that they know and maybe, you've asked, you've asked me in the past, you asked me before that, before we came on air kind of thing, do you get all your work from Instagram?

David Sedgwick: There was definitely a period of time where a lot of work was coming from Instagram. It's less and less now. And I think that's because I'm not as engaged in it as I once was, but also I'm, I'm, I'm really into. Relationships and communication and conversation and I'm in a space here in Manchester that's full of other people, other types of businesses, and I'm a nice guy, as you said at the start.

David Sedgwick: I talk to people, I get chatting to people, I've got a little dog, she walks around and I get chatting to people and work comes that way now, and I'm [00:43:00] glad of that, really. I think Instagram's still really good. I think it's still really important. I still post on there. I still put stuff out there. I don't know if you, you follow me, but I put a lot of stories on.

David Sedgwick: I try and dissect a project. I put like a background as to how I've, how I've come to the solution. People seem to really engage with that and I like doing that because that, that gets, that gives me an opportunity to not just show the finished piece. Oh, here's what Dave did this week. It's actually, I went through fucking tons of changes and amends and client feedback to get there.

David Sedgwick: And I enjoy Instagram for that and putting the Instagram stories on there. I'm definitely not as obsessed as it as I once was, I really had got a problem with it and I'd be checking it all the time, and I'd be checking Instagram all the time, and I'd be checking other designers Instagram, you know, other creatives, people, my contemporaries, my peers, my competitors, people in the industry, and I'd be like, oh my god, that's amazing, that's so good.

David Sedgwick: [00:44:00] And now I've got a personal Instagram account, which is just pictures of my daughter, really, and family life and kind of holidays. And I follow people on that, people who also have personal Instagrams. And I probably, it'd be interesting to see, but I think I probably spend more time. Looking at that than I do the design, Instagram, I think I've, I've hit a point where I'm like, actually interests me more.

David Sedgwick: I want to see about people's lives more than I do necessarily their work. Because, because finally, just social media should be a. It's not just about getting work, is it? It should be about, so the word is social, it's supposed to be about, you know,your social life, and I think I've definitely figured that out, but I've gone on a journey to get there.

The Changing Role of Social Media

David Sedgwick: Definitely gone on a journey to get there.

Radim Malinic: think, I think we just blurred the boundaries because we've like, all of these platforms were created for a specific reason. And then we all showed up and just blurred about, like blurred the 

Radim Malinic: usage because once I started seeing people posting their work [00:45:00] previews on LinkedIn, I was like, what are you doing?

Radim Malinic: This is not a place to do it. And then you, you start seeing people on, on Facebook going like daily updates, like what are you doing? Why are you updating it? Like it's, it's for like for 

Radim Malinic: for a minute. and and then we've blurred it and I overused it. And of course, like they. They, they, they reinvented themselves for not to, to get our attention as we, I feel like Instagram and all that stuff is more about consuming rather than being proactive because before it was more like, Oh, you're on Facebook.

Radim Malinic: Let's be on Facebook. I had someone that explained to me like another years ago, like, how do you use it? Cause I was a MySpace guy, right?

Radim Malinic: And I made the people I met on MySpace. And this is for some people listening to the show, never heard of MySpace. This was like the original. A social network for music and the people I met there, we were in the same boat and it was so exciting that we still, I still stay friends.

Radim Malinic: I still got clients from MySpace time, 

Radim Malinic: but,

Radim Malinic: but everything gets to the point of saturation. 

Radim Malinic: So it's easy to kill time on this thing. It's easier to to think, Oh, I should be doing this [00:46:00] because I've got an analogy in Mindful Creative and in the second book about the highway of creativity in life.

Radim Malinic: And you've got this multi lane motorway and we just. you can be happily in your, on a, on a, on a, on a side, in the side lanes, just kind of sort of going slowly thinking, I'm doing this thing in my life. I'm fine. And you see these people whizzing past you, like being 

Radim Malinic: glitzy, bold, engaging, you know, like loud,like loud, going somewhere and they don't even know where they're going.

Radim Malinic: And in my opinion, it's just that's, reached the peak point of of engagement with Instagram because. I don't get surprised with what I see every day, you know, there's this, the stuff that isit's the same thing, you know, the algorithm feeds you the same, the people are posting the same thing, but they still expect more likes every day, or they don't 

Radim Malinic: know how not. So it's, it's, it's this, this thing, like, how do you surprise me? Because. You want to watch something, you don't watch the same cartoon,with children you do, but you don't watch the 

Radim Malinic: same series. You're not going to open like Netflix and watch the first five things you've ever watched over and over again.

Radim Malinic: Like we're going to change. [00:47:00] We're going to look for something to make us feel something. And I think we are guilty just like everybody else by being ourselves.

Radim Malinic: And expecting someone being excited every day, because that doesn't happen, you know what I mean? Like, going back to the point of music, the music that we, like the artists.

Radim Malinic: that you listen to. Sometimes you skip a couple of albums. I like, I like Slipknot, but I only two of their albums.

Radim Malinic: And the bits in between, I don't need, like there's, there's the same stuff. 

The Importance of Balance in Life

Radim Malinic: And, but I think the younger generation is very obsessed with having followers all day, every day, like being, 

Radim Malinic: because it's, when you think about that, the younger creative mind, we are so fragile, so anxious.

Radim Malinic: Like we look, we seek external validation. And I made a point about your work in progress, posting work in progress. Cause I used to do it on Twitter, pre Instagram. 

Radim Malinic: And is this amazing sort of,what's the sort of contradiction? Because you do want to show a client work in progress, but you happily share it with like thousands of your followers.

Radim Malinic: You're 

Radim Malinic: like, when they say can we see a preview? no, [00:48:00] not yet, but what do you think of it? and you just give it to strangers, but I, there, there is definitely value in like sharing work in progress, like doing that kind of stuff. And people, like everyone goes through that phase.

Radim Malinic: But as you mentioned earlier, it's the, it's the, it's the distance of growing older 

Radim Malinic: and you grow into, you grow into, patience because I could be working on something. I'm starting a second sort of self initiated project of this year because writing two books wasn't enough

Radim Malinic: and I finally, and I finally crafted after a year of Milling it in my head. It was like, I can 

Radim Malinic: preview a post. I can preview a post. I can put it and I can wait a minute. the website's ready, but the product's not on the website yet. Like we need to just do this. last time I've done a preview. I didn't include the link. It wasn't ready. And I missed some pre sells like this.

Radim Malinic: like it's just holding back and actually being patient is, is a life skill because the, the, the, the devices, the, the, the, the streams, the highways are there,[00:49:00] see this, see that. 

Radim Malinic: And many things came from sharing work in progress when the internet goes, Oh, mate, I love this.

Radim Malinic: I'm like, I spent 10 minutes on this, whereas I spent six hours on a piece of work that you didn't know I liked, you

David Sedgwick: No one saw it. Yeah, but I think that's, I 

David Sedgwick: saw something you posted the other day on social media about, you hold back and then you see that someone else has done the exact same piece of work. and that's, that's, that's a scary thing, isn't it? Sometimes, especially if you've worked with someone for so long, which is why sharing those kind of like work in progress stuff is important because you can own it a little bit and be like, I This was where this is where I'm going. this is where I'm starting and this is where I'm aiming to get to. And then you own that a little bit because that, there's only this sort of, constantly seeing things that you're like, Oh, that's so similar to something that I nearly did for a client or almost presented or did present.

David Sedgwick: It's just slightly changed or slightly tweaked. but yeah, I've definitely, The obsession with followers and social media [00:50:00] has definitely waned in the last, can I say, a few years of my life. And, and, it wasn't a conscious decision. It's not like I sat there thinking, Oh, I have a problem. I just, I think it just happened slowly over time.

David Sedgwick: I just wasn't picking up my phone as much. I wasn't like, Oh my God, I fucking got to get this on Instagram. It was like, it just happened naturally a little bit. as you say, we're, we're getting We're getting a bit older, aren't we, mate? That's the problem. 

Radim Malinic: yeah, no, I think, I think if there was anything most helpful in my life to happen is to actually get older because I had 10 years ago, that was my mid thirties. I had a horrific burnout because for me, the numbers weren't never really Instagram for me.

Radim Malinic: It was Behance, when Behance came through and I was still one foot in advertising, working as an illustrator in advertising, obsessed with creating digital. I mean,I was literally obsessed with creating stuff, like thinking what's the next advertising style. I was 

Radim Malinic: commissioning photographers, creating things pre 3D of what we can do.

Radim Malinic: And I was always trying to be ahead, like a [00:51:00] step ahead because 

Radim Malinic: unfortunately I subscribe to that machine that sort of feeds on now. 

Radim Malinic: So what you create disappears in six months, you know, the advertising campaigns I did.Of course, they're no longer around, like some 

Radim Malinic: of them might be in like a book or whatever, but, that was my problem with the work that it was the, the already like the, the throwaway value of what we were creating and, but expecting long term results.

Radim Malinic: So you want people to love you for the piece of work now, but stay with you for forever, which doesn't work. So for me, that was, that was the pivot where I seen where I wanted to create things that last longer. doing editorial illustrations. That's, that's a day's literally lifespan of a fly.

Radim Malinic: it just lives 

Radim Malinic: a day. it's just, it's in a, it's in a, bin the next day. And it's a thrilling career. It's interesting. But I was like, what do I do that stays here for longer? What can I do? And, for me, like writing was never an idea. I was like, I like making little booklets. I like playing and I like trying.

Radim Malinic: But it was more going [00:52:00] through, a real sort of life changing moment where I thought I was going to die crossing the street. I was so overworked and over caffeinated and dehydrated and I'm sure people who have listened to any of my podcasts will not be bored of that story, but. It was a wake up moment.

Radim Malinic: It was 

Radim Malinic: like, okay, there's, there's other things to worry about in life. And it's, it's like you can change your life and actually buy less into it. 

Radim Malinic: And it's kind of like define you enough, how many likes do you need to be happy? Because no one knows that. And somehow when they've changed the algorithm, it doesn't matter if you get instead of 500 likes, you get 40 likes, whatever.

Radim Malinic: It doesn't matter because I found with Instagram, especially. We used to get so much traffic and so much inquiries and they were all time wasters. 

Radim Malinic: I realized that where people hovered, the spheres where people are hovering, we got one project out of Instagram that actually kept us busy for two years.

Radim Malinic: But that was an anomaly. Like just, it happened to be someone who's actually played somewhere up there because it's nice to be helping people [00:53:00] getting their little ideas off the ground. But I just spent my time, most of my time answering DMs with people going, hello,

Radim Malinic: it was like, what do you know? No, no, no.

Radim Malinic: It was like, and by the way, they say hello, it was like. What is that, a phone? is this are you expecting me to answer? Hello? Can you hear me? Can you read this? No, it's, it's, it's funny because they're like, everything changes. Like we, we, we are in a, we are a different generation to our parents, that our kids are a different generation to us, and that everyone's got different skills and different experiences of this.

Radim Malinic: But, 

David Sedgwick: But also, I think that the, the long, that you said then about wanting to produce something that is. I think you talk about, we've talked about, how, how things change for us as we've got older. Obviously, the, the key thing for both of us, was becoming parents, wasn't it? And the biggest project that we've worked on, the most important project, the one that has the biggest element of longevity is our, is our children.

David Sedgwick: and that was a massive change for me because we have a lot of things in common here just listening to you and just chatting, [00:54:00] I was the same in my 30s. We just work all the time. So I would work during the day and I would get home. I remember there was times I wouldn't even take my jacket off because I was an inverted commas.

David Sedgwick: So fucking busy that I didn't even have time to eat. Or to take my coat, I'd be like, I'm running through the door. I'd be like, my laptop would be out and I'd be, I've just gotta finish this work. And then hours would turn into more hours. And before you know it, it's 11, 12 at night, you've not had anything to eat, you've not spent any time with your partner or, or, or even just got some comfy clothes on.

David Sedgwick: And then I became a dad and it was like. I can't do this anymore. I can't work those hours anymore. it wouldn't be fair on my partner. It wouldn't be fair, even more important, it wouldn't be fair on my, my child. I have to be there. I want to be there. I want to be there. It's not have to be. I want to be there.

David Sedgwick: I want to experience all these different. Things that are happening in, in her life and in my life, and that was a game changer because that stopped me [00:55:00] chasing this, I don't know, this, this goal, this unattainable goal that I'd set myself of you say, being this amazing designer, working all the fucking time, getting all these likes on Instagram, having loads of money, all these things that I felt, I thought I wanted, they just, they weren't that important anymore.

David Sedgwick: They just weren't like, there was more important things. And, 

Radim Malinic: feel like, Yeah, cause you feel like you step out of yourself because like the, the, the, the center of your world is, is here, but then you just pass it over, it's just it doesn't matter. Like obviously there's other things in play 

Radim Malinic: because I remember

Radim Malinic: I remember I'd always wanted to work from home because if I was to have a studio, I would need another computer at home in case there's some changes.

Radim Malinic: And then I remember a year ago, actually most of this year, I was still sharing a studio with Dan Buja in Kingston. And I made a point of not having a home computer, like a 

Radim Malinic: laptop that just, I can just write. I'm just like, I, I am not like. We need changes. there's tomorrow. You can wait. it's just, it's about 

Radim Malinic: 15 years ago.

Radim Malinic: I would [00:56:00] have died. It was like, they will sack me. They'll hate me. They will not pay me. It was just, it's just that growth and confidence because I need, I don't know about you, but I needed to work on myself because I was always

Radim Malinic: needed that validation. Okay. give me the work. Amazing, hi, get invoiced and I'll finish this, like invoice get paid.

Radim Malinic: Like it was all about like constant need to be on that sort of conveyor belt. Like it had to move and I had to keep, keep moving. And I remember with my pivot this year, I was trying to let's work on, I haven't, haven't said yes to a new, new client project in pretty much a year. 

Radim Malinic: I've only worked with existing clients.

Radim Malinic: Think, God, that we could make it work. 

Radim Malinic: But I said no to all of it because. I wanted to change because you just know only one version of yourself. So okay, if you've been working for 16 hours a day, you only know yourself doing that. And then you 

Radim Malinic: say, I'm going to stop. And it does crazy things to your mind and your body.

Radim Malinic: Because it's like a withdrawal symptom. Like I 

Radim Malinic: need a couple of projects on this. I just, I just need some work on a cycle. I just do [00:57:00] this. it's no, But it's reworking because like we know our work from our point of view, we think that that's the only way to earn money.

Radim Malinic: Like we have to be creative. We have to be, thankful. We have to be useful. We have to be all of that stuff. And then you realize, how does everybody else work? Because it's just changes the perspective and 

Radim Malinic: yeah, 

Radim Malinic: being a parent, Yeah. From, from if sometimes if I had one hour, one hour, but a day of work that we managed to do, that's, that's like surprisingly, like that's, that's a

Radim Malinic: success. Yeah. 

David Sedgwick: tell you what happened to me as well. It was coronavirus because we, we had a little girl at home who needed to be entertained. educated and most importantly looked after. And there was two of us and it was like my wife was self employed.

David Sedgwick: She was needing to work. I was needing to work. So it was like,there's only one way to do this. Like you'll do the morning. I'll do the afternoon. And then tomorrow I'll do the morning. You do the afternoon. So you're working at 50 percent capacity basically. And it really made me realize that I was spending a tremendous amount [00:58:00] of time during my working out working day.

David Sedgwick: Pre COVID procrastinating and doing six options when really I could have got away with doing three options or, just, just really working on stuff for too long or, taking too long to reply to emails, really like deliberating what I was saying or, just basically working too hard.

David Sedgwick: And then I realized I could do the sort of similar kind of amount of work in half the time, really, 

David Sedgwick: if I was a bit better at how I did it, if I was more. direct and a little bit more conscientious and able to make decisions a bit quicker. I'd say no to certain things, things that weren't important anymore.

Reflections on the Journey and Future Aspirations

David Sedgwick: Small projects, the clients that didn't value me or my time, are just using me because they thought, I was an art worker. I was like, I can't do that anymore. Cause I've, I'm only working for four hours a day because we're in a fucking pandemic and my daughter needs to be taught how to add up 

David Sedgwick: in the afternoon. So I ain't got time to do that anymore. and that really, that was a big eye opener. Like you say, sometimes a good [00:59:00] solid hour, a good, real proper hour. Can you, if you, if you work through your list or you designing something and you just focus, You really focus and you don't pick up your phone and you don't check an email, you don't get pinged an email notification or nobody bothers you for that one hour.

David Sedgwick: You can really work in that hour. and the aim for me, the goal for me is to try and get down to a four day working week. I think that's, that's what I want to do. I've, I've done it. I've said, I'm so busy. I'm so busy, but I meet people all the time. I can't do this. I can't do that because I'm really busy and I'm like, I'm busy as well, but I'm trying to make time to do other things.

David Sedgwick: I went on Tuesday this week, I volunteered to be a parent helper on the school trip. to Chester. my daughter was on a school trip to Chester and I said that I'll come and help because, I want to see how she's getting on, but also I quite like working with children and I thought I'll do it.

David Sedgwick: It's interesting. I'll go. and I was chatting to a few of the parents at the school gate and they were like, Oh, I'd love to. I [01:00:00] just don't have the time. I'm so busy. I'm so busy. And I was thinking, Is that the definition of success, like being so busy that you can't ever do anything else? Or is the definition of success, which is how I'm seeing it now, the fact that I can just turn around and say, I'm not going to work today, I'm going to, I'm going to go on a school trip with my daughter, or I'm going to go home at three o'clock today, or I'm going to take Fridays off, or I'm going to not work on Monday because I can't be arsed.

David Sedgwick: To me, that's the definition of success, because it means that I'm doing all right with the amount of time I've got, and I'm working hard enough in that time to earn enough money, and that's the most important thing. But I'm also able to not work in the evenings, like you say, not do the amends that need doing.

David Sedgwick: I'll do them in the morning, not work at the weekends, not have a computer at home. And that's, as I'm 44, 45 next year, that, that's where I'm at right now, that sort of, I love design. I love what I do. I'm fortunate that I've got a job being a designer. I'd never change it. I couldn't do anything else now.

David Sedgwick: I couldn't work for anybody else. This is it now for the 

David Sedgwick: next however [01:01:00] many years, 20 odd years. but it's not everything anymore by any stretch. It really is not. There are much more important things. And the big key is balance. It's balancing it out, working hard, and it's playing hard, or it's relaxing, or it's going home and spending time with your family and seeing your friends and that kind of thing.

David Sedgwick: That's, that's the key.

Radim Malinic: I could ask you another 20 questions and we can do this for another, say five or six hours, but that, that's an amazing point to finish on because what you've described, it's, it's, it is what it comes down to because We feel like in the creative industry that are the ones who've got it hard, you know, we have to work, we have to sort of hustle and stuff, but you speak tolawyers, you speak to, whoever, everyone's got it hard, like no one's, no one's just, no one just wakes up and goes, give me the millions, I'll go back to bed, it just doesn't work 

Radim Malinic: that way. So, You know, I'm glad that, we are on a similar journey. I just you, you reevaluate, you, you look at it differently. And, yeah, it's been great to watch your journey. It's great. it's great to be following your work for the last 10 more, if not more years. And. [01:02:00] Yeah, I'm glad that, you've reached that point where you feel happy and an overview of sort of purpose, doing work that you're doing, which looks great.

Radim Malinic: you living a calm, I know I never say happy life, but calm, calm, happiness 

Radim Malinic: is calm and yeah, I'm just excited to see what happens next. So thanks for being on the show. Thanks, it was great to have you. And,we'll have to do this again 

David Sedgwick: do it in 10 years and we'll see if I'm still saying, if I'm still saying the same thing. If I'm like, I'll be like, no, I'm back on Instagram. I'm posted every day. I'm working every hour. I'm just trying to make ends meet. maybe we've just hit a decent part of your life. And I think that's it, isn't it?

David Sedgwick: You look back on your thirties, like you said, and where you were then, and maybe this is our forties for me. And, and, maybe I'll look back on it differently when I'm fifties. Who knows? That's that's the joy of life, isn't it? We don't know. Yeah.

Radim Malinic: All right. 

Radim Malinic: So you just made me, you just made me to make this 10 years.

David Sedgwick: Yeah. Yeah. It's keeping you going. Give you a purpose.

Radim Malinic: Good to see you, Dave. Really good 

David Sedgwick: [01:03:00] All right. Nice. I'll 

David Sedgwick: make you take care. Bye. Bye.

Radim Malinic: Thank you for listening to this episode of Creativity for Sale podcast. The show was produced and presented by me, Radek Malanich. Editing and audio production was masterfully done by Niall Neil mackay, from 7 million Bikes Podcasts, 

Radim Malinic: Theme music was written and produced by Robert Summerfield. If you enjoyed this episode and would like to support the podcast, please subscribe and leave a rating or review.

Radim Malinic: To get your own action plan on how to start and grow your life changing business. To get your own action plan on how to start and grow a life changing creative business. You can get a copy of the Creativity for Sale book via the links in show notes. As always, keep those creators fires burning, and until next time, I'm Bradley Malinich, your guide through this exploration of passion, creativity, innovation, and the boundless potential within us [01:04:00] all. 

Radim Malinic

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