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The playful and accessible style of Georgia Stephenson | #MemberSpotlight

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Creative Georgia Stephenson's love for the arts is undisputable and something that shines through every single piece of work you can see on this page.

Georgia just took the leap to freelancing and is finally able to work solely on projects she is personally passionate about. This means anything colourful, playful, creative and quirky in its own unique way; anything that can help Georgia change the world for the better.

In this Member Spotlight, we are learning more about Creative Georgia Stephenson and her inspiring path into the industry.

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How did you get into the industry?

I came to London to do my art foundation at University of the Arts London not really knowing what I wanted to ‘be’, and then went on to do my BA in Graphic Communications at Central Saint Martins. The tutors on the advertising pathway introduced me to creating visuals with strong ideas and the creative thinking required for advertising – and that’s how I got started. After graduating my creative partner and I did the usual rounds of placements until we found somewhere that fitted, and for us it was at isobel – an indie creative agency – where my career began. 

Where are you based now and who do you work for?

I’m still in London, although remote working makes it seem I could be anywhere. I have just taken the leap into freelance, where I hope to apply my skills to causes I’m passionate about. At the moment I’m working with Don’t Panic, an agency I’ve admired for absolutely ages.

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If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?

As well as being a creative, I am also an independent curator – working with artists to deliver exhibitions, events and development to their creative practices. So, if I wasn’t a creative, I’d definitely be more involved in the arts somehow. 

Can you explain your creative process?

Some of the best ideas come out of absolutely nowhere, but I have a bit of a formula for helping get to them. Firstly, I write down absolutely everything that pops into my mind in response to a brief, then I go back through and pick out anything I deem to have ‘legs’, then I would research and do the same again in response to anything new I’d learnt. Next (the most important bit) is to have a conversation about the brief – it sounds so obvious but talking outloud is one of the easiest ways to stumble across an original thought. 

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How would you describe your style?

I enjoy working with specialist artists, designers and animators to bring ideas to life through collaboration. My art direction style is playful and accessible – I strive to make work that doesn’t leave anyone out or poke fun at another’s expense.

Which individuals do you gain inspiration from? Do you have any heroes in the industry?

I have worked with many people who have inspired me, and it’s been a privilege to learn from them on the projects we’ve done together. Recently, with Laura Gibson and Cecilia Odong, during my time at Cheil. Both of whom have a great attitude and bags of talent – those qualities are inspirational to me. When I was younger, I participated in the ‘Who’s Your Momma’ mentorship scheme and met Natalie Ranger, who provided her wisdom of experience and perspective at a time when I needed it most. I’m grateful that a scheme like that was available to me. I believe I gain most of my inspiration from those around me rather than ‘heroes’ …that being said, Naomi Klein’s writing inspires me to assess what my role in this industry is and how I can be better.

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If you had to pick one ideal client/employer, who would that be and why?

My dream clients are always the ones changing the world for the better. It doesn’t matter whether it’s eco-detergent or an animal charity or even public transport services. It’s motivating to feel like you can make an impactful contribution with your work, and shift a positive behaviour.

How has technology affected the way you work?

For me the most dramatic technological shift has been over a year of true remote working. It works really well for me. I hadn’t realised how challenging it can be to focus on conceptualising in a noisy office, until I was doing it at home in a quiet setting. 

What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?

Experiencing new things. There is no other way. My university tutor Clive Challis always said if you’re going to be a creative, you will be constantly ‘outputting’ which means it is essential to be constantly ‘inputting’. I visit exhibitions, read books, watch films, have conversations with other creative people about their work – all of these things keep the inspiration flowing.

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What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?

I will always be really proud of the launch campaign I was involved with for Tech Will Save Us. We delivered a film with Raine Allen-Miller for the STEM toy start-up and I think the work speaks for itself, has bags of character and is for a really lovely brand. 

How do you recharge away from the office?

Now that my office is my laptop, I always try to recharge away from it – not looking directly at a screen! I find getting into nature and out of London is helpful because the city can be all consuming.

What is one tip for other aspiring creatives looking for work?

Don’t try to be like other creatives. Everyone has something different to offer, understand what yours is and then work with it. 

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What is the one thing that you would change about the industry?

All creative industries in the UK are difficult to access when you start your career – minimum wage, short term or weekly rolling contracts – neither of which is secure enough to pay the ridiculous cost of renting and travel in London. This means that only those with savings or family in the city that can put them up for free end up taking those opportunities. It’s gatekeeping and our industry is not diverse enough because of it. 

Any websites, books or resources you would recommend?

  • No Logo – Naomi Klein (book)

  • Freakonomics – Steven Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner (book)

  • In Good Company – Otegha Uwagba (podcast)

  • Seb’s Art List (platform for upcoming exhibitions)

  • It’s Nice That (platform for contemporary art and design) 

  • Elephant Magazine (publication and website exploring contemporary art)

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