It's impossible to not fall in love with Stephen Berry's photography as soon as you lay your eyes on them. His love for cinema shines through each and every shot, and it's not by chance that he loves recreating his favourite film shots with his toys and puppets.
Not only that – Steve's care for lighting, angle and composition is just plain outstanding, betraying a creative spirit that needs to come out one way or another. The living demonstration that you don't always need gigantic budget to craft some great creative work.
In this Member Spotlight, we dive deep into Steve's creative process and past, learning more about him as a creative.
How did you get into the industry?
I’ve always loved art and being creative since a very young age. My dream job when I was about 8 was to work for Disney. I went to college, studied fine art then graphic design, and after that, rather than go to uni, I got a job at a printers, sweeping up, making tea, looking for tartan paint. It all went from there.
Where are you based now and who do you work for?
I’m currently self employed and have been for around 6 years. I work for quite a few varied companies around South and West Yorkshire within Healthcare, fashion, the entertainment industry, food and drink. I like a bit of variety.
If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?
I genuinely have no idea. I often ask myself that same question, I have always been creative. Maybe... a sculptor?
Can you explain your creative process?
Starts in brain, goes to hand, then to mouse, then to computer and Print!
How has technology affected the way you work (if at all)?
I self-taught myself on Macs as the ones we had at school were constantly booked up and it took an eternity for them to do anything. We were very hands-on in our approach to design, cutting stuff out and sticking them together, using mixed media to get the result you wanted. I probably used the Macs about 2% of the time back then. Those days are gone now.
I worked at a few companies early on in my career and you’d be doing different things each day on top of design work. In the dark room processing film, making plates for print it was great and valuable to know. It taught me a lot and I still have that important knowledge today. In some ways I miss that, but in others, especially within digital illustration, technology opens up new opportunities and skills to learn. Without the development of tech I don’t think most of the work I enjoy doing today would be as much fun.
What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?
Having a healthy life/work balance. I think it’s important, you can run out of steam if you’re constantly trying to be creative. Sometimes it’s best to sit back and watch the world go by and recharge mentally.
What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?
I quit freelancing to pursue my passion for illustration. It was a big risk that unfortunately didn’t pay off... But hey, I tried, and I’m very proud of the results and feedback I got from people back then. I have a great supportive network on Insta and my work will always be out there now for people to enjoy. My posters seem to bring a lot of joy to people and although it didn’t work out, it’s great that people still message me with positive feedback.
How do you recharge away from the office?
Downtime with a good movie, as I’m a huge movie fan. Spending time with Mrs RobotWig and generally forgetting work completely until I’m back at it.
What advice would you give to other aspiring creatives looking for work?
Always be yourself, don’t try to do everything, focus on what you are good at and the other skills can come with time. It takes time to find your niche, there’s a lot of great creative people out there and my experience is that the best teams I’ve worked with are the ones where each individual has their own special skillset. I think it makes for a greater creative team if you can compliment each other, and even better work can be produced.
What’s your one big hope for the future of the creative industries?
I think the industry is so devalued nowadays, mainly because a lot of people think that if you have a Mac you can design. Which isn’t the case. I’d love for that to change. It’s such a great skill to have and I’d like to see the value added back into being a creative.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
That annoying thing that Adobe did, changing what the shift key did to scale!