#GettingToKnow Darren Groucutt, RX Creative Director at VCCP

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Tell us a bit about your role! Is there a “typical” day?

I am part of the Retail Experience(RX) leadership team at VCCP, alongside Rob Sellers, Steph Thomas and Stephen Renou and am responsible for the creative output, working on clients like Canon, Cadbury and Wickes.

What I do changes day to day, but a typical day involves me managing different projects in the RX team and having the overall creative input. 

What was the biggest challenge in getting to your current position?


The big rewards and greatest projects are when the client takes risks.

Taking risks can be a daunting prospect, but it is essential for a successful relationship between a client and an agency. When a client takes a risk on an idea or concept, the results can be incredibly rewarding.

As I have progressed in my career, I have found that getting clients to take risks is often the biggest challenge.

It is always included in the brief, but clients need to have faith in the agency and trust that their audience will appreciate the risk. Making them fun and exciting can help to break down barriers and encourage clients to take a chance.

What is your personal background and what role did it play in your career?

I have always had a drive for creating great work since my days at Stourbridge Art College all the way to Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design.

Growing up, my parents were always supportive of my interests and passions, so when I was 12 and I started painting, I was able to explore it fully.

They got me an airbrush for Christmas and I set up a mini spray booth in my dad's workshop, allowing me to make big stencils and characters. I was also into animation and I was able to combine the two mediums.

I also was lucky enough to meet Goldie, a UK Hip Hop pioneer, who had been to New York and met some of my heroes. I have always been driven to create great work and I love seeing the reaction of others when I do.

What is your biggest career-related win? What is your biggest loss?


Getting the chance to work here at VCCP feels like the reward for the last 10 years of hard work through different brands, audiences and sectors.

One career highlight was the epic journey of working on the Olympic Games. It was an incredible opportunity to represent my country in the most celebrated sporting event in the world.

When 900 million people watched my work, I was filled with immense pride and joy. I was able to share the moment with my family and friends, and to witness the gold-winning moments was an experience I will never forget.

Which individuals and/or agencies do you gain inspiration from? Do you have any heroes in the industry?

I'm surrounded by creative inspiration here in the UK and Europe, with friends like Hotel Creative and The Panics in Amsterdam.

Musicians and artists inspire me more than anyone else in the industry.  I really admire the work of Carl Addy. We have treated on a few things over the years but haven't got anything away yet, I hope we do soon.

My family is also very creative, and we often go to shows and exhibitions which provide me with ideas for projects, interactive concepts and art direction. I'm so thankful to have such an inspiring support network around me!

If you could go back to your teenage years, would you have done things differently? Do you have any regrets?

Yes, totally. I wish I would have taken Physics more seriously.

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


A touring musician! I was a drummer in a band and toured the USA a couple of times playing in some amazing venues, with great vibes. So if I wasn’t a Creative Director, I would definitely be a drummer, either in a band or as a session musician.

What’s your one big dream for the future of the industry?

The possibilities of what we can do with technology and creative thinking are truly exciting! With advances in Artificial Intelligence happening all the time, the potential for personalisation and innovation is limitless.

We can use AI to create unique experiences, events and output that will take our clients to the next level. It's a thrilling time to be in the industry, and we can't wait to see what the future holds!

What are your top tips for aspiring creative professionals?

It is essential to have confidence in yourself, your work, and the team you are part of. Do not be afraid to share your ideas and experiences, as this can be beneficial for everyone.

Additionally, it is important to be open to constructive criticism, as this can help you to develop and grow. Therefore, it is important to be bold and take risks in order to reach your full potential.

When you think about your team, what is the thing that matters to you the most?


Working with a team that shares my enthusiasm and ambition is a truly rewarding experience. Everyone is passionate about what they do and it is evident in the collaborative effort and dedication that is put into our work.

It is inspiring to be surrounded by individuals who view their job as more than just a job.

Do you have any websites, books or resources you would recommend?

I have fond memories of skating in the mid 80's to early 90's, and recently I have become obsessed with listening to podcasts that feature some of my old heroes from that time. It is a great way to reconnect with my past and the people I used to look up to.

It's fascinating to learn how skate icons made money and stayed relevant in the industry, whether it was becoming an artist, musician, or businessman starting their own foundation and company. Ones to look out for are The Nine Club and Hawk vs Wolf.


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