Not everyone is lucky enough to grow up in a context and environment where creativity is encouraged.
Managing director at JustSo Simon Bell went one step further: with his father running a small business, Simon was always curious about the ins and outs of business management, and his entire career was shaped thanks to that.
Today we are Getting to Know a motivating and passionate creative professional, someone who believes in seizing the perfect opportunities and has great hopes for the future of the industry.
Tell us a bit about your current role.
I am Managing Director at JustSo - an independent creative studio.
I’ve been at JustSo for a large part of my career and have been lucky to grow with the business. I started off as Studio Manager, and since then have worked across most areas of the company, which has given me a really good understanding of what we do.
What is your personal background and what role did it play in your career?
My dad has his own small business, so from an early age I’ve been curious about how businesses work.
Then when I started my career I was working in music and entertainment. This perspective of creating things audiences want to engage with has really influenced how I approach the work we do at JustSo.
Music’s a massive passion of mine, and it’s where I started, so I’d like to think I’d be working there in a different life.
What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?
Finding a personal passion in what you do - once you have that, it makes it a lot easier to stay focused and motivated in the day-to-day work.
What is the one advice you would give to creatives looking to be successful in the industry?
Right now it’s a pretty tough time for a lot of people in the creative industry, but it’s also a time where there’s immense amount of opportunity for people to be creative.
I think the best thing you can do is practice your craft - pick a channel and a medium and spend time exploring and trying things out.
Also, be flexible and open to new opportunities - it’s a changing world right now, and the best move might be something you hadn’t previously considered.
Tell us something about your professional life we don’t already know
I once got Tom Jones lost in the basement of Global radio, trying (and failing) to escort him to his car after an interview.
What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?
Personally, I am most proud of having been (and being) able to grow with a company about which I am passionate and that I care about.
How do you recharge away from the office?
The end of the day for me usually involves cooking whilst listening to a podcast. I’ve got a list of regular podcasts that punctuate the week, and I find the conversational format really warming and a great change of pace after a busy day.
What’s your one big dream for the future of the creative industries?
I think we’re living through a moment in marketing where gaps and spaces are opening up to help us move away from what has been the dominant form of traditional advertising.
For the creative industry this offers up huge opportunity to focus our output on ‘win-wins’, where creativity can be simultaneously in service of businesses and audiences - carving this path out is what really excites and drives me.