This is the second of four interviews by recent AUT graduate Nicole Redman. (Each interview was first published in Unveil, an editorial publication conceived in Nicole’s final year of study). The interviews explore professional designers unique personal narrative as each shares challenges, inspirations and industry insight. In this instalment, we hear from Creative Director and Founder of Motionsickness Sam Stuchbury.
What led you to pursue a career in the design industry?
I think I’ve always been a very visual person and when I was a kid I always loved drawing. In high school, I did visual arts which I really liked. I feel in love with it there and decided to continue it in university. I went through the design school at Otago and did communication design and a minor in marketing. It was kind of one of those things that the more I did it the more I enjoyed it.
Was there a specific point in your childhood when you knew you were going to go down a creative pathway?
I don’t know if there was a specific point. Having that artistic creative side has always been a part of me. I think as I progressed through university and started to do more design it was quite obvious for me.
How would you explain what you do as a job?
I have quite a strange job because it’s not really one role. I’m the creative director of motionsickness. I founded the business so I am running the business as well. I creative direct all of our campaigns and projects. I film direct which takes up quite a lot of time and also creatively collaborate with everyone on the team. My official role is creative director and director but it takes a lot of shapes and sizes. When you’re in a small team you end up doing a lot of different stuff. Everything is kind of underpinned in creative work and often that takes the form of marketing campaigns for different brands.
My jobs probably split close to 50/50 between working in the office and out on a shoot. When I’m in the office it varies project to project. I usually work quite closely with our editor looking over edits and working with our strategy social team working on campaigns and jumping between campaigns at different stages. When I’m out on shoot directing that can be a range of things. I travel quite a lot for work which means a lot of early call times. I quite like the travel so I don’t get bored in the office too much.
What are some of the challenges that have helped you learn or grow as a designer?
I think a challenge when you start is always like not being satisfied with the work your producing and it’s not as good as you wanted it to be. They’re the most valuable experiences because you constantly learn from that. I’m never fully satisfied with the jobs we do now but if you don’t lose that constant drive to improve what you’re doing then that’s a great thing. A lot of bigger businesses and designers can get complacent when their comfortable with where they are. Constantly striving to do better and being challenged by not being happy with your work is a good thing.
What do you do when you aren’t working/designing?
I’m into the outdoors so I do a lot of camping. My partner Hillary and I go away quite a bit and get out of the city which I think keeps me creatively refreshed.
What advice do you give to young designers?
Just keep working on your craft and keep doing it. I don’t think you have to wait till you have your dream job or employed to start designing and doing creative projects. I think that the more you do something the better you get at it. As a film director, the more I direct stuff the better I get at it and every time I do a shoot I learn new things. If you’re a designer and you want to be a designer just start designing and don’t wait for the perfect role.
What is Motionsickness Studio? and where did the name come from?
We’re a creative agency and we specialise in two sides of the business. One being strategy, campaigns, and creative marketing. The other half is production so films, videos, photos. The name, people always ask that. We just didn’t have a name at the time and we started getting really busy and my business partner said I feel like I’ve got motionsickness stuck in my head. We needed to print business cards the next week so we just went with it. Now people remember name so it’s cool.
What was the main inspiration behind creating Motionsickness Studio?
At the time when we were in Dunedin there wasn’t a lot of competition and we didn’t really want to work for anybody. We both had quite different skills so we thought let’s just make a multifaceted studio. It kind of grew pretty organically. It was one of those things that we didn’t really plan to be where we are now and it just kind of snowballed. I think it came out of the fact that we were approaching the end of our university career and didn’t really want to work for anybody. We had skills in the creative field that we thought we could use. At the time in Dunedin we found a bit of a niche and then it just grew from there.