Take 10 with… Johnson McKay
The DA team want to support our community through these unprecedented times – something we kept coming back to is a focus on connection and community. So we want to do what we think DA does best, sharing ideas, inspiration and information and profiling our community.
With that in mind, we launched a new series Take 10 with… to do a pulse check on how you’re feeling, how you’re working, what you are missing, and what your hopes are for the future. We invited some of our friends, peers and the DA team to participate and we hope you enjoy these honest and candid profiles of Aotearoa designers today.
Tēnā koutou, Ko Johnson McKay tēnei, Creative Director of Fly.
How did you get into design?
My early foray into design was as an Account Director for advertising agencies and found that I had a lot to say about how to tell the client’s brand story and evoke the right feelings. That led to me starting Fly in 2005 where I shaped my current creative strategy and story telling skills. So, no training. Just passion! Hahaha.
What do you love about design?
I love how you can engage people’s emotions, aspirations and loyalties through design. In that sense, design is about connection and transformation.
What or who inspires you?
I work closely with Tim Hansen at Fay & Walter and he is one of the most talented people I know. He’s a great thinker, divergent creative and has an eye for craft that is second to none. I also respect and love the work of Anzac Tasker of Designworks and his effort to bring Māori design into the national consciousness.
A book I’m reading called He Puna Iti I te Ao Mārama, which is about Māori values and principles.
How are you feeling right now?
Rested. I’m enjoying the reduced driving time and ability to spend more time with my family.
Are you working right now, if so what does your work from home day look like?
Work has been at a steady pace, despite the Covid-19 lock down. It’s been nice working from my home office, blasting my music that no one else appreciates (shout out to 90s Hip Hop). My day is pretty much the same, but without travel. I am in endless zooms, crafting up strategic nerdiness and jamming with the creatives on aesthetic awesomeness.
What’s your one tip right now?
Be brave enough to do the mahi the right way, for the right people and the right outcomes. We’re too pressured by time, money and expediency and slowing down can help us have a greater impact for the long term.
Tell us about your current workspace.
I think it’s my wife’s desk from when she was a high school student. Not that flash. But it’s clean and has all I need.
Which local business are you going to miss most during our isolation period?
What do you hope for the Aotearoa design community going forward?
That we bring in more cultural diversity for more divergent views and opinions on what great design can be.