OMG Mixtape #005 by Oliver Craddock

I've been so super busy lately Ive barely had time to post anything on here, but I've still kept my ears to the ground and put together a new mixtape for #OMG005! I've been really excited by a few of the bands Ive heard coming out of this years SXSW. Particular favourites of mine on this playlist are Palace, Jay Som, & Methyl Ethel. Let me know if you hear anything you think I should be listening to, and in the meantime, enjoy!

If you missed any previous Mixtapes you can find them here.

OMG Mixtape #005 Track-listing:

  1. Von Sell - Ivan (Revisited)
  2. Superbody - Patricia
  3. Estrons - Drop
  4. Palace - Have Faith
  5. Zipper Club - Breath
  6. Jay Som - Baybee
  7. Methyl Ethel - Ubu
  8. Findlay - Waste My Time
  9. Moses Gunn Collective - Shalala
  10. Sugar Candy Mountain - Windows

OMG Mixtape #004 by Oliver Craddock

As promised in last weeks blog, I've managed to get Mixtape #004 finished and online! It's a beautiful day and the mood of this playlist suits that. So I've raced to get it finished on what is likely the last day of summer for the UK. This mixtape got me through a road trip from Southampton last week with a terrible hangover. A few of these Ive been listening to for a while (Eat Fast, Hippo Campus), and finally some new material is out from Wavves. I'd not heard of Naked Giants before but its a beast of a riff to get things started. Till next time!

If you missed any previous Mixtapes you can find them here.

 

OMG Mixtape #004 Track-listing:

  1. Naked Giants - Ya Ya
  2. Porches - Car
  3. EAT FAST - Byker Drone
  4. Hippo Campus - Way It Goes
  5. Fake Laugh - Great Ideas
  6. Wavves - Daisy
  7. Her's - What Once Was
  8. Bed - Girl
  9. Dorsal Fins - Monday Tuesday
  10. Tiny Little Houses - You Tore Out My Heart

OliOMG wins Best in Graphic Design at the Creativepool Awards 2017 by Oliver Craddock

CP_Award.jpg

This week I picked up Best in Graphic Design at the Creativepool Awards 2017. To say Im delighted and over the moon would be an understatement! This is the first time I have ever won an award and it seems a fitting way to mark my 10th year as a Graphic Designer.

This year has been the busiest Ive ever had as Ive diversified from working in the Toy Industry to also the Live Entertainment Business. Which in a funny way is where I started. Those who know me will remember I started out making flyers and posters for my band using scissors, glue, and the 2p-a-sheet photocopier in Boots! A lot has changed since then, but to be recognised for your work amongst some of the biggest brands and agencies in the country when you are an entirely self taught freelancer, is all pretty mind blowing.

Still in the wrapper like a brand new iPhone. Its a designer thing.

Still in the wrapper like a brand new iPhone. Its a designer thing.

It would be wrong to sign off without mentioning a few people, so firstly if you voted for me then thank you very much. I have no idea if I won by public vote or judge's choice in the end, as my award and the book say something different! Also a big thanks to the client and everyone at Kilimanjaro Live for asking me to work on such a cool project, the patience and time they gave me, and for generally just being awesome. You can read about the inspiration and ideas that went into it all on Creativepool, but if you want the Peter Saville/Factory Records version of events you can always buy me a beer! Last but not least my family and my girlfriend for their belief and support. You cant not thank them when you win an award because "themz the rulez!".

Still in the wrapper like a new iPhone.
The winning project.

The winning project.

Before I disappear back to my new life of Limousines & Champagne (Im doing my accounts ugh), my good friend Oli Keane also picked up an award on the night for his work in Animation. I remember him showing me that project on his phone back in December and my eyes literally popped out of my head. His win is thoroughly deserved, and it made an already great night even better.

OMG Mixtape #003 by Oliver Craddock

It's been playing on my mind the last few weeks that I'm way behind in updating my blog with new Mixtapes. Things have been a little crazy work wise, but it certainly came to mind when putting together playlist #005 last night that I needed to put this one out there. Made during a time in February when it did nothing but rain, I think quite a lot of these songs reflect that.  A few of these bands are ones Ive been championing for a little while now too, so if you haven't checked any of them out already now is as good a time as any!

If you missed any previous Mixtapes you can find them here. Mixtape 004 will probably drop next week, until then! 

OMG Mixtape #003 Track-listing:

  1. Temples - Strange Or Be Forgotten
  2. Parcels - Hideout
  3. David Bazan - With You
  4. Soft Kill - From This Point on
  5. Shock Machine - Open up the Sky
  6. Roses - Accessory
  7. Misty Coast - Funny World
  8. Grandaddy - Evermore
  9. Soviet Soviet - Fairy Tale
  10. Julia Jacklin - Don't Let The Kids Win

OMG Mixtape #002 by Oliver Craddock

As my last mixtape proved quite popular I thought I'd make another one. Over the last two weeks I've taken a different approach to the music Ive listened to. OMG Mixtape 002 is loosely based around live performances in London. I went to see Get Inuit at The Lexington who not only sold it out, but put on a blistering performance to boot. Deerhoof are a band Ive always liked and they play the Village Underground the day after my birthday. Azusena was at The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch last week too. But we kick things off this time with Lowly, who I can't wait to see play The Victoria in May.

If you missed OMG Mixtape 001 fear not, you can find it here: http://www.oliomg.com/ohmyblog/omg001

Till next time!

OMG Mixtape #002 Track-listing:

  1. Lowly - S.W.I.M.
  2. Weaves - Tick
  3. Deerhoof - Risk Free
  4. Trudy and the Romance - Behave
  5. TOY - Another Dimension
  6. Azusena - Crosby
  7. Sam Cohen - The Garden
  8. WALL - Cuban Cigars
  9. Casey Mecija - The Otherside of Concrete
  10. Get Inuit - Barbiturates

The Secret to Steve Jobs Success by Oliver Craddock

And what all creatives can learn from it.

A little while ago I was going through some old Steve Jobs interviews on YouTube when I found one that stood out. The video involved one of his own developers insulting him on stage before a crowded room of people. In 1997, Apple ditched 7 years of work on something called "Open Docs" technology. This infuriated a lot of the people who had been working on it for a good deal of their life. After all, they believed in the platform and couldn't understand why it got cancelled.

The interview itself is pretty awkward. But Steve Jobs response is brilliant. He compares the situation to the first Laser Printer Apple developed. It was full of ground breaking technology for the time. Apple Talk & Adobe Post-Script software to name a few. But when Jobs first saw a print out he held it up and thought, "This is all we need".

Imagine the number of people who worked on creating that printer. On all the different technologies both hardware and software. The hours that went into it. Anyone in that industry would assume that those things combined would be enough to sell it. But Jobs thought otherwise. He knew that real people don't care about those types of things. He knew that all you needed to do was hold up a print out, and people would think "wow".

It may seem trivial to think about the printer now. But you can see the same thought process repeated across all the products he worked on. The iPhone being the obvious example. How many people who bought one actually cared how they'd made the screen the keyboard? Pinch to zoom, swipe to unlock. It just made sense. It felt like that's what phones should've been like all along.

There's a lot a designer can learn from the way Steve Jobs thought. Real people don't care about flat design, kerning or your use of a touch screen wacom tablet. Yes, of course those things are important to us. But sometimes we can lose sight of the bigger picture. We can overcomplicate it and forget that this is not about us and what we do.

Next time you sit down with a new brief have a think about what Steve Jobs said. Reverse the process. Think more like "This is how we'll sell it, now how do we make it?". Rather than "This is what we'll make, now how do we sell it?". If you always follow that trail of thought, how can you ever go wrong?

It's like Steve said, "You've got to start with the customer".

OMG Mixtape #001 by Oliver Craddock

Its January. Its grim. Its basically the longest Monday of the year. So to get me back into the creative flow I put together a few songs that Ive had buzzing round my headphones the last few weeks. OMG #001 is an eclectic mixtape of indie, alternative, electro and some bizarre 'metal meets synth'.

I've been labelled a bit of a "first follower" before now because I love nothing more than discovering new music and sharing it with people who I think might like it. Likewise I love it when somebody sends me something they think I might like too. So if you have anything you think I should be listening to send it my way!

OMG Mixtape #001 Track-listing:

  1. Wall of Death - For A Lover
  2. Be Forest - Glow
  3. TW Walsh - Public Radio
  4. Kevin Morby - I Have Been to the Mountain
  5. Three Trapped Tigers - Silent Earthling
  6. Hazel English - Control
  7. Pepe Deluxe - Go Girl Go
  8. Hoops - I'm Hurting
  9. Bruising - Honey
  10. Slowcoaches - We're so Heavy

New Years Resolutions for 2016 by Oliver Craddock

For one reason or another New Years resolutions are something I make each year and ultimately always stick to. In previous years I've promised I would learn to drive, go travelling, or improve on something work related, and each one Ive seen through without fail. Perhaps I see the start of a new year as a good time to review where I'd like to be in a years time, as it helps me positively shape the slump we all experience throughout January. If you struggle to stick to your resolutions I can only offer the following advice - only choose a few, and choose things that are realistic. If your resolution is to give up crisps or earn your first million, then it's not going to happen unless you barely eat crisps as it is or you're already part your way there to that first million. I also don't understand why anyone would focus on what they want to 'give up'. It's partly psychological, but if you want to give up junk food switch it round to say you want to eat better. Focus on something you want to achieve or start doing this year, its far more enjoyable. 

As for my resolutions, I always try to choose 3. So for the next year my resolutions are:

#1 To Learn Cinema 4D

My first Cinema 4D Render. This is actually a restaurant in Hong Kong, it translates as "Good fortune for your Mouth".

My first Cinema 4D Render. This is actually a restaurant in Hong Kong, it translates as "Good fortune for your Mouth".

Midway through 2013 I began to teach myself Autodesk Maya for 3D visualisation. Since then its served me well and I've taken on numerous new clients based on my 3D skills alone. Sadly however it seems the majority of clients in London are looking for Cinema 4D artists, or as one put it, "it's now the industry standard". Thankfully switching software is just a simple process of learning a new interface and new phrases, so this won't take me too long to do. I'll still use Maya for those who have no preference when it comes to visual effect.

#2 To Create a Product

They still make SNES games right?

They still make SNES games right?

Designers spend a lot of time working on, brainstorming, improving and in some cases adding to, other peoples ideas. It is after all the nature of the job and our creativity helps bring things to life. The odd paradox with all this, is that designers don't often focus on any ideas of their own. Last year I spent some time helping and encouraging my girlfriend to create some christmas cards. She's a talented illustrator, and her cards all but sold out. She's vowed to do more this year after the encouragement she got from sales, but it made me think maybe I should actually focus on bringing some of my own ideas to life too.

#3 To take a Creative Writing Course

Sadly this book title has already been taken.

Sadly this book title has already been taken.

I'm not really sure where this one came from? I haven't done any creative writing since my A-Levels! But recently I had a conversation about hobbies and interests and realised that all mine focus around art and design. There's nothing wrong with that, but I'm a firm believer in taking on new challenges to inspire and re-energise you. I also quite like the idea of learning about narrative and character development, which could come in useful for resolution #2. 

So yes! These are my New Years Resolutions for 2016. Watch this space, that book deal is coming soon. Have you chosen any resolutions this year? Let me know on social media or in the comments below. Here's to a good 2016!

Screen Print Workshop @ Print Club London by Oliver Craddock

As one part in “OliOMG’s never-ending quest for infinite knowledge (an occasional series)”, screen printing is something I’ve always wanted to do. As a self taught designer, I didn’t get the luxury of experimenting with different printing process’ and the such at University, so a few christmas’ ago, I asked for my own screen printing kit. It was great! I took it all out of the box, looked at it for a bit, and by boxing day it was all safely away at the bottom of a cupboard never to be seen again. It seems however that screen printing wasn’t taking this lying down. Fast forward a few christmas’ later and I’m presented with a voucher for a one day screen printing workshop at Print Club London. Awesome! And so…

…months pass. 11 months to be precise. In fact so much time passes my voucher runs out! Thankfully though, this didn’t seem to be a problem and after what seems like an eternity of time, I finally went. And what more can I say but just how brilliant it all was? Well, I could also say Im an idiot for leaving it so long! I had a great day and learnt a lot from how to put emulsion on a screen, exposing a print, using halftone effects for a one colour print, all the way up to using a squeegee and making a print! I took a logo in with me I had been working on a few months back, but people were getting some awesome results with photographs it made me wish Id perhaps tried something a little more complex. All in all though, I had a great day, and I’d highly recommend anyone giving it a go and also taking the workshop! I’m now off to see what happened to that kit I had for christmas… oh, and to also decorate my TV!