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:

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!