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For over 20 years, Sid Lee Collective has been a creative incubator that helps fund, produce and exhibit the passion projects of Sid Lee employees and their collaborators. No matter the day job, we believe that everyone benefits when we empower people to create what matters. 

 

Sid Lee Collective Blog is devoted to sharing our collaborations, creative projects, interesting profiles and invitations to exclusive events. Content and creative direction comes from the Sid Lee offices in Montreal, Toronto, Paris, LA and NYC.

 

If you have a collaboration in mind or a story that should be told, drop us a line.

Sid Lee Collective is also an active member of C2 Montréal, the largest innovation conference in the world.

Profiles
Coral Garvey: Creative Sparks and Sponges
August 31, 2016
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From Apple to Adidas, award-winning “creative human” Coral Garvey has worn many perfectly-designed hats while working on some of the world’s best known brands. Her work is smart, bold and best categorized as hard to categorize. It’s one of the reason why she’s worked with our offices in both New York and Paris.

We caught up with her recently to talk about creative inspirations, Arnold Schwarzenegger, bourbon, passion projects and whole host of subjects that, on first glance, don’t seem to fit together…

Q:

Who are you and what do you do?

A:

I am a creative human that focuses on design aesthetics.

Q:

Where and when did you learn the most about your craft?

A:

I couldn’t pinpoint the exact moment or location, I believe that all of my experiences have given me a great opportunity to learn and grow. I think the moments I learned the most was when I was pushed into something I actually didn’t know how to do, but faked it instead. Being terrified is a great way to learn.

Q:

How did you come to the world of advertising? 

A:

After graduating Pratt, I landed in the packaging design department at Apple in Cupertino. There, I had the opportunity to really understand what made this leading company successful; it had such a respect for design. Here, I worked with friends in other departments, such as retail and worked on graphics for in-store and point of sale collateral. 

Q:

How big an impact has the city of New York had on your work?

A:

New York City is hands down the best city in the world for being a young creative. I was like a sponge, soaking up everything the city and the people had to offer. This changed me drastically as a creative, opening my eyes to music, design, art, and my drive to “make it” there.

Q:

What are you working on next?

A:

I’m currently wrapping a project with Adidas, which is set to launch in two weeks globally. The teasers are out now, and the concept of the campaign is to be Mentally Strong. My partner Andrea Gustafson and I found it particularly interesting for a sports brand to speak about not just being physically strong, but having the motivation/willpower and focus to be a top athlete, which is how we came up with the “Find Focus” campaign.

Q:

What’s your connection to Sid Lee?

A:

I actually was part of the start up team in New York City, when they first opened their doors on Hudson years ago. It was a ragtag uber talented crew of people, working bare bones in an empty office for months. I also have had the luxury to work with the Paris office, collaborating on a few fun projects with Sylvain Thirache the executive creative officer and his amazing team.

Photo by Michael Seamans
Q:

When you were a kid did you have a creative inspiration?

A:

Hmm.. I guess I would say in life, Bridget Nielsen and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film Red Sonja - their badass take on life was aspiring, as well as their outfits. As for artistic inspiration, I would say children’s illustrator Tomie DePaola. I had the opportunity to visit his studio when I was very young, and he had a studio I would have died for. So organized, stacks of white paper, all various weights and shades, all filed away, waiting to be drawn on. Hundred of paint brushes in clear jars lined up in rows, beautiful markers all in their order, every color of paint you could imagine. All very neat, very unlike how I work today. He also had a bangin Swatch watch collection, all hung up neatly on a gigantic display wall.

Q:

How did you express yourself creatively growing up?

A:

I drew a lot, hours on at a time. Completely focused. I also got in a fair bit of trouble...

Q:

Did you have family members or close friends in creative fields?

A:

My sister is very creative but in a different way. My father was a lawyer and my mom a community organizer, but in reality I had no idea about advertising or design, or the fact that you could be creative as a career. I only really knew I was going to create, be an artist, even if that meant I was going to perhaps starve.

Q:

Have you have any particularly impactful failures?

A:

So many! From art school critics, to your ideas dying, to f*cking up at work, to getting fired, it was all painful but worth it in the end. I would say no regrets, you grow from the bad too.

Q:

What challenges are specific to building a career in the creative fields?

A:

Being humble. I think a lot of people compare themselves to one another, and with that comes ego, and pride. You need to be able to accept failure, and learn from it, rather than push people away and think you’re always right.

Q:

Who inspires you the most?

A:

A lot of people inspire me, family, coworkers, friends, enemies, but I would say I’m pretty inspired by Alexander Von Humbodlt at the moment. I’m currently reading a book about him, “The Invention of Nature” and I very much have a crush on him.

Q:

What project have you seen recently that you wish you’d been involved in?

A:

I just saw the new Kenzo spot blow up from Spike Jonze, and it was a fun piece. I’ve loved the Kenzo/Toilet Paper collab and would love to get more into the sci fi weird film side of the industry.

Q:

What are your current passion projects?

A:

I launched my own brand of leather accessories and jewelry pieces called Garvey Studios last year and have been ramping up for a launch end of September in Berlin.

Our favorite Mid-Summer Mix and Match!

Une photo publiée par Garvey Studios (@garveystudios) le

Q:

For you, what’s the perfect recipe for collaboration?

A:

Good people willing to get weird.

Q:

How does collaboration make you a better creative?

A:

Having an alternate view-point is always a good thing, one thing sparks off another and another and then all of a sudden it’s a beautiful exquisite corpse, or a steaming pile of sh*t, either way you learn to understand one from the other through collaboration.

Q:

Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with someday?

A:

Maurizio Cattelan!

Q:

What music do you listen to when you’ve got creative work to do?

A:

Depends on my mood, I listen to anything from Rihanna to Pantera, to Marley to Migos. I also like listening to Family Guy/Rick and Morty or any Sci Fi movie while I work. 

Q:

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?

A:

When I was younger, living in the Caribbean, my family and a bunch of friends would take a boat out to a little island off the coast of Anguilla to BBQ. My Uncle would spear red snapper, and we dig a large coal pit in the sand, throw the cleaned fish and vegetables on the coals and cover the whole thing with palm leaves. That was probably the best meal I’ve ever had.

Q:

Your favorite drink?

A:

A shot of bourbon.

Written by Brendan Murphy

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