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"I Like Being on the Border of Art and Advertising"



The Mill Chicago creative director Bradon Webb delves into his path from art to advertising and how experimentation leads to solution

"I Like Being on the Border of Art and Advertising"

Bradon Webb works at the intersection of art and technology. Moving into the advertising world has given him an eye for critical thinking.

Here, Bradon gives an insight into his career. 

Q> Why did you decide to make the move to your new company?

Bradon> The experience of working with a top tier large company known for creating world-class content with offices in multiple cities and a large staff of specialists to draw from.

Q> What is it about the team there that clicks for you?

Bradon> It’s a new department that we are starting here in Chicago so there is an opportunity to bring on new team members from the ground up. That being said we will collaborate with all the artists in the studio in different departments and everyone is very passionate about their craft. 

Q> How did you first get in the industry? What was your very first job in the industry?

Bradon> I backed my way into this industry from the art world with a fine arts degree at the Kansas City Art Institute. I studied new media + installation art and was fortunate to have my first professional experience at MK12. They were pioneers who also used their creative arts background to define the motion graphic industry as we know it. 

Q> Where did you learn your craft (film school? Mentored as a runner? Self taught?)

Bradon> I learned critical thinking and the ability to discuss, collaborate, and critique work in school, where I also honed my leadership skills and self-starter attitude. I developed most other techniques on the job or while exploring personal projects after hours or sometimes taking online classes. I have been lucky to have worked with some great individuals who have shared their knowledge and set me up on a path for success.

Q> Before doing what you do now, did you work in any other field/ have any different career path?

Bradon> I’ve been working in the creative industry pretty much as long as I have been working. I’ve always liked the fields of math, science and music. If I wasn’t doing this then maybe something else in those areas.  

Q> And which creative talents in your field have inspired you in your own career?

Bradon> Matt Daly, Adam Berg, David Braun, Refik Anadol, Zach Lieberman, Vincent Houze, & Marpi, Elburz Sorkhabi, Mike Walzac.

Q> What was your first creative milestone in the industry – the project you worked on that you were super proud of?

Bradon> Amon Tobin Isam World Tour 2011, a first of its kind projection mapping concert experience. We rendered cinematic visuals that played out on a dimensional stage creating holographic illusions and real time effects that were audio reactive. I have been a long time fan of Amon Tobin and it was an honor to help bring this project to life. It established our studio, Leviathan, and V Squared Labs as early pioneers in the field of projection mapping and experience design. 

Q> And what recent projects are you proudest of and why?

Bradon> I created an art data visualisation installation at the Dolby Laboratories gallery in downtown San Francisco. It’s significant for me because not only did I concept and design this piece from scratch but also programmed a significant chunk of it. It’s great to find opportunities where you can have a lot of ownership and control. This installation expressed a lot of ideas I’ve had about process, art, design, and color theory. I like being on the border of Art and Advertising where you can’t really pigeon hole it into one or the other. Digital or physical works that beautify spaces and tell stories are the ones I am most proud of. 

Q> Do you have any personal or side projects on the go? What is it, what inspired it and why is it important to you? 

Bradon> I’ve always got small exercises kicking around in the back of my head. I like to find expressions of unseen forces or using data in beautiful ways. I try to make my professional work scratch my creative itch and be as meaningful as I can make it.  Lots of these small exercises will eventually make their way into professional projects at some point. 

Q> What really drives you creatively?

Bradon> Installations in physical spaces, Interactivity, real-time rendering, data & color, abstraction.

Q> What are the aspects of your work that you really obsess over?

Bradon> It’s different for every project, contextual and case by case. I like to get into process and preparation quite a bit in order to design systems and efficient workflows. I ask myself the question; What's the one thing I can do to make everything else easier and streamline the workflow? 

Q> How would you describe your approach to your work?

Bradon> Starts with a ton of research, experimentation, and trial and error. Broadly, then slowly, we move toward a refined solution. 

Q> When it comes to enjoying the creativity of others, what sort of thing excites and inspires you?

Bradon> Abstraction, Music, Interactivity, Festivals and Installations

Q> Outside of work, what are you passionate about?

Bradon> Cider making, Yoga, Biking, Traveling

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Mill Chicago, Mon, 27 Apr 2020 10:43:19 GMT