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The Essential List: Barbara Humphries

Advertising Agency
Sydney, Australia
The award-winning The Monkeys CD on trips to Paris, the joys of cheese and sociopath cats

Barbara is a multi award-winning Creative Director with The Monkeys in Sydney. Her work has been recognised at D&AD, Clios, One Show, Webbys and New York Festivals amongst others.

Since joining The Monkeys, the agency has won Australian Agency of the Year eight times across four National and APAC shows.

She is also passionate about nurturing young creative talent, having worked as a tutor at AWARD and also taught at See Soar Do, a creative technology course for high school girls.

In her Essential List, cheese and Paris feature strongly… 


o Place of birth: Sydney.
o Hometown: Melbourne.
o Staycation: A walk in a national park out of Sydney.

o Vacation: Italy, France or anywhere with old buildings and beaches.
o Pet: A sociopath cat.
o Place of work: The Monkeys in Surry Hills.
o Place of workout: Yoga studio (mainly for the morning encouragement).
o Side project: Calling half-finished paintings and drawings side projects.
o Mode of transport: Ubers or walking.
o Bonus travel essential: Band aids for blisters.


o Artist: Calder, Basquiat, Henry Moore, Euan Uglow
o Musician: Can’t choose! Renewed appreciation for Aretha having just seen Amazing Grace. Also the clothing is incredible.

o Commercials / music video director: Spike Jonze, Jonathan Glazer, Kim Gehrig.
o Film director: Alfonso Cuaron.
o Photographer: William Eggleston (first below), Vivianne Sassen (second below), Guy Bourdin.

o Film: Paris Texas or Věra Chytilová’s Sedmikrásky (Daisies).

o Series: Simpsons.
o Commercial: Jonathan Glazer’s Polo spot.

o Music video: Thriller.
o Board game: Not technically a board game but Rummy Tiles.
o Book: Eloise, a kid’s book from the '50s written for adults, or Old Man and The Sea for just a great story.
o Podcast: The Daily.
o Newspaper (off or online): New York Times.
o Magazine: Love Want.

Food and Drink

o Breakfast: Boiled eggs and black coffee.
o Restaurant: Alberto’s Lounge.
o Cheap bite: Ramen.
o Working lunch: Uber Eats.
o Favourite dish: Something eaten on holiday that I’ll never be able to recreate in a million years.
o Signature dish: Wine.
o Snack: Fruit or cheese.
o Guilty pleasure: Good cheese.
o Bar: Clown Bar in Paris.

Credit: Clown Bar

o Booze: G&T. Or a nice wine.
o Not booze: Water or coffee.
o Bonus food: Good American BBQ.


o Phone: iPhone.
o Computer: MacBook Air.
o Headphones: Bose.
o Camera: A Yashica T5 thanks to a generous friend. (Hi Michael!)
o Pen / pencil: Artline / 2B.
o Where you document an idea: iPhone notes, notebook.
o Casual clothing: Jeans and a sweater.
o Smart clothing: Something ironed.
o Footwear: Boots and sneakers.
o Watch: NA.
o Collection: Prints and pictures.
o App: Instagram.
o Favourite social media feed: Brown Cardigan or anything with brilliance like this.

o Work program: Google Docs.
o Digital work tool: Photoshop.
o Analogue work tool: Pencil.
o Morning grooming / makeup essential: C.E.O Glow. (If only.)