Rich Hingley is Group Creative Director at drp, a creative communications agency. We caught up with him to find out about a day in his life, why risk aversion is the nemesis of creativity, why he’s open to inspiration from anywhere, and why running is better than the internet…
(If you’re looking for a change of role, don’t forget to check the Econsultancy jobs board).
Econsultancy: Please describe your job: What do you do?
Rich Hingley: I’m the Group Creative Director, responsible for leading the company and our entire team in delivering creative solutions that are of high value to our client’s organisations.
E: Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
RH: I sit on the group board, reporting to the Group CEO.
E: What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
RH: The ability to inspire meaningful conversations by challenging past experiences (doing the same), current perceptions (assumptions) and future concerns (can’t be done).
Having an ‘always on’ mentality; understanding creative inspiration constantly surrounds you and comes from anywhere and everywhere.
And never giving up. There is always a way. You need to be driven by a desire to ‘solve’ problems, not just to ‘talk’ about them.
You have to be a risk-taker. The nemesis of creativity is an aversion to risk, but like enemies they’re best kept close.
E: Tell us about a typical working day…
RH: In truth, I don’t have one. I have no set working hours or days and don’t have a desire for it either. Each day is driven by a different set of challenges which are the motivation that encourages me to do my best work.
I do believe that if you have a 9-5 job, you need to make room for creativity in your daily life. Whether that’s going for a run (which definitely helps me) or taking some time out and sit somewhere – it is a must. A typical working day should always allow for creativity and a chance to unleash your thoughts.
E: What do you love about your job? What sucks?
RH: I love the challenge. Without that, I really have nothing to feed off. It’s the fuel to my fire driven by my desire to succeed.
The thing that sucks for me is the people that have the ability to seemingly ‘suck’ the creativity right out of the room. Why bother even getting up in the morning?!
E: What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
RH: I have one metric – if a client comes back, then what we are doing is working.
E: What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
RH: I’ve done my job without the internet. How did I do it?
Running – I’ve yet to return without at least one good idea from a run.
E: How did you end up in this role, and where might you go from here?
RH: I began in theatre design, but moved to study in graphic design and animation. It opened up a whole world of opportunity for creativity within the experience driven industry I now work. drp was a small business and gave me access to drive my own career doing what I loved and it hasn’t stopped since that day.
Looking forward, the opportunities are as great, if not greater, than I first began. We are a fast-growing agency with an ever-expanding skill set and client base. I’m excited as much about what we have planned as I am about what we don’t know yet what to plan for!
E: Which recent work do you admire?
RH: There are far too many to mention, but what I admire most is seeing a project created using what already exists in a different more innovative way than ever before. To me, that is true creativity.
E: Do you have any advice for people who want to become a creative director?
RH: Remove the blinkers. We all have them; it’s just that some of us work harder than others to pull them aside. The greatest creative directors are open to the unexpected, welcoming of the unconventional and excited by the unknown.
Re-read our previous Day in the Life features with creative types: