The Creative Essentials of Leo Burnett London Creative Director, Andrew Long
Sketch pads, picture books, and online games are just a few things that keep him inspired and (productively) distracted at home.
World-class creative harkens to human truths—simple insights that make the work impactful and connective. But when we’re all separated while WFH, keeping that human connection front and center takes a bit of work.
Meet Andrew Long, creative director at Leo Burnett London and the mind behind some well-known and definitely well-loved campaigns. For Andrew, keeping connected can also mean finding moments to disconnect, seeking inspiration from outside sources be that podcasts, interior design, or Fall Guys gameplay.
Take a look at what creative essentials help him stay keen and (dis)connected.
“Any normal time, the kitchen table wouldn’t have been worth noting for anything other than the surface I took a photo on—but obviously this isn’t a normal year. And so, this isn’t just a kitchen table anymore. It’s my office, it’s my break room, it’s where I eat, where I play with my son, it’s for everything really. I like to have a big space so I can fill it with my stuff and won’t have to move around too much. Natural light and a view outside keeps me feeling positive and I tend to keep plants around. If you’re going to spend an extended amount of time in one place, it should be a place you enjoy.”
“Don’t judge the handwriting, or the terrible sketches. I use a notepad all the time, for everything. My sketchpad is a place to keep all of my messy thoughts. I keep it this way so that the nice, neat thoughts are the ones people see in our work.”
“My favorite types of books are the ones with pictures, mostly. Creativity sparks when looking at photography, fashion, architecture, and yes, even interior design books. I usually pick a bunch each week from my mini library and put them on the table. They serve a dual purpose—I’ll flick through them for a distraction, or inspiration. Alternatively, they do a good job of propping up my laptop for video calls. I’ve finally found an angle that compliments my Zoom-face.”
“I’m obsessed—I listen to everything. It can be a topic that I’m interested in, ones that I don’t think I should be interested in, and everything else in-between. Taking a look at my phone, the last 5 things I listened to were:
• “Grounded” by Louis Theroux
• “Wolf & Owl” by Tom Davies and Romesh Ranganathan
• “Telling Everybody Everything” by Katherine Ryan
• “How To Fail With Elizabeth Day” by Elizabeth Day
• “Casefile” by an Australian man who remains anonymous (don’t tell anybody about that last one, it’s my guilty pleasure.)”
“One of the perks about #WFH is there are more ways to switch off for a second. I’ve taken to playing online video games. It lasts about 10 minutes each time, short enough to play before I realize getting beaten at Fall Guys or Warzone by people 20 years younger than me isn’t the most therapeutic way to take a break. I’ll win next time, is what I tell myself, looking forward to my next break.”