In this edition of Workflow, we have Ryan Cooper Henniker, Senior Global Brand & Cultural Communications Partner at LEGO, talking about creating a workspace to inspire his creativity.
Describe what you do: In its entirety, my role is all about developing and driving visibility of the LEGO Group brand versus individual product lines. Due to the sheer scale of the business, it’s vital that every portal, output and campaign ladders up to the same vision and mission. One example would be my involvement in the launch of the first brand campaign platform from LEGO Group at the end of 2019 #REBUILDTHEWORLD.
So, that’s the brand side, on the cultural front – I work across the business to ensure that our campaigns are culturally and tonally relevant. This is to ensure that we are communicating to our audience in an engaging way at the right time. This includes: what talent to partner with, sourcing cultural outliers / creatives, agency partnerships and social and political listening.
The other work I am dedicated to is my non-profit WAMU, which released its first docu-short last year. The organisation is dedicated to championing those of mixed-race heritage.
The lockdown has provided an opportunity to really spend time scoping out what the next 3-5 years look like, which will include the launch of the WAMUTV channel on youtube this year and a partnership we have now agreed with a Brazil-based partner!
How do you like your coffee: Yuk! I am strictly a herbal tea drinker.
Device(s) you use: All of them, iPhone, iPad, Laptop, Kindle. Although, at heart I am a low tech guy! If I could work with a Nokia 8210 or Motorola Flip phone and a filo fax, I would be in heaven!
Describe your working style in one sentence: A former colleague of mine once said “Ryan, you work best under pressure”. Whilst that’s not sustainable, I have come to realise that I like bursts of activity and then back into planning mode. I think that way of working is a just a remnant of my 12 years in agency world, where it is a constant cycle of fire and ice.
What does your workspace look like: Right now, it looks like 1960s phycologist’s waiting room – with a whippet! Which is the look we’re going for, as it creates a sense of comfort. Lots of plants, too many plants actually, and then books, magazines and graphic novels. I am currently making my way through Shigeru Mizuki’s Kitaro Yokai Battle.
How does your workspace affect your creative process: If somebody tells you that they have an original idea, they are LYING! We are all inspired by the work of others, it’s how we interpret and evolve the concept that matters. For me, being at home and surrounded by the work of my favourite curators, artists, designers and poets not only inspires me, but allows me to reference my creativity.
Do you have a favourite playlist for work: To quote Sister Mary Clarence (Sister Act), “I am an eclectic”. I will always start the day with a bit of 80s synth, Ska or reggae, then into folky trip hop and then electro space. Then, like clockwork, I tend to finish off the day with old skool house, garage and drum and bass.
At the moment, I am listening to a lot of MorMor, Burial and a new reggae artist Koffee from Jamaica – ‘Toast’ is one of my summer anthems!
Who would you like to nominate for the next workflow interview: Eric Down, Fashion Editor of Mens Health
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