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Thursday, 7 May 2015

Savage Beauty: GarconJon meets The Next Generation

As part of my work with American Express around inspiration, I’ve identified three of London's most exciting new faces who embody the exciting creativity of Alexander McQueen in a number of different guises. The McQueen exhibition at V&A greatly influenced me, resulting in the Savage Beauty shoot from the Scottish Highlands, so now it's my turn to ask these gents what inspires them and drives them forward.

Chris Pollard, 26, Graphic Designer and Analogue Photographer

What led you to art? I’ve always been creative in some capacity, as a kid if I wasn’t doodling, building or making something, I was usually playing on Paint or trying to use design software. Luckily, my parents really embraced my creativity and were very supportive, taking me to galleries or giving me the resources I needed to develop. After school I went off to art college and it all just came together from there. Since then, I’ve wanted to learn and do as much as possible, be it graphics or photography.

What drives you? Without meaning to sound cliche, creativity itself is really what drives me. I get very restless if I’ve not got my head into a project, and find more often than not if I’m researching a concept, I will usually stumble upon something else of interest which will in turn go onto my long list of things to pursue.

Most exciting project to date? I’m torn between my first and most recent project. My first, a showcase for Savile Row at the V&A museum, was an interactive bespoke tailoring exhibition. I think both my creative partner and I can look back at that project proudly now, although at the time there were certainly a lot of nerves on top of the excitement.For my most recent project, in collaboration with a camera brand, I shot London Collection: men using their exciting new lens. The photos were showcased in a Soho Gallery space, which was my first solo show.

What's your biggest inspiration? I’m really interested in alternative print processes and historical photography at the moment. I love how much time and attention has gone into taking a single image. You can achieve such different results from a slight change in lighting, chemical reaction or composition. More generally, there’s so much content available online, lots of it through social media, that it's almost impossible not to find inspiration everywhere.

What's on the horizon for you? I think its going to be quite a hectic few months, my latest gallery will be moving to New York in July in time for NYFW Menswear. I’m still pursuing my Licentiate Award with the Royal Photographic Society in the near future, and of course I’m still graphic designing!

Follow Chris on Instagram at @cp_inallitsglory

Mark Livermore, 24, Visual Merchandise Manager

Tell us a bit about your passion for photography. Since working as a Visual, I’ve always been desirous for photography, appreciating the beauty of something simple, clean or textured. Working with clothes everyday, considering colours, fabrics and shapes influenced what I photograph. Magazines like Cereal and Kinfolk have always inspired me, not just for beautiful photographs but for settings and styling, both have a very distinctive style which I admire. I believe keeping it simple is key for capturing a beautiful picture.

How did you get into visuals in the fashion industry? Initially I had no interest in fashion, working in retail was just a job for money whilst I was studying. As I started to work with clothes more I gained an interest in outfit building and the visual aspect of inspiring someone. When I finished studying I decided I wanted to pursue a career in fashion. Working most recently with a fashion brand has inspired me to create a clear branded message. The minimalism of the brand has also influenced my lifestyle choices, what I wear, the places I visit and what I read.

What drives you? Working with positive people that love what they do keeps me focused and motivated. I’m a results-driven person, I’m aware of what I want to achieve and always seeking ways of progressing. Doing a good job and achieving the desired result is my primary motivation.

What’s your biggest inspiration? Visiting new places, meeting new people and experiencing new situations. As a kid I spent a lot of time on the south coast, it's the place where I'm most nostalgic, having a sense of clarity and serenity, a place where I like to observe. I’ve always found residents happier when living by the coast, especially Brighton where there is an eclectic mix of people. More so than anything else it's surroundings that inspire me, minimal spaces and effortless design. A few characters also spring to mind: David Lynch and Tilda Swinton not only inspire me by their art but also by their style.

What’s on the horizon for you? I’m currently working for a Swedish fashion brand as a Visual Merchandise Manager, however I will be leaving to pursue a career with an international luxury brand. I’m hoping to travel and expand with the company. In the future, I would like to continue to work on new projects with influencers that will help me evolve, and hopefully I'll take a hand in inspiring others too.

Follow Mark on Instagram at @MarkLivermore  

Craig McGinlay, 29, Actor 

How did you get into acting? It's a long story. I was working as a Sports Scientist, Coach and Sports Massage Therapist for the Commonwealth Games and they were filming an advert for the Games. They used athletes I had trained for the likes of swimming, boxing, cycling and judo, then when casting the weightlifter couldn't find someone with the right look. When they asked if I would step in and be the weightlifter for the ad, I did it. I was over the moon having not done any modelling or acting before. To be in involved in my home city Commonwealth Games ad was very exciting and an honour for me. From this I got signed to modelling agencies across Europe and shot various campaigns in London and New York.

Where did you get your first big break? A director contacted me last year saying he loved my look for the lead role in a short film he was directing and asked if could I act. My response was, "let me try" so I went along to this audition and was thankfully offered the lead role!

Best job to date? In September 2014 I went along to a casting for what I was told was a major whisky brand. I had no idea who was featured in the ad until I was offered a recall audition in London where I learnt that Guy Ritchie was directing and David Beckham was featured in the ad. To cut a long story short, I was offered one of the spots on the ad. Without a doubt working with Guy on a couple of different projects are the biggest achievements of my career thus far and I would welcome in a heartbeat any future opportunities to work with Guy and his team again. I cannot thank them enough for giving me the opportunity.

What drives you? I get excited about stepping onto set and going to work everyday is an absolute pleasure. I am driven to continue to develop my skills, learn, and progress as far as I can as an actor. I am aware that I have a long way to go but I am more than willing to continue to put the work in and I am dedicated to making acting my career.

Who's your biggest inspiration? Christopher Reeve was a huge inspiration for me growing up both on and off screen. He was Superman on screen but also an inspirational hero off screen. Acting wise and his approach to life is truly inspirational. An all round great man. May he rest in peace.

What's on the horizon for you? There are a couple of potential movie roles coming up for me once I finish filming the project I am on at the moment. I will be meeting directors in the coming weeks and months with regards to these projects, however my head is fully focused on performing well for the director I am working for at the moment on his project and I am enjoying every second of it. All top secret, very exciting stuff.

Follow Craig on Instagram @CraigMcGinlay