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Meet a Creator - Joshua Radford 


Introducing Joshua Radford - Creative, Interactive Producer, Surfer, Hnry user! 


 Josh has recently moved home to New Zealand from Amsterdam. We had the pleasure of catching up with him about the near future, family and lifestyle, tips on becoming a producer, and surfing!  Josh has worked all over the world with some of the biggest brand campaigns and events. His talent has generated some of the best interactive content which has induced a very successful career and lifestyle. 


Chatting day job business with Business Director Nick Piper


First things first - what inspired you to become an interactive producer?

I was quite methodical about getting into Producing to be honest. I wanted to get out of New Zealand and see the big bad world. At the same time I wanted to make the shift away from hospitality and into something closer to what I considered a ‘creative scene’ (not to say there aren't endless creative opportunities in Hospitality) but I was on track to become a career hospo management guy and that wasn’t my thing. I gambled that I could spin my skills into something resembling a digital producer. So I chatted with people I knew who were in the scene in London and when I arrived in Amsterdam I found strangers and tricked them into teaching me all of their tricks. I prepared a CV and then networked till I got an opportunity to interview at a design studio that I thought was impressive. It worked out. The digital project management quickly morphed into physical/digital interactive work. I naturally leaned into the physical side of things more than the digital as it was more intuitive to me creatively and I had more to add to a team environment when everyone was outside their comfort zone. It also meant less time in front of a screen and more time out of the office talking to people and making physical things.


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 Maison Margiela Co-Ed AW20, Paris fashion week:  Empty set photography prior to runway show


Tell us about your time in Europe working for some of the world's biggest brands? 

I couldn’t have landed in a better spot if I tried with Random Studio, an edgy, experimental creative studio in Amsterdam who wanted to combine creative technology and art for experiential storytelling. They had a culture of working with talented freelancers and artists from all disciplines which I loved and became a driver of. We picked the market pretty well moving away from online experiences and into the physical world which set us up as a specialist in a niche space for fashion retail and forward thinking brands who were looking for innovative use of technology to explore storytelling. Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Nike Labs, New Balance, Bottega Veneta, Raf Simons, Fred Perry, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Chloe, Maison Margiela and BMW were some of the big names which took me all over the world on projects, ie New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Milan, Seoul, Rio, Shanghai and Beijing. If you’re into that kind of thing it was as dreamy and stressful as it sounds. 


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 Perpetuum, NYC: An art piece for BMW in their Brooklyn ADO space. A meditative abstraction of a city in perpetual motion


Tell us about your background/experience, and how this has helped your success.

My work experience following university went > Aggressive Sales (Wolf of Wall street style but for software and with less money) > Marketing Manager for a Design Hotel > Digital Producer > Interactive Producer. I think the time I spent being a gross aggressive salesman showed me how you could really manipulate situations to work in your favor if you had grit and a bit of imagination. If you understand how the unofficial decision making process works within any group or organisation then you have a good shot at navigating any roadblocks that need reshaping. If you use these powers for good (ie helping good ideas see the light of day) and prioritise caring for the people you work with, and take responsibility for decisions you make, then good things seem to happen. 


I hear that you and your family live in an eco apartment? What's that like? 

It’s great, an amazing kiwi couple built a great apartment building to improve the rental market in Auckland. I live in a huge new apartment, with a shared industrial laundry, shared gardens, shared roof top, great insulation, heaps of storage, shared electric vehicle, great recycling and composting system, low bills and good people. 


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 Raf Simons for Calvin Klein FW18, NYC Stock exchange: Behind the scenes prior to runway show


What is one piece of advice you would give an up-and-coming creative? 

I’m pretty careful about shelling out advice (and I'm even more careful about allowing myself to be called a creative). I’m involved with creative people for sure, and I definitely get stuck into shaping ideas. What works for me is taking responsibility for an idea from beginning to end, no excuses! Identify the excuses and make them go away. Don’t ever allow a person or a situation to force your hand on something you don’t think is good. Everyone else will eventually catch up and you’ll wish you’d found the energy to help them see things your way. Or in the process, someone might change your mind and teach you a new better way which is just as good. No ego. Also find people that are worth being in the trenches with and get in the trenches with them. 


You are an avid user of Hnry. How has it had an influence on you as a freelancer? What do you think of it? What made you decide to give Hnry a try?

I love it, for real. It takes away my inherent fear of not knowing what I don’t know. It saves me buckets of time and I can be sure I’m expensing legitimate things while at the same time paying my fair share of taxes (which I’m a big fan of having lived in Amsterdam). My taxes are sorted without me even thinking about it, so it's really made my switch to freelancing on return to NZ instantaneous. I needed an easy to follow tool to help me keep multiple work streams managed and somewhere I could ask unlimited stupid questions.  


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 Raf Simons SS18, Paris fashion week: Digital content production


If you could pick, what three people/brands in the world would you choose to work with?

I’ve already worked on some brands that are arguably at the top of their game. To me, really good brands are often the result of dedicated people identifying and working with even better people for limited periods of time while their objectives align, which has an impact for someone paying attention. I want to work with talented people who like to laugh, only have half the answers, and want someone to climb a weird tree with. 


When using Sharedspace to find your shoot locations. What do you look for? 

It’s all project dependent for me which is why Sharedspace is so perfect. With its large variety of shoot locations (from brutal to high end), the meeting and office spaces with endless locations both large and small, cheap and fast with low admin. It's a very helpful tool in my life and business! 


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 Raf Simons AW18, Paris fashion week: Behind the scenes prior to runway show


Can you describe your life outside of work? Especially surfing. 

I have a 2 year old daughter with a second one on the way so I spend a lot of time trying to trick her into loving my interests. It tends to be beach, boating, comfort food or friends related. Surfing got a bit of a back seat in Amsterdam over the last decade as the North Sea isn’t too consistent, but I tried to take advantage of Europe with the odd Ericeira, Hossegor, Biarritz surf trip. I’m trying to make up for lost time and a lack of natural talent now that I’m back in NZ. The back and hips are pretty sore these days but I’ve had some of the best surfs of my life in the last few weeks. Can’t beat NZ.


And finally, what are your essential tips for boosting creativity? 

For me, it’s constantly collaborating and seeking a wide range of input. Fill your life with projects and people of all different kinds for all different reasons. Sponge up learnings from everywhere you can and do a lot of listening. 


Find out more about Hnry here.


Enjoyed this article? Read our People Behind the Space feature with Meredith and James from The Settlement - Wellington.

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