Posted by Nixon
15 July, 2022

Summer’s here, and with it comes an assortment of inspiration, from home and away.


This month I attended the Collision conference in Toronto alongside Cornwall Trade & Investment and several other brilliant Cornwall-based businesses. It was an amazing opportunity to learn about new trends in design, tech and branding, and one standout keynote session I enjoyed was led by Brian Collins of award-winning NY-based design agency, COLLINS

His energy, enthusiasm and bold creativity were inspiring and I’ve since explored further online content, which distills his approach to creativity into bite-sized clips. Check out these 3 Minutes Of Pure Branding Gold by Brian Collins, collated by The Futur (which also hosts a wealth of great creative content and business resources).


Obviously every parent is beyond proud of their offspring, and Emily and I are no exception. Our oldest son George has always been wildly creative from an early age, but despite our telling him that he should head to art school, he decided to study politics... 

Happily, thanks to the pandemic and a change of heart due to despair at the state of our political system, he finally recognised his love of communication and the need to fulfil a creative path. Now working as lead creative for creative agency Hell Yeah, during his spare time he’s recently co-directed the video for Hurricane, the latest release from After London, and when not behind the camera, played the part of the getaway driver.

If there ever was an example of someone having the bravery to switch careers this is it, so if you’re a creative soul, follow your star!


As someone who loves to read, I thought the Penguin Cover Design Awards were an interesting idea. I’ve always found there is a power to the design of a book cover, and I am automatically drawn to covers I find aesthetically pleasing when pursuing a bookshop, and it informs whether I want to read a book or not. This is a clever area of design that’s potentially overlooked in the day-to-day of visuals we’re exposed to.


Flower pressing seems to be all the rage at the moment, and seeing articles like this one in the Daily Telegraph has inspired me to dig out my press and give it a go. And really, when better to try this age-old hobby than in summer, when there are so many leaves and flowers to preserve? I’ve been experimenting with some of the things in my garden, and finding which come out best (forget-me-nots get my vote), and which are better left (sea pinks). I definitely don’t have the knack of presenting the end result artistically, so until I master this, I’ll be looking at accounts like @theprintedpaige and @flame.and.flora to see how it’s done.


This year I was lucky enough to attend the Glastonbury festival and was really taken aback by the political and inspirational speeches I saw within the music performances. 

Many acts were speaking against the end of Roe v. Wade in the US, the Ukraine war and global warming. Listening to Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s speech before The Libertines was so moving and humbling. I would definitely recommend watching Glastonbury back, not only for the music, but for the speeches we all should be hearing.


We have recently returned from a two-week holiday in North Wales, where there’s so much to do in such beautiful surroundings. We were lucky enough to stay in Snowdonia National Park, which is a stunning place with striking scenery and epic peaks: pure escapism.
We had a fantastic time visiting the National Slate Museum in Llanberis, which is a wonderful and informative acknowledgement to the quarrymen who worked so hard to extract and split the slate so that it could be shipped around the world. Our daughter (who’s two and a half) especially enjoyed the train ride around Llyn Padarn. All of this and more at the foot of magnificent Mount Snowdon: it was just breathtaking.
We also visited Sygun Copper Mine, which was a great find. Just a short walk out of the village of Beddgelert, it was lovely to be able to walk the mining trails and see the conditions these men worked in.
North Wales is so much more than just a walking location; there’s a lot to learn too! We’ll definitely be back again soon.


I was really interested to see the new Cathedral City rebrand by BrandOpus. I love the influences from screen-printed illustration and sign painting; it’s definitely something that would resonate with me personally when purchasing a product. Interestingly, until reading up about the rebrand, I didn’t know the cheese was actually made in Cornwall, despite the fact that I’ve been purchasing it for years. It makes me wonder how many other products I buy that are made in this part of the world without me actually realising, and whether brands are choosing to not shout about their Cornish roots, or whether the message simply gets lost in amongst all the items you have to add on packaging.


I saw this video the other day, offering an insight into the world of Japanese capsule toys (Gashapon) from design concept to creation. I thought it was really interesting – especially the sculpting and hand painting.


After a hiatus that seemed to last forever, Falmouth University students finely managed to have a third-year show in post-Covid times. To be back amongst a room full of creative talent, beers and Dawn French (weirdly), felt very much like old times. For the past year or so, I've been running mentoring workshops with some of the students, so to see it all come together almost brought a tear to my eye!


The American pharmaceutical industry is something that seems criminal to me, having grown up with affordable medication. The last thing you want to think about when you are unwell is: how am I going to pay for this? It makes me feel incredibly grateful for the healthcare system we have in the UK.

Interestingly, Mark Cuban from the TV show Shark Tank (the American version of Dragons’ Den) has launched a low-cost pharmaceutical company, named Cost Plus, which basically works by cutting out health insurance companies. Customers buy through directly Cost Plus and it can save them up to 10x the cost of the medication. This video explains it in more detail.


Out here on the farm, I am blessed with space to grow stuff, so we have planted a wildflower bank, which not only looks gorgeous but attracts many bees. We also have a greenhouse and some raised beds, in which I’m attempting to grow vegetables, including many that are probably not common to Bodmin Moor!