James is also a dedicated husband and father, a budding chef (and a reluctant healthy eater), a lover of all things sci-fi, and a perennially frustrated Arsenal fan…
‘I’m responsible for getting to know our clients – their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges, and what motivates them. By building relationships with them, showing an intimate understanding of their businesses, and being the primary project contact, I talk with clients past and present regularly. Often it’s to share thoughts on creative, operational and strategic aspects of their business, but sometimes it’s simply to touch base and have a chat. I believe in keeping lines of communication open.
I’m experienced in leading branding and digital projects from start to finish, and overseeing workshops and discovery sessions with Senior Executive boards or project teams. This is where I can give rationale for the approaches we propose, based on strategic and creative insights, and begin to set a clear course for clients’ businesses.
Seeing the bigger picture, and being able to anticipate issues and opportunities for our clients, is really important to me, along with the quality, depth and detail in what we create.
I guess that comes from dedicating myself to a career in the design industry early on. I studied marketing at the University of Southampton and then secured a Chartered Institute of Marketing postgraduate diploma before becoming an Account Executive and rising quickly through the ranks with design agencies in London and the Home Counties. Pretty soon I was an Account Director, working with well-known and emerging brands from across the sectors. Since then, and since co-founding Liven Creative, I’ve led countless branding and digital projects for a diverse portfolio of national and international clients.
What really drives me is open and honest discussion, pushing boundaries, and never recycling an idea! For me, every client is unique, and a blank canvas always achieves the best results. I’m also really proud of, and spurred on by the great work we create and share with the world, and the obvious positive impact it has on our clients and their audiences. My perfectionism can seem obsessive at times, but I see nothing wrong with insisting on excellence.
When I’m not at work I’m probably thinking about it, but that doesn’t stop me from being an attentive and devoted father, husband and cook at home in Horsham, West Sussex. I try to stay fit by running and swimming – but if I’m honest it’s more about offsetting my delectation for great food and drink, and spending quality time with family and friends. In the little ‘downtime’ I find, I love music and sci-fi, and I’m a hoarder of cookbooks, too. Seriously – I need help! And if that’s not bad enough for me, I also support Arsenal FC.
I believe all experiences are valuable, so I try to make them moving, memorable and positive, whether I’m in professional creative mode or enjoying home and family life.