Welcome to episode 19 of the Media Will Eat Itself podcast. In this episode, I’m joined by multidisciplinary designer, creative thinker and content creator, Will Chidlow. He specialises in digital solutions for other businesses as a freelance designer and videographer, and is senior designer at Liquid Light based in Brighton.
I first came across Will when I was doing some homework on microphones, and I often find that the best way to find out about tech stuff is on YouTube. I’ve wanted to invite a YouTuber onto the show for a while, and when I began to look into Will’s background, I discovered that he’s actually a man of many talents. In other words, the perfect guest. Enjoy the show!
01:00 Our discussion begins by finding out about Will Chidlow’s professional background. From butcher to window cleaner, Will, like many of us, tried his hand at a number of different things. His move to Brighton sparked a new direction.
05:22 After studying for an advanced diploma in digital design, people began requesting his services, which led to his spell with Life Water, looking after their marketing and branding. This helped him build a solid portfolio of web and print design work. Despite this, find out why Will didn’t have much luck with agencies.
07:27 And so to freelance life, where Will discovered that while he wasn’t earning the big bucks, he was enjoying a sense of creative freedom. Before too long, digital agency Liquid Light got in touch, and this was where he could combine his management and creative skills.
10:25 Will is also a YouTuber. This is his personal passion, and it takes a lot of work to keep the channel going. Find out how his channel’s content is constantly being scrutinised to find the right chemistry.
"I wanted something to hold me accountable and something to give me a cause to create that wasn't a client project."
15:39 What kind of content does Will's YouTube channel deliver, and who were his inspirations in setting it up? Aside from his partner and his work colleague, he cites a couple of well-known YouTubers. The important thing was to not emulate the big names as much as create his own value.
19:00 Maintaining a YouTube channel can be exhausting and time-consuming. How does Will manage it between being a full-time agency designer, as well as a freelance creative? It’s about finding a balance, and being sensible about how to efficiently produce content.
"I try to batch record videos. It's better to spend a few evenings outlining a few videos, and then on Saturday record three or four in one day."
21:59 I talk to Will Chidlow about his design philosophy. What is perfection? Isn’t it more important to get more done than constantly finesse your creative work and not meet the deadlines?
24:17 We discuss the challenges of creating your own deadlines, and the differences between working in your own creative space and the demands of an agency environment. We end up learning more about being efficient as a creative, as well as being skilled practitioner.
26:54 How has design changed over the last few years? Web design, for instance, has become more commoditised that it used to be, says Will. Find out what the evolution of web design means for agencies such as Liquid Light.
29:30 I ask Will, is it rare to find people with design and branding as core skills? It may not be as uncommon these days as it once was.
31:35 What is Will working on at the moment, and what advice can he impart to aspiring multidisciplinary creative types, and perhaps older designers looking to keep up with modern media?