May 23rd, 2017

Building on the success of last year’s Learning at Work Week, Mill studios from London to LA took part in this year’s event, which aims to put a spotlight on the importance and benefits of learning and development at work. Each studio participated in a fantastic week of events, talks and workshops around the theme 'Curious & Creative'. 

Simon Devereux, Group Head of Learning and Development, comments, “The Mill’s involvement with Learning at Work Week is an important and exciting part of our Learning and Development programme as it provides a fantastic opportunity for us to experiment with in-house learning by running a suite of events, talks and workshops across the group that encourage us to look at things from fresh perspectives. The Campaign for Learning’s theme of ‘Curious & Creative’ chimes so well with everything The Mill does and this year in particular I felt that we took it to the next level.”

Take a look at Learning at Work Week 2017 across Mill studios:

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Throughout the week, the London studio hosted a series of bite-size workshops, breakfast sessions and lunchtime talks. Each delivered by a diverse range of external and internal speakers from singers, DJs, and artists to various trainers and coaches who delivered speed coaching appointments.

Mil artists James Mac, Mick Vincent, Michael Chapman, Will MacNeil and Adam Grint all hosted 101 sessions in their respective fields for a behind the scenes look across Colour, 3D, and 2D work, as well as Design and Emerging Technology. A highlight of the week was Thursday’s breakfast panel on ‘What Drives Creativity?’, inviting all to partake in a thought-provoking debate. 

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The panel, chaired by Simon Devereaux (Mill Group Head of Learning and Development), was made up of speakers from across the advertising, education and VFX sectors including: Dom Davenport (Founder of Creative Works and Escape Studios), Saint John Walker (VFX Course Leader at Norwich University), Ross Urien (Art Director at The Mill), Filmawi & Esrael (Directing Duo), Carl Addy (Mill+ Creative Director) and Deborah Casswell (Founding Partner of the ADCAN Awards and Creative Director). This was the third in a series of recent panels hosted by The Mill at their Windmill Studio, bringing the industry together to discuss key topics including Diversity and Being Bold for Change

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In addition, Sheffield based illustrator Geo Law created a bespoke wall mural in The Mill’s Art: Space throughout the day. The legendary DJ Krust also be performed in The Loft bar, bringing the jam-packed week to a close!

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Mill NY

The Mill’s NY studio kicked off the week with Denise Maroney, a creative hyphenate with cultural roots in Japan, NYC and the Middle East. Denise founded The (B)IM Project, a non-profit, site-specific theatre collective that brought international and Lebanese artists together to create original performances in public spaces across Lebanon. Living in the Middle East, Maroney developed an interest in textiles. She transitioned into textile & silk research, teaching and art before leaving Beirut to complete an MFA in Textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design.


Denise began a project called NaTakallam with her colleagues, and it's a social enterprise that connects Syrian refugees with Arabic learners world-wide for language practice over Skype; through NaTakallam, refugees are not passive recipients of aid, but actively working as Arabic language partners, teachers and translators. Today, it's a thriving startup with 2000+ users in 88 countries around the world.


Everyone knows what a bicep is, but can you tell your tricep from your trapezius? Mill 3D Artist Paul Liaw offered up a session titled ‘Anatomy for Everyone’, where he walked attendees through the muscles most people are familiar with -- specifically, those that you flex at the gym, and explained how they are structured and move, the layers and different types, and why subtle differences make big impressions. [See more of Paul’s 3D projects here.]

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Jay Rhoderick, of Working Voices, has taught performance and public speaking with Chicago's famous Second City, at the Yale School of Drama, and the People's Improv Theatre. Last Thursday, he kicked off the morning at 9:45 am with an Improv session where he offered attendees new ways in being flexible, fearless and playful. Additionally, he guided participants in ways in which to think on their feet, as well as build instant ensemble with others.

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Emerging Technology Artist Wyatt Savarese also shared the fundamentals of workflow while using Tilt Brush in a live demo. Learn more about the Tilt Brush Master in our Meet the Artist blog

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Mill LA

In keeping with this year’s theme, all sessions at The Mill’s Los Angeles studio leaned toward learning and creativity. An exciting variety of events were offered where staff and clients learned from talented colleagues as well as external industry professionals. With 30+ sessions scheduled throughout the week, the jam-packed calendar included fun activities and creative workshops interspersed with industry-focused topics for an enriching experience. 

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The week kicked off with an educational (read: delicious) session on all things Parmigiano Reggiano from Milkfarm, leaving us curious, eager for seconds, and far more sophisticated than before. That set the tone for the days ahead, with highlights like 3D printing and live screen printing, fun with tilt brush, a British-style pub quiz, lessons on branding of multiple varieties, experimenting with cameras old and new, 2D and 3D case studies, life drawing, industry insights from our agency friends and not-to-be-forgotten whisky tasting.

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See more from #LearningAtWorkWeek in LA on @Mill_LA Instagram.

Mill CHI

The Mill in Chicago kicked off the week with a bit of fun, teaching effective communication skills through an improv class, followed by a stress management workshop with artist and counsellor Alice Berry. Participants were also treated to a talk by Laura Jane Williams, author of the new book Ice Cream For Breakfast, on how exploring your inner child isn’t just allowed, it’s a must! The week was punctuated by two special mediation mornings lead by Breathe Bar teachers – a little bit of mindfulness and visualization did wonders for everyone. 

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Keeping with the week's theme, Brandon Breaux, the artist behind Chance The Rapper’s infamous mix tape artwork, inspired Mill artists with a talk about his work, while Tim Konn, Producer at Another Country sound studio, presented an overview of music and sound design creation. Finally, artists got a chance to create in a t-shirt printing workshop with Spudnik Press.

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