June 27th, 2014

Meet Doug Bowden, Mill+ Art Director and lead artist on some of the London studio’s most dynamic recent projects such as the Young Director Awards and D&AD 2014 in-show title sequences.

Doug tells us a bit more about himself, his creative influences and what it means to produce creative and visually striking work for such prestigious industry bodies as the D&AD and YDA Awards.

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Tell us a bit about yourself?

I’ve been at The Mill for 8 months and am a Senior Art Director. I studied graphic design as Camberwell College of Arts in South London, but by the end of my course found myself predominantly producing short film. I used to work in 2D design, but growing tired of the confines of 2D meant I then taught myself how to use 3D programs in my spare time.

Who and what are your main artistic influences?

My influences over the years would include; 70's science fiction films and books, Superstudio (the Italian architecture group), the weekly 80s TV show ‘Tomorrow’s World’ and Ben Drurs, the man behind Mo’wax records’ design work.

What would you say are the highs and lows of the creative process?

The lows are at the beginning of a project when at first you have no clue of what to do... the high then comes soon after when a great idea suddenly pops into your head.

How does it feel having your work play such a large part in such prestigious award ceremonies such as YDA & D&AD?

It was great to be allowed the freedom by both of these clients to push the creative process.

Each year we are given an open brief for the D&AD awards, which is an excellent opportunity for the team to flex their creative muscles and develop something truly inspiring. This year's idea is based on Factory Fifteen's initial concept of a 'Design Carousel' and Planning Unit's idea for this year's show. We set out to develop machines that represent the creative vastness, inspiration and process of design development. Every machine in the sequence unveils a piece of information to the user, whilst revealing their working and also being beautiful to look at. The piece is simple, yet also hypnotic with the images enhanced by intrinsic sound effects from Angel Sounds.

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This year’s YDA sequence, which was featured at the start of the award show in Cannes this year, explores a young director's vision and unique way of seeing things. The sequence navigates through abstract interpretations of the delicate process that takes place in the eye of a creative mind!

Refraction plays a key role in the piece and we created a refracting sculpture, which elegantly deforms each object that passes behind it. This experimental technique adds an extra layer of complexity and abstraction, as well as emphasizing the inherent qualities of light in the sequence. To bring the piece to life we used a combination of Cinema4D, V-Ray and After Effects, deciding to use V-Ray for all lighting and texturing. We used a 3D solution in the end, enabling us full control over the workflow of the project.

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I'm really pleased with the final results of both sequences and so glad that each was well received in-situ!

Both title sequences have predominantly used C4D – What are the advantages of working within this program?

Basically you have complete control over the workflow. What you can achieve in 3D is unlimited, especially in comparison to live action. Using 3D allows true freedom to create whatever you like.

What young designers / directors stand out to you at the moment?

I've always been a big fan of Celyn and Johnny Hardstaff. They both keep going from strength to strength.

Thank you Doug! Follow more of Doug’s work here and see the D&AD and YDA title sequences below.