Graham McDonnell: International Creative Director, New York Times

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My Native Admission Statement: I am award-winning creative, speaker and lecturer with over fifteen years in the industry, specialising in creating immersive visual stories for a wide variety of brands. Because of my experience in multiple different areas I’d say I rarely have a “go-to solution” and I make sure I put the time in to finding the best solution for the challenge. I love getting into the weeds too, so I’m a stickler for the fine details that give something polish (though this is probably becomes a bad thing at some point!) There was an old commercial in England a few years ago that featured a cat that decided to ‘Be More Dog’. Instead of lounging around all day looking depressed like most cats, it would play fetch in the park, splash in the river and generally be more positive about every scenario. Quite a good way to live your life and definitely gives you some of the best stories to tell 🙂

Career advice to those in your industry?:

The best advice to me was ‘If you’re not happy, change something’. When I was younger I landed a dream job at a company with a great reputation and thought I would end my career there. After three months I’d had enough, booked a flight for South East Asia and didn’t come back for five months! I’d also say you can’t expect to progress if you’re not in the picture, so go to all the events, meet all the people, say yes to all the opportunities. You’d be surprised how quickly doors start to open.

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