Centre for Entrepreneurship>Blog>Where do good ideas come from - Oliver Norcott

Where do good ideas come from?

​Oliver​ was one of the Countdown to Launch winners in 2015

In my own practice, good ideas have not originated by searching for them but develop from an understanding of a particular niche, as John Dewey, the author of Art as an Experience says: 'the focal culmination of long, slow processes of maturation'. Developing a career in the creative industries was always the intention throughout my education but I was undecided on the possible direction that this could take so I chose to experiment with a variety of mediums, which has ultimately contributed to the beginning of my business. Undertaking a BTEC National Diploma in Graphic design was a pivotal turning point in choosing a specific path to follow, the course also included an A-Level in Photography, which I thoroughly enjoyed as a possible extension to the design related work I had been working on prior to the BTEC. A desire to expand on my mounting interest in photography encouraged me to then study a degree in Photographic Art and it was at this point that I began to implement my previous experience in design with the other creative skills I was developing at university, which would later prove to be crucial in starting a comprehensive creative solutions agency.

By engaging with the creative act and the professional applications I became aware of the importance of design as a component for successful business; the ability to reinforce a company's underlying values through the medium of graphic communication. The knowledge and experiences attained has established the resources that have proven indispensable to obtaining an all-inclusive design business, which will assist in nurturing an unimpeded service for prospective clients. A varied creative palette that covers graphic design, photography and website design has been developed in the interest of the client where a single application would not suffice, demonstrated in the range of projects achieved this year with Helen Sear, Ffotogallery, Fovolab and European Prospects. This broad awareness of the creative act has also instilled an ability to traverse disciplines and share the vision of the clients I work with, which will predominantly be creative practitioners. The current business offers a comprehensive and tailored creative solutions service, with the intention of delivering a reliable, affordable and human-centered approach to client projects.

Originally I did not appreciate that the skills I had learnt could perhaps lead into a potential business and after struggling to find work after graduating with a lack of experience in the field I chose to study a Master of Design course at Cardiff Metropolitan to build up a portfolio of work and continue looking for employment. The course had an emphasis on practice lead project work with the potential of incorporating clients into the research I was conducting at the time. The business unintentionally began to flourish by accepting work from external clients that was originally intended for my course and I immediately began to see the potential of producing my own design agency where I would have far more creative control and be able to take on much larger and exciting projects that would most likely go to others if I had joined an already established company. I believe that anyone learning a skill, whether creative or not, should occasionally branch out beyond academia rather than solely produce work within the confines of an institution in order to foster an awareness of the market and to further promote the exertions of new work.

Reference: DEWEY, J (2005) Art as Experience. New York: Penguin Group. (Original work published 1934)

Blog post by Cardiff Met graduate Oliver Norcott: www.olivernorcott.co.uk