Meet the Members: Theo Mackie
Theo Mackie is a Bristol born creative, specialising in Graphic Design, Animation and Illustration. After 10 years in the game he’s developed a passion for super-visual, unique, and intelligent problem solving to help clients such as Facebook and Virgin Media create work they can be really proud of.
After joining Gather Round last month, we sat down with Theo to find out what he does day-to-day, what’s motivating him at the moment and the story behind that little purple dinosaur.
Welcome Theo. First of all, can you tell us what you do and what an average work day looks like?
Right now, the work I’m doing the most is animating and illustrating. However, I always find myself introducing myself as a graphic designer which is a bit more vague, I guess I’m a bit of a Jack of all trades and sometimes feel a little uncomfortable identifying as a master of one!
An average day for me involves a lot of time spent inside my headphones listening to music and really trying to focus in on the project at hand. I have an infuriatingly short attention span and can find myself veering off into different places without even realising. I need lots of tea, snacks and a pen and paper to doodle whatever nonsense is in my head out into the real world.
What excites you most about the creative process?
I think the reason I love being creative begins in quite an uncreative place. When I was an editorial designer for a magazine in my early 20’s, I used to think of fitting text onto a page like a puzzle. To make perfectly even columns without orphans or widows involved finding exactly the right place for words, or splitting columns just in the right place. I used to love it, it almost felt relaxing.
That sense of ‘finding the perfect fit’ still stays with me. Whether that be trying to illustrate the perfect icon to represent a mobile phone, animating an ice cream falling on the floor or just trying to meet your clients needs in the best way possible, it’s all just different puzzles. And the exciting bit is working out exactly how to fit it all together.
Can you describe your desk space? What kit/tools can you not live without?
I have a little purple dinosaur that was given to me by my boss at my first creative job. This guy has been to every office I’ve worked at since, and over time he’s gained a few pals – Tiny Headed Godzilla, Weird Crab-Dragon Man, and Big-Eared Rhino-Lizard Dude. Basically my desk looks like a child’s desk, but these guys help to ensure my workplace isn’t just a standard office desk. And I like that, it keeps things creative.
Basically my desk looks like a child’s desk, but these guys help to ensure my workplace isn’t just a standard office desk
What are you listening to/watching at the moment?
I really love music, maybe too much. I’m just re-writing this answer because the first one I wrote was a pretentious rant listing all the diverse, underground music I listen to and don’t want anyone to think I’m a knob! So instead I’ve looked at the last 3 artists I’ve played on Spotify and they are Flying Lotus, Terrace Martin and Sir Was. I’m pretty happy with those guys.
At the moment I’m watching ‘Flowers’ in the evenings, a comedy that was on Channel 4 a few years back. I missed it first time around and I don’t know how – I’m LOVING it! So clever and funny and full of amazing performances and characters, I highly recommend it to anybody that passed it by.
Where is your favourite place to eat in Bristol?
Oh man. I’m from Bristol so I feel a little overwhelmed by this question. A year or so ago I had the pleasure to share an office with the guys from Oowee Burger and as my cholesterol can attest, I ate a lot of burgers in that time. The Vegan Oowee on Baldwin Street is an amazing guilt/meat-free treat for the belly, SO GOOD! And, if you wanna spend a bit more, Wilsons on Chandos Road is probably the best sit-down meal in town.
What is the reason for choosing to come and work from Gather Round?
After 5 years of working on my own Gather Round is the perfect cure to my design loneliness, and the prospect to work and collaborate with other like minded people is super exciting. The fact that it is plush AF has nothing to do with it, honest.
If you’d like to find out more about Theo’s illustration and animation work, head over to his portfolio site here.