Exclusive interview with Marek Reichman, Chief Creative Officer at Aston Martin.
Last week I did an interview for a newspaper with Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s top man on all things related to design, and one part of our chat that wasn’t right for the article turned out to be just the kind of thing we like to write about here: the creative process.
Aston Martin – who are always an extremely nice company to work with – said they would be happy for us to print his thoughts. Marek is an Aston Martin’s legend when it comes to all things related to design – he’s been with the company for more than a decade and as well as working on such legendary cars as the One-77, the DBS and the Vanquish, he previously helped bring the Rolls-Royce Phantom and several Land Rover models to life.
To brief or not to brief?
When we got onto the subject of whether or not he always worked to a brief, or if, in fact, there was room for free-thinking as well, he explained how both played a key part. It’s well worth a read if you want to know how a top car designer goes about his business – this is what he said:
“There’s always a brief, which is, if you like, your day-to-day bread and butter – at the moment we’re working on what’s called the Second Century Plan which is the reinvention of the marque; it’s us being a 106-year-old start-up and doing seven cars over seven years with one brand new car every year. But the freedom part is that there is always opportunity for a one-off car for somebody, or what about flying cars in the future – which is part of the Volante Vision project we did a while ago.
“And then of course we have all of the Aston Martin partnerships I control the design of, so apartments, buildings, speedboats, bicycles or whatever it may be, I have the control of those elements as well. So it goes from a structure to the free-thinking as well, and effectively if you’re a creative your creative juices have to be flowing, 24/7. It’s not, ‘OK, arrive at work at nine, finish at five and the day is done’ – no, you’re getting input all the time, whether it’s through travel, the people you meet, an exhibition, a presentation, something you watch, a piece of music.
“The creative process is not governed by hours or a brief. The creative process is exactly that within your brain – it’s stimuli. And, you know, some of the greatest discoveries in the world happened through the subconscious. Einstein would talk about how the theory of relativity came through him composing and playing the violin. He just thought about something completely differently and how to approach it – and that’s where the theory came, or the spark of the theory. So as a creative, in answer to your question, in short, it’s both. It’s a specific brief – deadline, project, budget, etc. – and it’s the freedom of thought around that as well.”
All of the Now Go Create team are huge advocates of the ‘creativity never stops’ concept, and it was great to hear it echoed by Marek. The takeaway? I guess it’s this: keep your eyes open, try something new every day and travel as much as you can… and then one day you might get to design cars for James Bond, too.