Every Friday you have the pleasure of being acquainted with a whole bunch of amazingly talented people. I’ve asked an array of creative souls to answer a handful of questions to give you an insight to their colourful life and to fill you with inspiration for your weekend!
This Creative Friend Friday we get to meet Nathaniel Hanna, one half of Birmingham based creative duo Stax Creations.
Tell us more about what your business and what makes it so creative
Stax Creations is about building art that functions. From festival stages, bold interiors, experiential marketing as well as props and furniture. We take what would be a normal brief and put a bold twist to it which it what gives us our brand identity, everything is carefully designed with “blow minds” as our ethos.
How did you get into what you do and what kind of jobs did you have before this creative career took off?
I used to make double glazing windows and conservatories for a couple of years. I then studied Visual Communication at college which led to a year of University. After the first year I decided to switch over to Architecture – mainly because I was kicked out. We were told architects were the most unemployed member of construction on day one! So from that point I knew it was about running my own business. After graduating I started as a freelance designer, then shortly afterwards I met my business partner Chris, who studied set design. Our combined design principles is what makes Stax, Stax. I worked at a Weatherspoons pub to pay my way through education, the majority of my time there I was manager.
If my research is correct, I believe you started off making things with wooden pallets? I’m the proud owner of a DIY pallet day bed, what was the first thing you guys made?
Being a designer in a world saturated with designers, I knew I needed a product. I began making pallet furniture just before it became the craze. I wanted a name that I could brand with four letters on the furniture which is where Stacks became Stax. I sold about eight pieces, putting creations at the end of the name opened doors to a much wider range of services, as I knew the pallet furniture was just a phase. I’m sure your bed is still trendy though 🙂
Who or what has helped you to persevere and not quit in the beginning of your journey with Stax?
Quitting has never crossed my mind, I refuse to write a CV put on a tie and beg someone for a job. If I have a bad month, if I go hungry, I don’t give up.
Do you ever find yourself limited by the materials that you have available? Have you had to be inventive at the last minute before a deadline?
No, materials are easy to come by and we always make things work. We often get the “we need this yesterday” brief. There’s 24 hours in a day, we make it work.
How do you strive to be unique in your creative endeavours?
We want to be forward thinking, if we get a brief asking for something that we know is dated we make sure to put forward a fresh idea. I’m sure it was Jim Cary that said “Creativity stems from desperation”. Once you go really hungry your creative flare is unlocked, you can’t lock it back up.
What is your favourite accomplishment to date?
We’ve just signed a three year deal with Bestival, that’s pretty sick.
What is the most unusual or challenging request to date?
To turn a fine dining restaurant, which was down an underpass next to an adult shop, into an ‘immersive wilderness’. We made it rain down there.
If you could have a dream job, using all of your skills anywhere in the world, what would it be?
Research Neuroscience in Barcelona and create the first Al with Elon Musk, or make movies. One of the two is more likely 🙂
What have you got in the pipeline and where can people find your works of art this year?
We’re about to create an art deco inspired flapper bar, plus Bestival towards the end of the summer, loads of cool bits in between. I love Instagram, but don’t fill it with loads of Kodak moments. Same goes with Facebook and our websites too… thinking about it, I need to update them all!
A final but fun question! If your creative work were edible, what would it taste like?
Bubble gum flavoured popping candy.
Thanks to Stax for using up some of their creative time to answer my questions. I love your work ethos and all of your up and coming plans sound so exciting! Check out their amazing work on their website and follow their journey on Instagram and Facebook – whenever they update it 😉 The photos they have on there are pretty cool though!