Author: Luke Vidamour
I'll assume that you're all familiar with the popular business phrase "The customer is always right", but did you know creatives have long used an alternative term behind closed doors? "The client is always wrong!". Although this term makes for a soothing tonic after a long day of creative frustration it's a) not true and b) not the way to build long-lasting, fruitful client relationships.
At Potting Shed we have a simple but profound solution to this age-old clanging of heads, incredible Project Managers.
These people-loving, plate-spinning idea-extracting, vision-grasping, brief-delivering super-communicators speak the language of both client and creative.
Keelie Spriggs is our Jersey-based Project Manager and we'd simply be lost without her. Any one of our clients will tell you what a joy she is to work with and how her calm, creative mind keeps projects running smoothly and efficiently from start to finish. We caught up to chat Land Rovers, Paddleboarding, and Stevie Wonder.
So Keelie, tell us about yourself. What excites, scares, inspires, and relaxes you?
Currently, I'm hella excited to complete our Land Rover Defender camper conversion so me and my partner Ross can get away on some fun camping trips.
What scares me? Rollercoasters scare me, I’m a wuss!
What Inspires me? The great outdoors - whether it’s just stepping outside for a few minutes or going for a long run or bike ride, being outdoors helps to clear my mind, allows me to work better and get more accomplished.
To relax, I love to get out for a paddleboard with my dad and switch off from everything. In the colder months, I enjoy having a sketch with a nice cuppa coffee.
When did you join our Jersey studio and what has that been like?
I joined The Potting Shed almost two years ago and I bloody love it! The people and the culture. My friends and family will vouch for that - after returning from travelling and working abroad for a few years, they didn’t think anything would make me stay put on little ol' Jersey.
What does a normal day look like for you at Potting Shed?
Yikes, where to start with a day in the life of a Project Manager.
I work through a long ‘to-do list’ whilst having 101 tabs up on my screen, making sure projects are running smoothly in the studio. It’s a very versatile role and no day is the same (which is what I love). I enjoy regular meetings with our lovely clients (lots of Zooms at the moment!) and I get to work on awesome projects with a bunch of clever creatives. Lastly, If I haven’t exchanged a few terrible puns with Ed, our legendary Jersey MD, then it’s not considered a ’normal day’ in our Jersey studio.
Being a talented creative yourself, how do you find working with clients as opposed to creating artwork? Are there similarities?
Don’t get me wrong, I still love to explore my own creativity by creating illustrations in my spare time, but I found my calling at The Potting Shed working as a Project Manager. I love meeting with new and existing clients to discuss creative projects then working with the team to make the ideas come to life. It’s so satisfying to brief something into the studio and have full confidence that the calibre of work that comes back will always be awesome.
Did you always plan to work in the creative industry? Have you had any unexpected jobs along the way?
Yes, I’ve always longed to work in the creative industry but my god I had some random jobs along the way when working abroad to fund my travels, including working on farms in New Zealand and Australia! A hard graft and the closest I will get to understanding the sort of work my nan used to do in the Land Army (just without a war going on in the background of course). My previous jobs may not have all been dreamy jobs but each of them taught me valuable skills that I still use daily.
Your role is truly pan-island, what have you learnt about Guernsey and Jersey as a result of travelling and working with clients from both Islands daily?
I hadn’t visited Guernsey much whilst growing up, so I have enjoyed getting to know the island more and more during my regular work visits - it’s very pretty.
Although Jersey feels busier and seems to have a bit more ‘going on’, I see a lot of similarities between the two islands - we’re all very lucky to live in the Channel Islands.
What was the last gift you gave someone?
I illustrated a funky repeat pattern on a shirt for a friend's birthday present.
How can creativity change the world?
The imagination of every person in this world is filled with creativity - some people just utilise it in better ways than others, helping benefit people's lives and the world we live in. It helps people to visually communicate ideas and express feelings, it helps create opportunities for people, it helps mental health; reducing anxiety, depression, and stress.
Creativity is powerful.
If you were creating your own festival, who would headline Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night?
Friday: Gorillaz - they have an incredible stage presence and their visual effects are mind-blowing.
Sunday: Stevie Wonder (replicating his incredible 2010 set at Glasto)
You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?
Bring it along to all my meetings - I wouldn’t need my notebook ever again.