Creatives in Residence #03: Andy Walmsley - Wash Studio

06 May 2020 by Ed

For the next in our 'Creatives in Residence' kitchen table stories from Lancashire's creative community in lock-down, Andy Walmsley, Creative Director of award-winning Wash Studio shares how he and is team are re-channelling energy and looking at things differently.

Creatives in Residence #03: Andy Walmsley - Wash Studio

If anyone uses the phrase the ‘New Normal’ again I’m going to react... and badly I feel. This is not a ‘New Normal’...the world has been hit with a global pandemic that is killing lots of people, we are all on lock down, our freedoms and liberties have been taken away and it all feels far from normal!

So, as you can tell, I’m not enjoying this. I’m not seeing it as a holiday, sat on my patio drinking Prosecco and posting it to my so called ‘friends’ on Facebook. I’m not using this as a time to reinvent my sales tactics, or a time for toning my body, (it’s beyond toning) or even a time for brushing up on my guitar skills, or maybe doing some more paintings or going on long bike rides. I’m not even touching alcohol! Yet if all the above gets you through, then go right ahead... but to be honest, with me, it’s all left me a little flat.

I’m actually simply just getting on, getting on. The team are doing what they can with the work we have in the system and doing it to the best our abilities can offer right now in this far from normal situation, but with always a stark awareness that what we offer is a ‘service’... and at the end of the day, if nobody requires that service in this current situation – or in any situation for that matter – then that’s that, no matter how we dress it.

However, luckily for us what we are finding is many of the folks we work with and developed strong relationships with are still needing what we offer to some degree, which is a blessing. They are looking for our advice, tapping into our knowledge and needing our help to get ‘themselves’ through this far from normal situation. 

Now I’m aware I may sound as though I’ve lost the plot and coming across a ‘little’ negative, but to be fair I possibly have lost the plot, or at least for a short while in all of this at least. It’s not been easy for anyone and everyone deals with things in their own way. But for me, I sank into a hole for a short while... I’m not out of it and may not get fully out until this fiasco has gone, but I’m not as deep in the hole as I was.

And why was I in the hole? Well apart from the obvious, but firstly, I can’t get my head around how our world has let this happen? The stories we are getting from the press etc of how and why, and all that noise out there, makes me very concerned about our futures. The world feels it’s got itself into a pickle and on many fronts. But also I felt from a business sense and personal perspective, I felt momentum had been lost in the direction we were heading... and creativity thrives on momentum. 

But then Lynsey my business partner gave me a good talking to and reminded me of what we are about as a business. We are not about ‘growth’ in a traditional business sense, but about growth in a creative sense. So re-channelling some energy and looking at things a little differently was needed.

So, to put some clarity back on that old perspective of mine and build some sort of momentum in something and in the process try and remind people the country is in danger of becoming a creative wasteland if not careful due to this so called ‘New Normal’, I decided to go interview a load of artists! Artists of all shapes and sizes and of different practices and disciplines. But people ‘doing it’ as a creative... and hanging their hat upon it. And now I’ve started, it’s beginning to make some sense and has given me something to build some new creative momentum around. Our first interview being Norman Long

...and just for the record, I hate these online conference software bloody things, They have no soul, but right now they will have to do... but boy I can’t wait to get back with a real camera in my hand with my crew by my side and get the hell out there! 
Andy Walmsley (April 2020)

Andy Walmsley, Founder & Creative Director of award-winning Preston creative studio, Wash Studio & Co-founder of The Artistry House.

Creatives in Residence

Look out for more features from those working across the spectrum of creative occupations over the forthcoming weeks including designers, artists, film makers and more to share tales and tips for how they are working and coping while we adapt to the conditions created by the Covid-19 crisis and consider readiness for times ahead.

Click on the names below to read the other Creative in Residence posts in this series:

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