Andrew Mills - Freelance Art Director/Designer


I met Andrew for a chat last week at his home studio in Lovett Bay on beautiful Pittwater. Setting off on a 10 minute ride across the water from Clareville to do an interview ... was one of those 'great to be a freelancer' moments!

Here's what he had to say ... and don't stop reading! The last-line's the best.

Enjoy. Chrz Jenni, Freelance Faces editor


FF: How did you start out as a freelancer?

I left a fantastic job working with Bani McSpedden and Peter Carey as their Art director. I just had this idea that I could do more things if I wasn't constricted by daily employment. Bani was very supportive and I found a great warehouse a block away from the agency and continued doing all their art direction for a couple of years. I've been freelancing for 17 years now.

FF: Why do you chose to freelance?

Creativity doesn't start at 9am. I actually work longer hours than when I was employed. I guess its being free to work when you want and it gives much more variety being able to work with different brands than the restrictions of being employed.

FF: Looking around me now - my next question is almost obsolete ... how does freelancing affect your lifestyle?

My office is 2 metres from the water looking at my yatch in Lovett Bay! A much more creative environment than an air-conditioned office. I also have twin 7 year old boys and being freelance and working from my home studio gives me much more quality time with them. They probably would hardly see me otherwise.

FF: What has been your career highlights?

I created my own brand called 'HANDPICKED' and found a billionaire investor. I'm a shareholder in the company. This is an example of being free to do things that you wouldn't have the time if you were employed.

FF: What other specialities do you have?

When clients need a team, I collaborate with Jack Vaughan (ex Creative director of the Campaign Palace for 10yrs). He's a brilliant writer. I also really like designing corporate identities. I have another website

Here are some recent TVC's that Jack and I did for Perpetual.

FF: A lot of people reading this, may presume you live on some remote island!

That's the beauty of it. The reality is, I can zip across the water and be in my car in a few minutes. I've been living here 20 years now, and only been working from my home studio in the last 18 months. I had an office in Surry Hills and then Bayview for many years. I'm in the city or North Sydney regularly for meetings.

FF: What other interests do you have?

I love to paint and sculpt - and invent things.

FF: At this point ... Andrew showed me some of his artworks in his studio - they were amazing!

Click here to see an enlargement.

How did you create them?

These both ended up on the front page of the SYDNEY Morning Herald website. I did Howard the day before the election – zoom in – a picture says a thousand words etc. These as you know were not done in photoshop but stamped by hand - thousands of time. The 'sorry boy' I did the day before Kevin Rudd’s big apology speech.

Click on the links below - to see close up. And don't forget to zoom in !

See Howard the day before the election.

See Sorry the day before Kevin Rudd's apology.

Thanks for your time Andrew.

Send Andrew an email - click here.

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