Over a glass of bask and soda, we catch up with our longtime friend, collaborator and director of our first major motion campaign on redefining artistry and finding creativity in the unknown.
Name: Saxon Gallaher
Living: Coolum Beach, Sunshine Coast, QLD, AUS
For a living: Creative Director
Follow along: @saxmanyerrr
No man (or woman) is an island. You know the old adage, the one that rings true for anyone who has tried to get a creative project off the ground—or to build a spirit brand from scratch, for that matter. As creatives, introspection may come with the territory, but our worlds and frameworks for expression are also inextricably bound to others. In this series, we catch up with the creatives who have been integral to shaping Feels over a glass or two.
For our first Individually Blended, it could have been none other than Saxon Gallaher, a Creative Director who has been with us from the early days. We thought you might like his majestic ( and sometimes hairy) story of road-tripping across the desert to shoot our master film campaign, plus his musings on Chet Baker and finding creativity in the unknown.
The last creative project I worked on with Feels Botanical…
SG: I’ve worked on many projects with the Feels Botanical boys since their inception, from early concept development and product development to content creation. More recently, I produced and directed their first motion campaign from Noosa to the beautiful Adelaide Hills. It was, literally and creatively, a wild ride :)
Wildest of all, you shot that campaign in the middle of Covid lockdowns, right?
SG: Right! We got our permits and set off from Coolangatta in a very (verrrrrry) small hire car and drove 8-10 hours a day for four days with three blokes and a cabin FULL to the brim with camera equipment. Needless to say, it was an interesting vibe. There was a bit of a process in place, but basically we kept it loose and stopped whenever we saw something photogenic—it was so much fun searching for the most beautiful things that caught our eye. Kinda like a grown up version of spot the cow. The route we designed traced through Tamworth and Broken Hill, both of which were interesting and beautiful in their own way. But BROKEN HILL WAS AMAZING!!! It’s unbelievably pretty out there. A real bucket list thing.
How did you start out as a Creative Director?
Funnily enough, I studied Psychology at university. Whilst studying, I developed an unquenchable thirst for surfing and when I graduated I was offered the job of my dreams (at that time) in the marketing team of global surf brand Billabong. I worked there for a couple of years until their sister company SurfStitch offered me a position as their Content Creative. Eventually, I decided to launch my own brand consultancy Prime Colours. First stop: pitching for an advertising gig at corporate giant Coca Cola Amatil for one of their alcohol brands and, to my total surprise, I won the account. I have been working to build my agency ever since. It’s been a total ride!
What does being an artist mean to you? And who are you most inspired by?
I am constantly inspired by artists that chase the progression of their discourse relentlessly. Art is kind of anything that contributes to culture, so in that respect, I would call a lot of people ‘artists’ that others may not. I am perhaps most inspired by the work of photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson and playwright Arthur Miller. I also love music, particularly jazz, and will never tire of trumpeter Chet Baker’s voice.
I feel most creative when… I am in a quiet space, without tech devices.
Here’s where I look for inspiration…… cinema, architecture and photography.
It’s a Sunday afternoon—you’ll find me drinking… Bask with soda and a lime wedge (drool).
Then, I’ll set the mood with this song: ‘I fall in love too easily’ by Chet Baker.
The person (dead or alive) I’d most like to drink it with… Arthur Miller.
Something you may not know about me… I obsessively hang out with my piano. We often spend long evenings together.
Advice to those wanting to get into your field: Corporate energy is extremely draining. Revel in your own time, enjoy the process for the process's sake and don’t focus too heavily on corporate ambition. Do all that, and you’ll certainly have some fun.