Take Five with Katy Cowan
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Take Five with Katy Cowan

Katy Cowan of Creative Boom on Catching Fireworks


The fabulous Katy Cowan is the mastermind behind one of my favourite websites, Creative Boom.  This is an online magazine containing a wealth of information, tips and inspiration about all things creative.  Everything about the site from the ease of navigation, to the fabulous visuals, to the informative blogs, is infused with Katy's commitment to and love of all things creative, which she champions with expertise and enthusiasm.  And she does all this on top of her day job, running Boomerang, a digital agency in Manchester!


In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?
Constantly learn. I work in the creative industries and that means I get to be creative and always learn new things. As creative fields are crossing over so much these days and everything is becoming so much more collaborative, I not only get the wonderful opportunity to expand my skills but I get to understand projects from all kinds of different perspectives. I love looking back and seeing how far I've come, but also the endless possibilities of how far I could go in future. It's a very exciting time to be creative.

Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?
This is a tough one. There are so many people I admire. I would have to say Vivian Maier for some seriously wonderful street photography. I love the work of Kim Stanley Robinson - he's a science fiction writer and 'Red Mars' is an absolute classic. Jil Sander for fashion simplicity at its best. I'm bowled over by Naughty Dog and their recent The Last Of Us computer game - absolutely epic visuals and gaming experience - and zombies too! What more could you want!

What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?
I'm not sure I can answer this question. Because I've always been a very determined, self-driven character who 'makes things happen'. Plus all the mistakes I've ever made have only led onto greater things. I guess I'd probably tell myself to spend less time sweating the small stuff. 

If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?
Down tools and get outside to seek inspiration elsewhere. I might grab my camera and just spend an hour walking around Manchester, doing some street photography. Or I might go to an art gallery to see other people's work. By taking a step away from my desk and doing something creative other than writing (which is essentially my job) my mind becomes uncluttered, I can re-focus and I have a renewed sense of energy and ideas.

And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?
I'd probably be a multi-coloured Converse trainer. Because they're a comfortable, dependable, laid-back kind of shoe but with a little fun, quirkiness and personality.


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