Pt Chev de­signer hunt­ing ‘killer ideas’

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - HUGH COLLINS

De­sign­ing al­bum art for sem­i­nal Bri­tish band The Prodigy prompted a Kiwi de­signer to pub­lish a book ex­am­in­ing cre­ative pro­cesses.

Nick McFar­lane spent a lit­tle over a year craft­ing Hunt­ing the Killer Idea, a book which uses a nar­ra­tive, metaphors and his orig­i­nal de­sign style to ex­plore the in­ner work­ings of cre­ativ­ity.

McFar­lane said the book ex­plores the sub­jec­tiv­ity of cre­ative pro­cesses and con­tains in­ter­views with artists who dis­cuss their own ideas about cre­ativ­ity.

‘‘It’s meant to be use­ful but also a source of in­spi­ra­tion and un­der­ly­ing the whole thing is a nar­ra­tive that the cre­ative process is like hunt­ing,’’ McFar­lane said.

The book was in­spired after the Pt Che­va­lier res­i­dent de­signed the al­bum art for The Prodigy’s sixth stu­dio al­bum The Day is My En­emy which was re­leased in 2015.

The Prodigy is con­sid­ered to be on one of the most suc­cess­ful elec­tronic mu­si­cal groups of all time.

McFar­lane, a fa­ther-of-three, said prin­ci­pal Prodigy song­writer Liam Howlett stum­bled across his work in his first book Spin­flu­ence: The Hard­core Pro­pa­ganda Man­ual for Con­trol­ling the Masses in an art gallery in Lon­don.

‘‘It was a bizarre set of cir­cum­stances which led up to me get­ting an email out of the blue from Liam Howlett.’’

McFar­lane then spent six months craft­ing the cover art which took 166 dif­fer­ent ideas to con­struct a sin­gle im­age.

But de­spite 20 years of de­sign ex­pe­ri­ence McFar­lane said Hunt- ing the Killer Idea isn’t about telling or giv­ing peo­ple his own de­sign for­mu­las.

‘‘I very much took the opin­ion that I don’t know any­thing about the sub­ject so there­fore I was go­ing to try and find as many ex­perts from dif­fer­ent fields around the world and get their opin­ions.’’

Tak­ing over a year to com­plete, McFar­lane wanted to make the book an ‘‘ob­ject of de­sire.’’

‘‘I like to de­sign and cre­ate real things as op­posed to de­sign which ends up as pix­els on a screen.’’

The ‘‘killer idea’’ is a metaphor for the great­est idea an artist has to track down, McFar­lane said.

‘‘Killer Ideas are out there, pow­er­ful and un­pre­dictable. They’re the al­pha ideas that have to be hunted deep within the jun­gle of the mind.’’


A de­signer of 20 years, Nick McFar­lane ex­plores pro­cesses of cre­ative think­ing in his new book Hunt­ing the Killer Idea.

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