Emile Rademeyer is the Executive Director, Creative Strategy at creative studio VANDAL as well as the curator of VANDAL Art Gallery.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
My passion has always been at the intersection of creativity, art and technology. Throughout my career I’ve been fortunate to explore a variety of creative positions in advertising, animation, art and new media which has led me to my current role here at VANDAL as Executive Director, Creative Strategy and Curator of VANDAL Art Gallery.
At VANDAL my passion is to bridge the gap between art, advertising, activation, digital media, content and culture. As a media-independent creative studio, VANDAL crafts innovative moving images, art, sound and experiences for digital platforms of all kinds.
Our work includes advertising, entertainment platforms, interactive experiences, animation, augmented reality, visual effects, virtual reality, digital placemaking as well as niche art, design and experiential projects.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
My day starts at 5.40am from where I treat myself to a 2 minute snooze before getting out of bed at 5.42am. Timing is worked out to the minute and I arrive at the gym 1 minute before the start of the 6am session.
Phone calls are made on the road from Manly to VANDAL from where the day in the studio kicks off shortly after 9am. A typical day consists of a number of liaisons with clients and our team of creatives, artists and producers here at VANDAL. My day won’t be complete without a number of strong coffees to keep focussed.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes, technology allows us to work remotely and more flexible than ever before. But in our world of ultra-connectivity, enhanced digital connections can often have the adverse effect by distancing us, rather than bringing us together in truly meaningful ways.
When it comes to physical connection to stimulate and enhance creativity, I believe people together trumps digital connections every day of the week.
Digital connectivity can’t replace physical connection, but has its place to facilitate communication where physical distance is an issue. I would much rather be present in a room full of people to brainstorm or pitch, than over a zoom call. Oh wait, I was on mute and no one heard anything I said.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Technology allows us to be connected every second of our day and anywhere from the bedroom, dinner table to the restroom. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should (or need to).
It’s easy to allow work to become all consuming. Digital self discipline is therefore very important. A successful work-life balance should allow you to make provision in your life to focus your undivided attention on the current activity at hand.
This includes exercise, mental health, mindfulness, spirituality, friendships, your community, reading, critical thinking, philosophy and pondering the truly deep questions in life, the meaning of it and your place in this unfathomably large universe we exist in.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I’ve been making a concerted effort to eat a more balanced diet and stick to a regular exercise routine.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
My books and podcasts of choice might not be everyone’s cup of tea! I love to deep dive into philosophy, cosmology and religion. My current read is a book titled The Kalām Cosmological Argument by the philosopher William Lane Craig.
In this book Craig argues for the existence of God by offering a contemporary defense of the Kalām cosmological argument, putting emphasis on the metaphysical impossibility of an infinite regress of past events.
When that gets too much I balance it by watching random and brain dead YouTube videos .
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
The humble mobile phone has become indispensable as all of the above. It’s my key, wallet, computer, bank, camera, photo album, work, music and entertainment device.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Ooooh that’s an interesting question. Maybe by some high roller who needs to manage thousands of people and millions of dollars on a daily basis. (I was going to say Steve Jobs, but it was evident from his biography that he had absolutely no work-life balance!)
Actually, I would love to know more about Satoshi Nakamoto, his work, life and work-life balance.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Some of us would have stumbled across an article before in which a mature person reflects back on their journey in life. Not a single person has ever said they wish they have worked harder and were more successful in life.
Their advice is always focussed on the simple and essence of life – love, God, eternity, community, family and friends. My humble take on it is to not focus on yourself or believe in your own power to succeed, but rather focus on others and how you can exhibit in both life and work an attitude of humility, faith, hope and love.
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