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adam faulkner

he/him | Portfolio | Site | LinkedIn

Hey Adam, how’s things?

Very well thanks Megan. Feeling very positive at the moment so you’ve caught me at a good time 🙂

For those that don’t know tell us about yourself

Well I’m Adam, I’m 36 and run my own little production company called CreativeAF (and don’t worry they’re my initials, I’m not just super arrogant!)

I genuinely am really passionate about making things and making the most of life. I’m all about adventures and creating opportunities for myself.

I’m also endlessly curious and interested in people and their stories, which is why what I’m doing right now suits me best.

From English Teacher to founder of Creative AF give us a brief overview of your career to date.

It took me several years and several jobs to get running my own business. I don’t think I’d be where I am now without the experiences I had before though, so I’m really grateful to the jobs and bosses I had in the past.

I’ve worked in bars, betting shops, as an English teacher, processing security licences, as a national newspaper journalist, as a TV producer and then finally running my own business now.

My parents used to run an ad agency back in the day so growing up around that really showed me the way of entrepreneurism. I think deep down I’ve always wanted to run my own business but didn’t have the vision and confidence to do it.

Thankfully I’m there now and can’t see myself changing that for anything.

I just wanted to extend my congratulations to you for your employee of the month awards.

Thank you Megan. It’s a real honour to get the employee of the month award every month. As a solopreneneur, if you don’t blow your own horn, who is going to do it for you?

What is your favourite managers special?

It has to be the Taco Tuesday wrap that they do!

You are a one man creative team, how important is not scaling for the sake of it?

I’m definitely not averse to scaling, it’s just how and in which direction. I’ve found that for 3 years working solo and growing and shrinking a team (of freelancers) depending on the project has worked incredibly well for me.

I’m not looking to change that anytime soon. The reason being that I wouldn’t hire a role, I would hire a person. There’s a few people I know that I’ve got my eye on and would love to bring them in and get them involved. Watch this space.

So talk to us about CreativeAF, who are you?

I am CreativeAF, CreativeAF is me. I run the company as a one-man creative agency but have an incredibly talented collective/network of creatives that I can bring in and collaborate with on projects when required. I love this model of working.

CreativeAF is all about storytelling through video and sound. I like to fashion creative campaigns for brands using bold visuals and incredible sound. I focus on not just how a brand looks but how it sounds as well.

Epic cinematography fused with phenomenal sound, what makes you different?

The main difference is how much emphasis I place on the power of sound. I’ve played music since I was 14 (I’m now 36), been in 10 bands (none of them got signed) and have always been into how powerful it is.

One of the big reasons I started CreativeAF was because I believed and still believe that advertising and marketing could harness the power of sound better and most importantly - if they did they would stand out more.

I think the level of visual production nowadays is incredible and has become the norm but if everyone places too much emphasis on that then it’s not going to stand out as much.

Sound is an afterthought. I’ve spoken to enough people and looked at enough briefs over the last 3 years to tell you that.

Fortunately for me I can do both the visual and the audio, which makes my offering stand out.

As a one man team how difficult is it to get clients?

At first, it’s difficult. I didn’t have a portfolio or any clients and there was the small matter of the pandemic.

I’m not going to lie, I hustled very hard and am quite thick skinned so don’t mind getting ignored or rejected because I know I won’t give up and will keep going.

Once you start getting clients, it gets a lot easier for a couple of reasons. Firstly you end up getting referrals by word of mouth and then that keeps growing incrementally. Secondly, the more clients you have and the more work you do, you build your hype and people see the work you’ve done and the clients you’ve worked with and they trust you more.

That’s why you have to be resilient and keep going.

Are there any unexpected drawbacks to being freelance?

Oh there’s several. Uncertainty, inconsistent work, imposter Syndrome ,constantly finding new clients, chasing late payments, ghosted by prospective clients.

One thing I would say though, is the biggest benefit of being freelance trumps all of the above for me and that’s - freedom.

Any advice to anyone wanting to do the same?

I would say that it’s not for everyone but it doesn’t have to be at the end of the day. I meet people who are tempted by it and I can see it in their eyes. The leap is hard though as you have to leave a position of security and go into the unknown.

What I would say though is, if it works for you, you most likely won’t look back and will ask yourself - ‘Why didn’t I do this sooner?’

If it doesn’t work for you, you can always go back to employment. Just because you try something, doesn’t mean you have to do it forever.

In a recent LinkedIn post you mentioned you are doing everything at your own pace, how important is this for you?

I think if you stop getting emotionally involved in what other people are doing/achieving you will feel much better about yourself and journey.

There is competition everywhere and it’s natural for us to compare ourselves to others. They might even feel the same way about you - you never know.

My goal isn’t to create the biggest team or the wealthiest company. It’s to enjoy my life as best as I can.

There’s only one person in your lane or your race and that’s you.

How important is having a good personality?

Honestly? I think it’s one of the most important things not just in business but in life. You don’t have to be someone you’re not or try to be like other people. Just be yourself.

People value honesty and realness more and more these days. I also genuinely believe that work can be replicated but personality can’t. It’s our greatest edge.

Talk to us about your mentoring for The Prince’s Trust

I was really touched to be asked to be a mentor for The Prince’s Trust. It all came about because of LinkedIn actually. One of their Youth Development Managers started following and engaging with my posts. Before I knew it, I’d gone through the onboarding process with them and I’ve started getting involved.

I’m still in the early stages but can’t wait to help the young people of the UK where I can.

Is helping young creatives important to you?

In a word. Yes.

I think there’s a lot of incredible young creatives out there. They are certainly not lacking ideas, skill or creativity but are potentially struggling with confidence and finding opportunities.

This is where I’d like to help.

We aim to support all young creatives by sharing stories giving advice and sharing unique insights into industry, do you think there is anything we could improve on to help support creatives to a better degree?

I think having the confidence and belief in one’s ability is so important. Young creatives don’t lack talent or ability whatsoever but having the confidence to put themselves out there and connect the dots is the hardest part.

Who are your standout creatives?

Wow. There’s almost too many to mention but I will give out a shoutout to my friend Jane Kisnica who I met because of LinkedIn. She’s a freelance designer. Not only do I love her work but she’s such an open, honest person and following her journey has been great too.

For my final question, whats next?

I’ve recently just celebrated 3 years in business so I'm feeling very proud and optimistic about the future.

I’ve got a few passion projects that I’m very excited about at the moment but can’t go into.

I think sometimes we can be obsessed with what’s next but right now I’m enjoying my work and my life.

And sometimes that’s enough…. For now ;)

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