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cam heyes

Hey Cam, how’s things?

Megs! I’m very well - thanks for having me! I’m honoured. 

For those that don’t know tell us about yourself

My name is Cam Heyes and I’m a multi-disciplined senior creative from Lancashire. I specialise in design, motion and video editing. Over the past 17 years, I’ve worked in many different sectors but I’m now mostly in music and entertainment.

So what got you into design?

I’ve always been creative, even as a kid I would be in my room drawing constantly and the older I got the more that interest grew into design. In high school, it became a passion and I excelled in art and graphic design. 

You mentioned in an interview with the Creative Commission that your career beginnings weren’t plain sailing. Do you mind going into this further?

I think the main point is I simply struggled to professionally break into graphic design and turn it into a job in the beginning. It always seemed like a hobby to begin with and I know it’s a similar story for a lot of creatives. I couldn’t help but feel that I was the underdog. I always had to work twice as hard to be half as good as my peers. At college I was surrounded by creatives who were just naturally more intuned with it - at 18 I was still unsure if it was the career path I wanted. It was after I left college, that my interest in design sort of faded out and I started working in retail but then I thought “I don’t want to do this forever either!” So I dug deep and reclaimed that fire in my belly for design. In the years that followed, I worked extremely hard to catch up, make up for lost time, and get myself familiar with industry-standard software. Once I felt confident, I started seeking employment in design but it just didn’t happen for a long time. I would go to interviews and be met with “You don’t have enough experience” or “Not this time” and it was disheartening.

I remember an occasion when I was unemployed, with zero income and living off my mum, I went to the Job Centre to meet with a job coach and she asked me what job I wanted to do. When I told her I wanted to be a graphic designer, she laughed and said “I think we need to be more realistic” - I’ll never forget that or how it made me feel. So again, I finally got another job in a factory just to make ends meet and slowly started to feel a bit depressed. My family noticed a dip in my mental health before I did and they encouraged me to continue working towards my design goals but I was done with it. Eventually, luck would be on my side when I applied for a job as an order picker for an online retailer but they saw on my CV I had some interest and a little experience in graphic design and ultimately offered me a junior designer role which I accepted immediately. I owe a lot to that company for taking a risk on me. I’m still in touch with my old colleagues now a decade later. Regardless of how much my career has blossomed, the clients I have, and the professional growth I’ve experienced since then, I am forever thankful to Hunkydory Crafts for giving me my first design job. They didn’t know just how much I needed it. They taught me a huge amount about marketing and social media during my time there - I may be creating content for the biggest music artists and brands in the world nowadays but I have never forgotten where it all started.

You have worked with some of the biggest music artists in the world, talk to us how you got to this point.

Well, it didn’t happen overnight that’s for sure! A lot of persistence and a very thick skin. In general, the music industry will eat you alive unless you remain confident and bold. You have to be clever in your approach, strategic, reliable and willing to sell your work/life balance down the river! BUT the rewards for those sacrifices are completely worth it.

I’ve always been fascinated by cover art and my first memory of this was back in ’96 (showing my age now!) when my older sister got Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill CD for Christmas and I was just obsessed with that artwork, it was so random and intriguing, everything from the typewriter font in the title to the blended imagery. Although it didn’t inspire my style of design it sparked an interest in music visuals for sure. If 8-year-old Cam could see that he goes on to design cover art he’d be very proud.

I began my journey into music on Instagram years ago by following music managers and DMing some new artists offering design work most of which were ignored so it was a bit of a slog for a very long time with no real success. But I continued, I’m a very determined man and I was relentless in my pursuit. Eventually, one of them replied connecting me with their manager and that led to a word-of-mouth domino effect. Managers would CC me on emails with record labels and they’d copy me on other contacts and from that, my client list grew resulting in bags of music industry experience. I’m very lucky now that I don’t have to work as hard to win those projects today, they sort of fall at my feet now that I’ve built those relationships.

What I’ve learnt about the music business, particularly in the UK is that it’s very small behind the scenes, everybody knows everyone and a lot of mutual connections. I’ve landed on projects with fellow industry professionals that I know but was completely unaware of hand. That’s always a nice surprise.

What were the challenges you faced on this journey?

Oh bloody hell where do I start?! A lot of rejection - which never feels good but it’s important to compartmentalise and not let it get to you while taking all feedback on board. If you go into any entertainment industry expecting to be the best thing sliced bread you’ll plummet to earth with a bang. It’s one thing your friends and family telling you how good you are but there’s nothing quite like a reality check from those who won’t blow smoke up your arse - but I am grateful for that in hindsight because it forced me to focus on perfecting my craft, being better and prepared me for really putting myself out there as a serious contender as a go-to content creator in music.

Music visuals are trend-driven, like most industries and those trends change so often and as creatives, we have to keep up with them or drown and land on the back burner.

What would you tell your younger self fresh out of education going through the rough times?

That’s a good question. I would tell him that, one day you’ll realise this rough period will have been for a reason. You won’t see it now, but in time this will have shaped you into a more resilient person both personally and professionally.

one day you’ll realise this rough period will have been for a reason. You won’t see it now, but in time this will have shaped you into a more resilient person both personally and professionally.

Time for a fun question, what was your favourite music client to work on?

Oh, that’s a tough one - there are so many that stand out. I genuinely enjoy all of them because there is simply no way to work with me without laughing your head off no matter how high-profile you are! I communicate with GIFs and I’ve perfected the art of comedic timing so that paired with northern wit = chaos.

But if I had to pick one, it’s gotta be Ava Max’s European Headline Tour where I was brought on as creative director on the project. Ava’s team reached out to my rep but given the super short deadline and the amount of work in such a short time, I swiftly brought my good friend Laurie on board, a fellow creative director who I trust a million per cent. Laurie and I quickly shared equal responsibility in the direction of the show’s visuals and set the general tone. We were given the absolute luxury of creative licence to do what we wanted and we did just that. Laurie possesses such a unique style that matches that of certain songs in the setlist - it had to be her! Thanking my lucky stars that she was available and agreed - she’s a busy woman! It stands out for me because the creative process was so fun, from writing the story to the concept designs, pitching and then working with the show lighting technician, right through to testing them on the big screens - group chat was a ping-a-second. Great fun and the ultimate reward was seeing it in all its glory on sold-out stages.

What do you look for when accepting a freelance job?

The first thing is always “What can I bring to the project?” but they’re usually already aware of what I can deliver and that is why they reach out in the first place. The end result is what is paramount to me and if I can do it justice. In music, it’s really important for me that I like the track I’m working with or creativity isn’t as easy to flow but I haven’t had that happen yet.

You joined us at Manchester United in March, how was your time there?

It’s so surreal to think of me working at Manchester United, my dad is a supporter and he always wanted me to be into football as a kid but I just never was. For his son to then go on to work in a senior role at one of the biggest football clubs in the world is something NOBODY in my family would have predicted.

I loved my time at United for the most part but I knew quite early on that I wouldn’t be there long term. One thing I massively overlooked when taking the role was my lack of football knowledge which did make it a little difficult at times. To work in such a high-demand department for a brand that is as monstrous in size as it is in reputation you do need to have somewhat of an interest in the sport. And that’s okay! Taking risks and learning more about different industries is never a bad thing - and I learnt shed loads. That being said, I have such a keen interest in football now that I never had before and that is because of my time there and seeing how it operates behind the world-famous walls of Old Trafford. Who’d have thought it?!

The team at United are without a shadow of a doubt, the best people I have ever worked with and I’ve met some friends for life. To find fellow creatives who are cut from the same cloth and have the same sense of humour as you is extremely rare. I’m very thankful for my time at United for that reason.

I miss everyone a lot but I can see the Theatre of Dreams from my office! I’m not too far away

Was there a favourite project you worked on during your time there?

Content for new player signings 100%. It was such a huge thrill. Everything from brainstorming ideas to coming up with edits for announcements. The anticipation of the fans on social media speculating and then the reaction to the all-important new player reveal was so satisfying to experience, especially on social channels that have a combined following of 185 million - madness! Everyone who knows me knows that I love nothing more than teasing an audience and building momentum. It’s the same feeling with my work in music, being involved in something that is potentially going to ‘break the internet’ and instantly trend on socials is so addictive. Not to mention the solid teamwork from everyone involved. Everybody just understood the assignment, worked their arses off and delivered some amazing visuals.

You later moved to the BBC and took the role of a senior designer. What drew you to the role?

I think coming straight from a video and motion role at United probably took people who may not know my history by surprise - I’m a designer first and foremost and video editing/motion design is an extension of that, so moving on to the BBC as a Senior Creative was a huge opportunity but felt somewhat familiar and almost like home. The role itself is very senior and involves steering the visual output of content consistently and engagingly, ensuring that other creatives within BBC Studios are following brand guidelines across all social media platforms in everything from static images to video content. A lot of upskilling and support for the other designers in-house and approving social media assets.

I’m at that point now where I don’t feel the need to prove myself, I think I’ve earned my stripes and I knew this role would give me the power and trust to pay forward all the advice that I received when I was finding my feet in the industry.

What is it like working there?

Oh, the beeb has surpassed every one of my expectations, to be honest. They have offered me roles in the past and I’ve always been under the illusion that it’s a super corporate which has ultimately put me off. You know me Megs, I’m the least corporate person in the world —Ha! But I couldn’t have been more wrong! I’m sure some departments are on the corporate side but where I am, it’s very relaxed and everyone is super nice. They’re all eager to learn, eager to hit targets and so conscientious about their work - everyone genuinely cares about each other and the jobs at hand. It’s a very “staff first” place and that shows in the morale and atmosphere.

Award Winning Creative, how does that feel?

Bit weird actually! Winning Best Niche Creative in the North West for my work in music was a huge surprise. I don’t enjoy attention at all and I hate fuss but this was lovely nonetheless.

It's been quite a year for you in 2023, how would you sum it up?

Personal growth! I learnt a lot about myself in 2023 and all for the better. I’ve taken career risks, allowed myself to get uncomfortable and met amazing people. It hasn’t been a bad year at all, it broke the mould and allowed me to reset when I felt things in my working life were becoming stagnant.

Throughout the year you’ve done talks, is it important to you to give back to the next generation?

Absolutely! One of the highlights of 2023 was going back to my old college and delivering a talk to the next generation of creative talent was such a ‘full circle’ moment. To walk the halls that I vividly remember was like I’d entered a time portal right back to 2006. The students were so engaged and eager to learn - such a good feeling to be able to give back and show them what they can achieve if they work hard and stay motivated.

What are your creative industry pet peeves?

Oh don’t be opening that can of worms there are too many to list but to touch on a few that grind my gears personally: Clients not putting the same energy into paying their invoice on time as they do sending feedback for one, another one is the misuse of a drop shadow, most of the time it’s never needed. And the one that tops my list (and probably every other designer) using Comic Sans for a serious message - all culprits should be immediately sent to

For my final question, what's next?

I feel like I’ve been challenged enough in design so now I feel the natural progression is to focus more on creative direction. I also have a new podcast series out called ‘Invisible Sidekick’ (@invisible.sidekick) where I’ve sat down with other creatives in music and talked about everything from techniques, challenges and advice from those behind the scenes so I’m excited for that.

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