Creative Inspiration: Aaron Cole, co-founder, Semaphore

Semaphore co-founder Aaron Cole discusses some of his biggest creative influences

  • Sir Peter Blake: Still making work at 82, Sir Peter continues to produce wonderful, impactful and culturally reflexive art. No matter the canvas – he recently painted the Mersey Ferry – he adapts, but always stays true to his beautiful, bright, colourful, individual style.

    Sir Peter Blake: Still making work at 82, Sir Peter continues to produce wonderful, impactful and culturally reflexive art. No matter the canvas – he recently painted the Mersey Ferry – he adapts, but always stays true to his beautiful, bright, colourful, individual style.

  • Paul Weller: In my biased (and I’ve just been told ‘blinkered’ opinion), no one since The Beatles has done more for British music. Never resting on his laurels, but always reinventing, collaborating and creating. Weller has kept true to his roots and ideals, while adapting to the times and his ever-changing moods. The man who disbanded The Jam at its absolute height, to then reappear in the Style Council. Brave, bold and with superior confidence and foresight.

    Paul Weller: In my biased (and I’ve just been told ‘blinkered’ opinion), no one since The Beatles has done more for British music. Never resting on his laurels, but always reinventing, collaborating and creating. Weller has kept true to his roots and ideals, while adapting to the times and his ever-changing moods. The man who disbanded The Jam at its absolute height, to then reappear in the Style Council. Brave, bold and with superior confidence and foresight.

  • Richard Benaud: An Australian cricketer respected by the English is a rare thing indeed. Someone who’s loved is really quite special. As a commentator he had a unique style of his own, a marvellous turn of phrase and a set of rules I use all the time. Look them up. Here’s my favourite: “Above all don’t take yourself too seriously, and have fun.”

    Richard Benaud: An Australian cricketer respected by the English is a rare thing indeed. Someone who’s loved is really quite special. As a commentator he had a unique style of his own, a marvellous turn of phrase and a set of rules I use all the time. Look them up. Here’s my favourite: “Above all don’t take yourself too seriously, and have fun.”

  • Bill Murray: Bill Murray has never conformed. He’s a maverick in the excessive, obscenely commercial world of Hollywood. Being his own agent has meant he can control the roles he takes, as well as retaining his privacy, while still getting some remarkable roles and winning the biggest awards.

    Bill Murray: Bill Murray has never conformed. He’s a maverick in the excessive, obscenely commercial world of Hollywood. Being his own agent has meant he can control the roles he takes, as well as retaining his privacy, while still getting some remarkable roles and winning the biggest awards.

  • New Order and Peter Saville: The album Power, Corruption and Lies is a masterpiece. From the first bass note to the beautiful cover design, it‘s perfect. This collaboration of talents, the relentless striving for the new and the absolute need to keep going, even when the worst happens, should inspire us all.

    New Order and Peter Saville: The album Power, Corruption and Lies is a masterpiece. From the first bass note to the beautiful cover design, it‘s perfect. This collaboration of talents, the relentless striving for the new and the absolute need to keep going, even when the worst happens, should inspire us all.

  • Gazza, World Cup 1990 Those old enough will remember the tears. And the penalties. But for me it was all about Gazza. An enigma on and off the field, he was the hero, the spark and the
little bit of genius the team needed. He played with total commitment, a desire to win and unrivalled passion. Even in defeat, he won.

    Gazza, World Cup 1990 Those old enough will remember the tears. And the penalties. But for me it was all about Gazza. An enigma on and off the field, he was the hero, the spark and the little bit of genius the team needed. He played with total commitment, a desire to win and unrivalled passion. Even in defeat, he won.

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If you love music, it’s hard to choose your favourite eight Desert Island Discs. Having worked in the creative industry my whole life, picking just six great creative things is even harder. So I didn’t even try. Instead, this is a list of people I’ve never met, but who have inspired me creatively.

Inspiration can come from the most unexpected places. The key is to keep our eyes and ears open and our egos in check, ready to receive it.

‘Creative’ may not be in all of our job titles, but we are all creatively inspired, otherwise we would work in insurance. So here’s my island of creative inspiration.

Aaron Cole is the co-founder of PR and content agency Semaphore

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