How I received right here: Forest Younger

Wolff Olin's first global chief creative officer explains his detour to creativity and why he believes failure is the secret ingredient to success

Forest Young's career spanned an impressive range of disciplines, including work in branding, user experience, interactive and traditional graphic design. He has had pieces on display in museums around the world, has received a long list of industry awards, and has just been named Wolff Olins' first Global Chief Creative Officer.

However, his trajectory was not easy, as he reveals. Forays into medicine, acting, and even hotel management preceded his creative career, which Young says has taken a detour. Here he tells CR why failure was such an important part of getting him to this point and advocates "a strange career path of fall and fall".

The family influence At a young age I began to express artistically – painting and drawing. I can't even remember the first time I picked up a pencil, crayon, or brush. It has to be three or four. Many people in my family are artists and painters, and I admit that I took that for granted – the number of people who felt comfortable expressing themselves in form. My aunt would make something out of wood and hang it on the wall, and I thought normal people would have done that. My uncle, a cop, was making criminal sketches when he wasn't painting and was part of the San Diego design community. So I drew and painted and probably took it for granted. In most of the cases where you take something for granted, you don't understand that it matters.


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