‘For three decades people have been asking me for my advice on how to have ideas, where they come from, how to keep having them, and so on. And they ask about my life in the creative business, its ups, downs and pitfalls. I thought it was about time I wrote it all down.’
This is the background to Johnson’s new book, Now Try Something Weirder which began backstage at a famous design conference whilst waiting to follow the penultimate speaker, Erik Kessels.
Kessels had an audience of normally straight-faced Germans in stitches of laughter with his collection of found images. ‘I wrote a mental note to myself there and then’ explains Johnson, ‘never follow a Dutchman onstage who has been showing pictures of erect penises for 50 minutes.’
A few weeks later he began a long train journey remembering that note, and by the end of it had written almost 200. In its final form, Now Try Something Weirder packs 233 hints, tips and ideas into a pocket-sized, easy-to-read handbook, written to help all types of creative – from student to graduate, from creative director to business owner. Who knows, it might just help.