Ask The Monkeys co-founders, Justin Drape (chief creative officer) and Scott Nowell (executive creative director), about their passions on the side and they look at you blankly. It’s not at all that they’re devoid of passions.
It’s that they have a knack for turning their creative passions into business undertakings. They don’t see their passions as being “on the side”.
Scott plays the guitar – a lot, or so we’re told by other Monkeys. A lot in the office, so we’re told by other Monkeys. He also surfs. But his recent passion is doco filmmaking. He has just made Mambo: Art Irritates Life for ABC TV.
Justin has a passion for snowboarding, underwater diving, photography and ice cream. But rather than get fat devising his own ice cream creations, he and his Monkey and Maud partners bought Homer Hudson, and brought the brand out of retirement with a very cool 21st century look and distribution through 800 Woolies stores.
Some of Justin and Scott’s passions on the side have become familiar to everyday people.
And not always through brands. Justin and his wife, Simone, also created the Sculpture by the Sea installation that got Sydney talking. Twice. In 2013, their Room Without A View (a 3-act play where a man seemingly trapped in a Portaloo phones friends and family for help) triggered several calls to the police by onlookers trying to help “the man” – actually the recorded voice of Jeremy Sims.
In 2009, they stuck a huge steel, pvc tubing, nylon and acrylic flexi-straw in the ocean because, “Australia is an island surrounded by water yet we never have enough of it to drink. The sculpture highlights this irony, bringing to mind the desalination debate.”
Here’s what Justin Drape and Scott Nowell say about being relentless creatives:
This is the 5th Inside the Passion Pod, the 3rd in video form sponsored by Flint Productions, Alt.vfx and Arc Edit.
Here’s what Justin and Scott didn’t talk about:
And here are their Passion Pod siblings: