Bob Lloyd, Creative Lead, Studio Hansa
Shade ThompsonSocial & Content Marketing Manager
Lego-building international champion, collaborator and lover of the outdoors…
Just a few words to describe the gifted and talented Lead Creative at our sister agency Studio Hansa, Robert Lloyd (simply nicknamed Bob). With a passion for purpose-driven content that brings together excellence with the unexpected, Bob’s calm and friendly aura for collaboration and looking beyond the surface is one of his many wonderful traits.
We sat down with Bob to get to know him a little more and his approach to creativity, starting with his journey to Studio Hansa…
Creativity has always been a passion I naturally gravitated towards.
Bob: My role at Studio Hansa is the Creative Lead. Essentially... I'm the Lead Creative? It's kind of a dream job for me. I've always geared myself up to be in the creative industry in some way, through school, social circles and everything outside of that.
I enjoy being hands-on creatively, either “doing” or “sharing” with others. It’s something I try to bring into any work that I do.
I was always into hands-on activities from a young age like playing with Lego, drawing, making forts in the woods. I think I appreciated tactility, sentiment and the character that comes with imperfection, because as a graphic designer my work involved a lot of physical play and story before digitising it. Now, working in production and moving image (or however best describes our approach to a brief), I try to stay true to those creative roots.
Although I get called a “craftsman” quite often, the end result shouldn’t always be what people expect it to be... it should be something much more immersive, whether that’s playing with an emotion, a sound, a visual, a medium. Basically anything that goes beyond the screen – that's the exciting part.
We're a moving image agency. It's more than just film and animation.
It was great to hear how experimental Bob is and his focus on the process and thinking behind his work. I wondered if this was what he loved about his job…
Bob: That is absolutely what I love! The process and art of continuous learning has remained a huge part of me the further I've gone in my career, people have always been at the heart of that drive. I love how working with others can bring out the best in every personality, skill and solution to a challenge.
In earlier stages of education and early jobs, there's often a focus on proving individual capabilities, which sometimes conflicts with true collaboration. Whereas now, I just enjoy sharing knowledge and actively shaping projects with other skilled people. It's not only about doing my best, but ensuring everyone feels able to contribute their best too, making the process more enriching.
Everyone is different. The way you get out of your comfort zone, the perspectives and experiences you have in life. Exposure to this diversity allows you to bring something unique to every challenge you take on.
This was such an interesting perspective. I was eager to know if Bob had this view for just his work or beyond.
Bob: It always come back to the brief. Sometimes I think it's dangerous to see it as just work. It’s more than that. It's a way to help someone else.
These projects aren't just arbitrary things a lot of the time, for example, Arksen – a client we work with have many environmental and charitable initiatives. At face value, it could be perceived as “just a fundraising video”... but actually it holds a greater purpose; trying to preserve the environment and improve the quality of people’s lives.
So, whatever perspective or skill you're able to bring to the table doesn't just make for a better project, but makes for a more considered, impactful result.
It's no surprise why the beautifully created work at Studio Hansa is effective!
With AI being a huge topic growing rapidly, I was curious about his view on how it is impacting the industry and artists?
Bob: It's a fascinating topic. You can’t have a 'head in the sand' moment with it. Personally, I'm not overly concerned; it's a tool, much like how the digital camera revolutionised photography. However, there is a danger in viewing AI as a one-size-fits-all solution – it's not. It demands attention and critical thinking.
While AI can be a powerful asset, there's a risk of blindly trusting its results. It's not a flawless answer but a process that requires human moderation and the creator's involvement. We need to be cautious not to treat AI as the sole solution either, understanding its pros and cons, and realising it's a means to reshape our practices rather than replace them entirely.
There are so many intriguing takes on it. I particularly liked a point that those who have a deep knowledge on a topic are able to use nuanced prompts which the average user would never think of, and so they get more nuanced results. It’s democratising, but rewards education.
The effectiveness of AI ultimately relies on human input, shaped by our knowledge and values.
Concerns about job security often come up, flagging that automation might challenge some professions. Technological advancements have always generally aimed for efficiency, so it’s down to how we navigate and align these innovations with our work values.
Take discussions around banning AI-generated songs on platforms like Spotify for example. Creator struggles and uncertainty evidently exist, especially in areas where boundaries between acceptance and rejection are less defined.
Interesting take with so much more to uncover in the digital evolution to come and balance being a crucial part of the mix.
Leading away from work and more into personal interests and hobbies, I wanted bob to share more about his love for the outdoors…
Bob: I'm quite adventurous, having grown up in the countryside, and then experienced polar-opposite city life during university in Birmingham and later in London. Both have made me appreciate the value of nature and culture. A lot of energy comes from travelling with outdoorsy activities like surfing, snorkelling, hiking and skiing, or exploring amazing food and drink in different countries.
Surprisingly, I'm also into unconventional hobbies. I asked for a kayak for my last birthday, make my own wine, built a pizza oven, do a fair bit of carpentry, and enjoy things like knife throwing, archery, and target shooting. Focusing on a singular target is quite a contrast to the scattered nature of a creative job! Oh, and I parachuted out of the first 6 flights I ever took, taking a flying lesson to be the pilot on my first landing – I like doing things that make people think “I want to try that too!”.
Now that is a thrilling list of hobbies we didn’t expect! Definitely a form of balance given his calm and collected nature at our office – a true inspiration.
For aspiring artists who wanted to get into the world of video and animation, I asked Bob what advice he would give to future creatives…
Do great work for and with great people.
Bob: There's no single tip, but I work by a couple of mantras. One has always been that “I want to do great work for and with great people”. In a previous role, we emphasised humility and celebrating victories together while keeping the focus on the client and end audience. That mantra was 'Push the Possible' with the idea to never settle for the ordinary; always strive for the extraordinary. If you aim for what's possible, you limit yourself, so it's essential to reach beyond that boundary and keep challenging yourself. That brings me neatly to what we do at Studio Hansa, we create Truly Moving Content.
My definition of that ethos is content which moves in all aspects; from a literal sense, to moving you emotionally. It’s content that evokes change and is far more powerful than just pixels on screen. I really do live by that, because I genuinely believe in it.
So I guess my advice is find what your makes you passionate about this industry, and champion it, because it might sound a little cheesy but these mantras are important in creating unity, and I hope they inspire people getting into the industry too.
Nothing cheesy about valuable mantras if you ask me. This brought me to my final question for Bob. If he could work with any brand, who would his ideal client be?
Bob: I've always had a soft spot for NASA; sure their retro branding is gorgeous, but what they stand for is simply unbelievable. There's a certain balance of traditionalism mixed with progressivism that really appeals to me.
Other than NASA, I've always had a love for Lego. Interestingly, my first dream job was torn between being a duck farmer (that’s a completely different story) and a Lego designer. Two very different jobs, but a fun journey to where I am now.