Our internationally inspired minds have sent our 10 Questions series south and a little east of Stockholm today. A quick trip down memory lane leads us to an old friend of ours; who in just a few years worked digital wonders for his home city of Leeds in the UK.
The early-age entrepreneur Lee Hicken, brought inspiration, new ideas, and motivation to our Uni classes at IED Barcelona. His charisma and humor combined with experience and drive easily placed him in that leadership role he strived best in. Today he manages the progressive and fun-spirited creative consultancy; Hebe Media.
His role is not an easy one to define. Not only is he founder, but also director, account manager, content creator, strategist, project manager... and the list continues. His tenacity has made for massive client deals like Land Securities and Art Council England. He led the company quickly towards success by winning Best Small Agency at last year's Digitally Leeds awards. Working alongside the Hebe team on various successful projects, has helped Lee receive notable recognition from press and most importantly from the community.
He's a dreamer, a child at heart, comedian, music passionate, and die hard Leeds United fan. We're happy to have him as our mate, giving us the joy of 10-Questioning him on Leve.
Leve: How would you describe what you do, when speaking to your grandparents?
Lee: I have almost given up trying to explain to my Nana what we do, so I have just gone with 'Like magazines and TV but for young people'.
Leve: Thinking about where you are now and then connecting the dots backwards, where and how did it all begin?
Lee: I have always been fascinated by technology and the media industry. I became obsessed with 'telling stories' through film, music videos, radio shows, DJ sets and that is still the main thing that drives me - stories.
Leve: Is working in your industry a profession or a pursuit?
Lee: It is most definitely the pursuit and the ability to create that drives me. I want to create something new, something that changes the game.
Leve: How do you switch off, if ever?
Lee: I find it really really difficult to switch off. There are only really two places - In front of the decks and watching Leeds United.
Leve: Deadlines are piling up, time is running out. How do you get yourself into “the zone” in order to get everything done on time?
Lee: Headphones on, most immediate 5 things on a list and banning myself from looking at any website that isn't essential to what I am doing.
Leve: How would you describe your “ideal” conditions to be creative?
Lee: It is more the state of mind, which I find through music. Having the right brief / creative session planned is the most important thing. Something that does not stifle creativity before we begin.
Leve: What are the most important lessons you can share with young people looking to establish themselves in a creative industry today?
Lee: Work your ass off! Do internships, network, teach yourself new skills. If you can't find someone to give you a chance, make the opportunity for yourself… By that I mean don't be afraid to set up your own project or event etc. If you know there is an audience for what you want to do and you know you can execute it, go for it!
Leve: Lets assume that you’re writing a book when you retire. What will the title of that book be, and what will it be about?
Lee: 'Made in Leeds' and hopefully it will be about how 30 years ago a small company started in a bedroom in Leeds and turned into something that changed the media landscape.
Leve: What do you look forward to the most when you retire?
Lee: A world cruise! (Yes that is old fashioned as hell, but I don't care!)
Leve: If you could be the best in the world at something, what would you want that to be?
Lee: Helping people achieve their dreams.
Cheers Lee! We'll see you down in Leeds soon!