Despite not buying into the whole festive period that 'graces' each year, I have found myself spending vast amounts of time (money) on shopping. The arctic weather conditions, enjoying a well-earned break and watching crap TV, means I am slightly behind uploading the pictures I have been taking each day...
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a fantastic Christmas and epic New Year!
I will have plenty of new material to reveal to you next year! As a result of my choice to hold back on putting my work online, you won't see the majority of it until publication. All will be revealed in time :D
Heres a Christmas treat for y'all...
Abbey Lee Kershaw & Edita Vilkeviciute in 'The Bride Whisperer' by Mario Sorrenti for Interview Magazine
On Sunday, Glen Taylor, MD and founder of TJ, featured in the Sunday Times Business pages, titled ‘How I Made It’. Under the headline ‘A Little Retouching and I was a Picture of Success’, it gave us all an insight into founder Glen Taylor’s journey from working on a pig farm at thirteen to running a multi-million pound creative business in his thirties.
(The text that follows are extracts from the feature in the Sunday Times Business pages on the 18 July, 2010 by Liz Colman )
In the past two years our workforce has doubled to 40 and turnover is expected to be £4m this year; the expansion led primarily by our decision to embrace CGI a few years ago- a technique which was reserved primarily for film productions at the time. “We spent £200,000 developing CGI in 2006, when we were turning over £1.2m, so it was quite a big investment for us,” said Glen.
Glen left school at 16 and attended the Arts Institute at Bournemouth, now the Arts University College. He was 20 when he finished the course and had dreams of becoming a film director. However, three month into a post-graduate course in advanced media he was offered a job at a digital retouching firm in London largely in part to some Photoshop skills honed through film making.
Back then, however, picture retouching was a tiny specialty- Glen estimates that only about 20 people in London could operate the £400,000 computers required for airbrushing photographs in the mid 90’s- so there was plenty of free-lance work. Which led him to his next role working in a post-production company- in turn; this would become his first rival when he left after 18 months to start up on his own.
Glen said his work ethic comes from his father, a carpet fitter. “My parents never had a lot of money. My dad has strong values about work and they were passed down to me- if you want something you need to go out and earn it.” Glen was a one-man band in a 150 sq ft basement flat in east London. After a couple of years he moved round the corner when then in 2004 he bought a five storey building in Shoreditch, where he now resides in the loft- which doesn’t help his workaholic tendencies.“It was one of the best things I have ever done. Owning this building has allowed us to grow without being constrained by leases.”
While a strong creative vision is essential to his business, Glen is a shrewd businessman as well. The key to success, he said, was to keep the business lean at the start. He still works an 11-hour day. A retoucher is a “perfectionist by nature…you have to take every opportunity, apply yourself, and deliver- and not feel that you could have done better.”