Welcome Claire Jaycock, our new Creative Director

August 23, 2022

This month Octave welcomed Claire Jaycock to the team as our new Creative Director. Claire chats to us about what led her to the role, and gives us some intriguing book recommendations.

Solving interesting problems

When I think, I look up. My brain is searching through all of the information and experiences it has filed away, trying to connect the dots in unexpected ways. Problem solving is my favorite part of design, gathering all of the information you can get your hands on and bringing it together to perfectly address the customer and clients needs.

I think that is what attracts me to Octave. Solving interesting problems in the best possible way is at the heart of what Octave does. My journey towards joining this talented team has taken me around the world. I’ve worked in all kinds of studios and have designed for all types of industries. Most recently I led a team of digital app and product designers as Creative Director at the Bank of New Zealand. 

How to be authentically me

Writing this has given me a chance to reflect on my journey and drive to become a Creative Director. When I was a young designer (many moons ago) I didn’t see women in creative leadership roles. At the time female leads were few and far between, the lack of role models meant it took me a while to figure out how to be authentically me in the working environment – developing that as a strength is an achievement I am proud of. These days I see a whole host of talented creative leaders from all backgrounds and walks of life and I like to count myself amongst them helping to mentor and grow the diverse design talent in our field.

I’m aware that this introduction is supposed to be a chance for me to tell the internet something about myself. So far I’ve revealed that I look up when I think, I like solving problems, and I’m female. Not exactly painting a picture for you just yet. 

Thinky books by day, fiction by night

Maybe you will find it interesting to hear that I read multiple books at one time (it's a slow process). Non fiction and thinky books during the day, and fiction or biography type stories in the evening. 

I recently finished a book called ‘No Picnic on Mount Kenya’ – a true story about Italian POWs that escaped from their Kenyan prison camp, climbed Mount Kenya, then snuck back into the camp to continue their imprisonment. This appealed to both my sense of adventure and irony – I’m a keen hiker/tramper and try to adventure as much as possible throughout the warmer months. If you would like a long and nerdy discussion on hiking gear ask me about Ultralight hiking equipment. 

Another good book I’ve been working my way through is ‘Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data’ and ‘What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are’. The key takeaway from that one is that at no time in history have we had a true representation of the modern human psyche until Google Search Trends came along – people don’t reveal their true feelings to each other, or even themselves, but they tell Google all about it. This one appeals to my natural sense of curiosity, especially about things unseen and unsaid. 

Being curious

Just to bring this long and meandering yarn back to my role as Creative Director, curiosity about how the world operates and how humans interact with it is a key trait of designers, especially those who design interfaces for humans to use. Often what humans say and what they do are at odds. It’s our job to untangle that and create digital products that can be used intuitively and easily.

One month at Octave

In my first month at Octave I’ve witnessed first-hand the dedication to quality, innovation, and smart thinking that this small agency has brought to the big wide world of human centered digital design and development. 

No two clients are treated the same, ensuring that every different project is tackled in just the right way. Discussion amongst the team is robust, passionate, and always respectful. 

If you bring your problems to be solved (or talents to contribute) to Octave you can be sure you are in safe hands, now including my own – if they aren’t already holding a book or a hiking map 🙌📚🥾