Introducing Toby Pike – one half of Toby and Pete, a Sydney based studio. The guys took part in our Terrible Twos show back in 2011 – paired with TDK’s own Frankie Ratford. We ask how they met, what its like working at T&P and tips for grads: diversity and good thinking. Read on…
Describe a typical Toby and Pete day.
A typical day for us usually begins around 9:30, check our emails then decide to put off all urgent matters till after we’ve gone for a coffee. After coffee, then we hit the emails hard. You know, sending, cc’ing, forwarding, replying, bcc’ing you name it, when it comes to email, we can do it all. After we’ve shown the internet who’s boss, then we get into work, which usually consists of more research on the net. Our jobs are so diverse that we tend to be doing something different week to week. We could be deep in post production with our heads buried behind our monitors, building props in our studio, or working with crew on set. So it’s safe to say the only typical part of the day for us revolves around coffee and emails. Also bickering over ideas 😉
What were some of your first creative jobs?
We both studied photography and design at uni initially, but had always had fascinations with other media. Toby finished with a degree in Digital Media majoring in film and sound production, Pete graduated with a BA in Vis Comm majoring in Photography and Digital Imaging. Funnily enough we both moved into freelance retouching at the same portrait studio not knowing each other at the time. We then later met at a print post production studio called Electric Art, where we both worked on high end digital imaging for advertising.
What strengths do you both bring to T&P?
We work together on all conceptual work, and we sit next to each other so we’re constantly giving each other feedback throughout the process. But if you were to look at our individual skill sets, Pete takes care of the CGI and more technical imaging, Toby on the photographic and film style work. But even that is getting blurry these days. Essentially, we’re both technical nerds will short attention spans, so we’re constantly looking at new ways to expand our diverse folio.
What advice would you give students starting out?
Read ‘Steal Like an Artist’ by Austin Kleon. It’s all in there. haha. But really, just make as much work as you can. In your early stages don’t get bogged down in over thinking and over complicating your work. The more you do, the quicker you’ll learn and sooner you’ll figure out your style and who you are as a creative person.
What are you working on right now?
Aside from emails. We just finished a new music video for Chet Faker’s latest single. The song is called ‘Talk is Cheap’. Keep an eye out for it. It involved freezing Chet in a block of ice and then watching him die and decompose in the forest. Good fun.
Which creatives do you look up to in Australia?
There are so many amazing artists here. We Buy Your Kids, James Jirat Patradoon, Luca Ionescu, Paul Davis, Gemma O’Brien, Lukasz Karluk, Garry Trinh. I could keep going on.
What are your personal and professional goals for 2014?
We signed with a US agent last year so we’re hoping to give that a good go this year. Hopefully it will push us into some different styles of work. We’ve also got some really exciting installations coming up. Outside of work, we’ll be moving into a new studio inn the next few months. That always brings a new exciting change.
What do you look for in an awesome graduate?
The first thing we look for is diversity. We’re always doing something different so someone that can ally great thinking across several mediums is really important. In a graduate, we don’t necessarily look for someone who has the best and most refined craft skills, this is something that can be learnt on the job. The most important thing is good thinking. Someone who is really keen and not afraid to jump in the deep end.