Growing up in the Sutherland Shire, Mark and Andrew would pause cartoons and sketch the scenes rather than be fixated on the show itself. They are both quick to credit their parents for their support, insisting they were encouraged to be anything they wanted to be. Although they knew their creative connection was intense from early on, they flirted with the idea of going to different universities after they were done with high school simply to diverge from the path they were sharing. “But then we thought, why deny each other just because?” reflects Andrew, who later goes on to explain that their severe honesty and at times harsh critique of one another when they were working on their degree at COFA was precisely what propelled them forward. “If it was 3am and we were working on the end of our projects, we wouldn’t tell each other it’s ‘good’ just to be polite. If we thought it needed more time, we would say it – even if meant we would have to stay up and redo the entire concept.”
Such reviews gave them both a thick skin and, inevitably, the ability to take criticism and use it to their advantage. Their years of heightened bonding also reflected back on their ability to read people, which they cite as a basic key to success.
“A lot of people don’t do simple things to get ahead – it’s all about identifying what people want and delivering it,” says Andrew.
“I think we’re in tune with reading people because all we ever did was read each other – it’s a subconscious intuition,” continues Mark.
Indeed, they found a certain success almost immediately, gaining positions at their respective internships straight upon graduation. Although they were at times pitching against each other for the same jobs, they continued to freelance with one another from their home in Rose Bay, bouncing ideas off one another and working on both commercial and passion projects together. One of them eventually became Demo Magazine, which was the aftermath of another project that they started but eventually ceased in 2006 because it was, as they describe, “a self indulgent piece of shit”. The end result became quite the opposite in the form of a large scale music magazine to promote up and coming artists, which ended up winning them recognition with both awards and the public. They don’t hide behind the fact that they only have time to publish it once a year, but, as they say, it is better to do one than none. “Great ideas are always difficult to execute,” says Andrew. “But if you do nothing, nothing happens.”
Demo and the various other projects they worked on together since they were young all served to facilitate their grand plan, which was branching out together. They officially became Moffitt Moffitt only a few months ago, which they say has been in the making since they were born. They cite collaboration as both the biggest benefit and challenge to their partnership, but, at the end of the day, trust is paramount. “We have confidence in one another. We are partners, so we’ve pretty much employed each other.” Perhaps one of the most substantial components of their predestined success is their strong outlook on the linked relationship between commerce and creativity. “We determine the value of our own work, and define it,” says Mark. Andrew goes on, “There is a strategic currency in everything you do, and there is different levels of it.” Their strong business sense is perhaps the necessary additive to their innate creative talent, which is, at the end of the day, their lifeblood.
“Ideas are everything, and as creative directors, we solve challenges in creative ways,” explains Mark. “We create a series of experiences based on what our clients want, and curate content to execute their identity. Every day, we discuss what creative opportunities we ca use to make the experience memorable, and how we’re going to feel when we are working on it. That is one of our currencies as well.”
When asked to cite the project that has defined them, they simultaneously agree that it will happen in the near future – that the plethora of work they have already created and that has won them a list of awards has been a mere rehearsal to what is about to occur. But despite their acute devotion to what they do, they both possess a holistic side – on top of future projects, they are also looking forward to mentoring and creating more opportunities that will help other people... in an artistic way, of course.
Their exhibition, “No, More” opens at MART Gallerytonight and will continue through to August 28. An abstract, thought-provoking exploration into the excess of the music industry, the series is at times haunting and confronting, but always beautiful.
MART is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 12pm to 5pm.
words: Seema Duggal
All images are previews from tonight's exhibition.