How I got to be… Rich Fuller, Senior Creative

An interview with Catch A Fire's Senior Creative Rich Fuller

by Ben May | People & Culture | 3 May 2023

How many years of experience do you have: 11

Places you have worked before: VCCP, (Numerous freelancing – BBH, JWT, Fallon, M&C Saatchi)

Your Favourite all-time advert: ‘John West Salmon’ was probably the first time I took notice of advertising and saw it in a different way. ‘Honda Cog‘ is probably still my favourite, though.

What do you have to take to a meeting: Sketchpad and a marker pen.

So, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Growing up on a farm, eight-year-old me wanted to be a farmer. But I’ve always enjoyed drawing, so I knew I’d probably go into something creative. I did a foundation degree in art and always figured I’d take that into graphic design, in particular, designing album covers. However, I was introduced to Bucks Advertising Course, and that led me to where I am now.

If you could go back in time and give your younger self career advice, what would you say?

Overall, career advice would probably be to trust the process and that all things happen for a reason. No career path is completely linear.

If it was my younger creative self, I’d tell him not to take everything to heart. When you first start in the industry, and you’re putting ideas out there to people with a lot more experience than you, it can be incredibly daunting. I think the sooner you learn not to take it personally and embrace the collaboration, you’ll open yourself up to much better ideas.

I’d also encourage myself to get up and leave my desk more. It’s funny how many times a walk, or a change in scenery can help break a mental block or spark inspiration.

What has been the most surprising thing you’ve learned in your career?

One thing I love about our industry is the ability and need to quickly become experts in anything and everything. Subjects I’d never normally have an interest in, I’m now tasked with getting right under the skin of. I’ve always found that side of advertising really interesting. All these random little bits of life knowledge we gain along the way.

And what motivates you to keep working hard in your job?

Every day is different so it’s normally easy to find motivation. I’ve never wanted to work in an industry where you just clock in, do the same job and then clock out again. Being part of Catch A Fire now, I’m also motivated to make a difference. I love working with clients who want to make the world a better place and so doing the best I can to help them on their journey to achieving that is always great motivation.

How do you balance your personal life and career demands?

Since the world changed and working from home became more commonplace, it’s given me the opportunity to spend more time with my family. It’s allowed me to take my son to and from nursery and see more of him each day, which is something I would never have had in my old roles. Catch A Fire has been amazing at helping balance both my personal and career needs. They’re the first place I’ve worked where you don’t just feel like a cog in a machine, and when a family emergency has popped up in the past they’ve always been accommodating. That couldn’t exist without trust and having that from Catch A Fire is massive.

As a whole, I’ve also always found being a creative to be a little different too, because it’s not a 9-5 job. You can’t switch it off!

Do you have a favourite project you’ve worked on in your career so far, and why?

I got lucky early on and worked on a couple Audi campaigns as a junior. Before I got into the industry, I’d always loved the Audi fuel consumption print ads. I just remember sitting in Uni and sifting through work different agencies had done and these just stood out. They looked simple but still had a strong creative thought behind them.

Fast forward a couple years and I was given the opportunity to work on a brief for the Audi A6, alongside another team. One of the deliverables was for a fuel consumption concept so, needless to say, I was determined to beat them to the idea. I’m now able to put my print ad alongside the ones I admired going into the industry. That was quite a surreal, early experience.

If you could work in any other industry, regardless of qualifications or experience, which one would it be and why?

I’d still be in a creative environment, I think but I’d probably be doing something in the film industry. I’ve always had an interest in movies and have a very useless knowledge of what actor is in this film and who directed that film etc. It’s good for pub quizzes, I guess. I find cinematography really interesting as well and how it’s visually used to tell a story and enhance the main narrative.

If not that, then maybe a rugby player – If I’d applied myself a little more when I was younger.

What’s something you’ve learned about yourself through your career?

I’ve learned a lot about how to talk and present to different people and how to inspire the best work. After all, everyone is different and works in different ways. As you become more senior, this also becomes more important when feeding back on creative too.

I’ve also learned a lot about myself and how to best come up with creative ideas. For a start, I’ve learned you can’t force an idea. It will come, you just have to let it breathe. That’s why I think getting up from your desk and changing your surroundings should always be encouraged. It just helps to unlock other parts of your brain. So go and have that coffee, or take a walk around that lake. The idea is what counts.

What made you apply to be a senior creative at Catch A Fire?

A large part was down to their beliefs and manifesto. My wife’s plant-based, I’m vegetarian and the future shape of the world is something we often talk about. So when the opportunity to work for CAF came along, and the chance to combine my career with something I’m actively conscious of, it was a bit of a no-brainer. I love being able to do work that has a purpose and a positive impact. It’s much more rewarding.

I guess my first ‘taste’ of this was winning the pitch for, and subsequently working on Macmillan Coffee Mornings at VCCP. Knowing the work you create will inspire people to raise money for others was very motivating. That probably kickstarted an interest in doing work with a purpose.

And the office view isn’t bad either!

Want to join Catch A Fire?

If you like the idea of taking your career further and combining it with a B Corp business on a mission to create work that ignites positive change. Then take a look at our open roles on LinkedIn or drop us a message.

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