I was fortunate to grow up in a creative environment, thanks to my father, Patrick Tilley. He was a renowned illustrator and designer known for his incredible and award-winning campaigns. As a young person, I had the opportunity to earn some extra pocket money by assisting in his design studio. Little did I know that those early experiences would shape my future in remarkable ways.
After graduating from St Martins School of Art in 1980, I received an exciting opportunity to join Island Records as an in-house designer. I started at the bottom but quickly worked my way up, eventually becoming the creative director and even securing a seat on Island's board of directors. Working closely with Chris Blackwell, the founder, I took on the challenge of establishing Island Art, the record company's very first in-house art and video department.
As the director of a talented creative team, I had the privilege of crafting compelling and award-winning campaigns for some of the biggest names in the music industry. Artists like U2, Bob Marley, Steve Winwood, the B52's, Robert Palmer, Grace Jones, Kid Creole, Mica Paris, Eric B & Rakim, and many others became the focus of our creative endeavors. It was an exhilarating time, and I will never forget the thrill of directing my first-ever music video for Bob Marley's iconic song, "Buffalo Soldier."
During my ten years at Island, I had the opportunity to collaborate with an incredibly diverse range of individuals. From artists, designers, and photographers to filmmakers, hair and makeup artists, set designers, and clothing designers, I had the privilege of working with some of the absolute best in the business. The collective creativity and talent within the industry left an indelible mark on me.
In 1990, I decided to embark on a new venture and co-founded Mainline Productions alongside producer Tracey Josephs from Film4. While still working closely with Blackwell's Manga films as a creative director, I expanded my horizons by directing numerous commercials, music videos, and EPKs for respected record labels like Telstar Records, Go Discs, Universal TV, Island, Virgin, EMI, and WEA Records.
During this time, I also took on the role of consultant Creative Director for ICA Films and Universal's Hi-Life Records. It was an exciting responsibility, as I had the opportunity to shape brand identities and oversee the visual output of these esteemed companies.
I even ventured into the world of CGI animation when Slave Productions hired me as the art director for a children's series called "Spheriks." Commissioned by FIFA for the 2002 World Cup, it was an incredible experience. Alongside this project, I worked with a range of clients, producing films and graphics for Paramount Comedy Channel, Universal Pictures, Touchwood Films, Whitfield Street Studios, PWL, Sony/BMG Records, and many more.
Fuelled by my love for film, I co-wrote six screenplays, three of which were based on my original story ideas. The process of bringing stories to life on the big screen was both exhilarating and fulfilling.
Looking back, I am grateful for the opportunities and experiences that have shaped my career in the creative industry. The incredible collaborations, the award-winning campaigns, and the chance to work with some of the most talented individuals in the business have been truly invaluable.