Andrew Barnum is a Designer, Educator and Artist and continues to work on projects synthesise his experience and inspiration as a creative practitioner.
In Design he is a creative partner in Social Design Action consultancy Peopleness/The Good Shed. In education he has a Diploma Arts (RMIT), Master of Arts (UTS), and is a PhD candidate at UTS exploring Australian song and song-writers in the digital age. He is a course author and lecturer in Design, Animation, Games & Digital Media/Advertising at JMC Academy and Macleay College in Sydney.
As an artist he is a singer-songwriter and painter, with independent releases on Spotify and Apple Music as Andrew Barnum and Vitabeats. His most recent paintings are colour field explorations of the Australian ‘Commons.’ He is resident of Meroo Meadow and Sydney NSW, Married to Lissa, with daughter Cayenne.
Give us a quick run down on your background?
Andrew Barnum has 30+ years’ experience as a Designer, Educator and Creative Strategist. As a Creative Director, he is passionately dedicated to social-connection, content creation and constructive adaptation to 21c conditions. Clients include organisations from the Financial services sector to Cultural institutions. His mission is to educate Commerce & Industry through an expressive and productive conversation that acknowledges the value of a Creative and Cultural Economy. Prior to heading up the Creative Industry Faculty at Open Colleges, Andrew was Head of College at Billy Blue College of Design. He holds an Associate Diploma in Graphic Art from RMIT, a Master of Arts (Research) from UTS:FASS and is completing a PhD in the same faculty, investigating the Cultural Contexts of Identity, Nation and Change through the lens of Australian Song in the age of digital music. He is a published songwriter and composer. When not consulting in Design or teaching Creative Process in Sydney, Andrew lives on a ranch on the NSW South Coast with partner Lissa building their school of thought around the future of work called ‘The Good Shed.’
How did you get into the industry?
Started as junior art director at McCann Erickson Advertising in Sydney after finishing RMIT in Melbourne. Through design mentor Tony Lunn, switched from Art Director in advertising to Graphic Designer. Left Sydney for Los Angeles (dual citizen) met and married Lissa Barnum and started freelancing as Designer and Songwriter. Returned to Sydney, been practicing together in design as Barnum Group Pty Ltd since 1982. Became an educator in 1999.
What is the biggest difference in the industry since you were at university?
Tangible Materiality to Intangible Virtuality.
What do you do when you are not teaching?
PhD candidate at UTS. Work with Peopleness.com.au,The Good Shed/Toolkick. Write, record and perform original music, Work our Rancho on the South Coast of NSW. Swimming, movies, donkeys, reading.
What do you enjoy about teaching at Macleay?
Intimacy, learning, connecting with youth’s blood, sweat, tears and aspirations.
What subjects do you teach at Macleay?
Research and Insight, Information Communication Technology, Content Technology Context.
What is the best advice you give your students?
Start with why. Learn to sustain inspiration. Be thoughtful, detailed and creative. Use a pencil.