Page 1


S TAT E M E N T I have worked in the Creative Industry for over 10 years and, most recently, running my own successful creative agency in New Zealand, working on top Australasian Brands across varying market sectors. My expertise includes Creative Direction, Brand Development, Concept Development, Graphic Design, Website Design, Photography, Copy Writing, Social Media Development, Styling and Retouching. With the creation of my agency, Hot Potato, I combined and funneled these skills into a core business objective providing a one stop creative shop to meet and exceed all of a client’s needs. I ran the agency in a semi-virtual nature, meaning I took a hands-on approach to every project, bringing in hand picked creative minds to assist where necessary. I love working with talented people and have a natural ability to lead and extract exactly what is needed from those I work with and manage. Prior to Hot Potato I was the much loved right-handman in a highly successful Global Brand Agency, as the Assistant Creative Director. Managing an array of clients including Chevron Corporation and GlaxoSmithKline, new challenges arose constantly that required me to effortlessly switch between styling photoshoots to

designing event spaces, from creating campaign concepts to managing Art Directors on branding projects. Now living in Los Angeles and legally allowed to work in The States I am available for short and long term projects, temporary and permanent positions. I offer a fresh vibrancy to any business, consistently pushing beyond what is required to achieve results.

email: cell: 213-361-7806


Brand Development, Creative Direction, Art Direction, Concept Development, Advertising and Brand Campaign Strategy, Graphic Design, Website Design, Online Strategy, Website Building, Photography, Retouching, Copy Writing, Event and Conference Branding, Video Production, Script Writing, Social Media Engagement, Presentation Development, Styling and Casting.


Extensive experience managing large teams of diverse personalities in deadline driven environments, cross-functional team collaboration and cross-platform project and product management. Excellent one to one skills with personnel and team members. Outstanding time management.


Mac OS, Windows, Adobe Creative Suite - InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Adobe Acrobat Professional, Adobe Lightroom, Microsoft Office, Keynote, PowerPoint, HTML, CSS, Final Cut Pro X, MYOB.

WORK CREATIVE DIRECTOR Hot Potato, Auckland, New Zealand (2011 - 2013) Owner and Director of a creative one stop shop. Rapidly grew diverse client base across multiple industries and market sectors from the ground up. Successes include: PROJECT:

The Warehouse - Redesign internal ordering system for New Zealand’s largest retailers.


Complete redesign, system overhaul and management of developers. Site published throughout 80 stores nationwide. Winner of 2011 International Retail Industry Product Awards. Interest from Global companies to install similar ordering systems.


Workout On Water - Brand development and website design.


Concept, brand design, website design and build. This new Recreational Sports company has exploded onto the scene in Sydney Australia and is gaining national print and television coverage. Business and revenue is growing rapidly.


Ian Neil SC - Brand development and website design.


Concept, brand design, website design, build and print management. Noted Sydney Barrister changing the historic approach to Chambers. Glowing feedback within the Law industry. Expanding nationwide with new offices in Perth.

WORK ASSISTANT CREATIVE DIRECTOR Radiation Brand Agency, Auckland, New Zealand (2007 - 2011) A global boutique branding agency based in New Zealand with a large selection of clients including Chevron, GlaxoSmithKline and Roche Products. Hands on approach with all clients seeing projects through from concept to completion. Highlights include: PROJECT:

GSK, Seretide COPD - Purple Campaign 2010.


Worked on concept development, managed casting, directed photoshoots, retouching, managed Art Director and design process through to print campaign launch. Successful national campaigns targeted to consumers and doctors.


Stonefields Urban Village - Naming apartment complex.


Successfully named new urban development. Researched local site history, developed ideas and presented the winning concept to board members.


Vomo Fiji Resort - Website design and development.


Key contributor to web design layout after rebranding. Managed entire project, working closely with developers to ensure design and function were implemented to highest standard.



Mary-Kate and Ashley, Dualstar, London (2003 - 2006)

2+1 Post Production, London (1998 - 2000)

Responsible for the Mary-Kate and Ashley Clothing brand in European markets, working alongside the Fashion Designer from MKA’s London studio. Liaised with extended design team based in Head Office, Culver City CA.

Gained invaluable experience as a runner in a post production house in the creative area of Soho, London. I reported to Senior Editors and the General Manager.

Responsibilities included: - attending buyers meetings throughout Europe - overseeing production of clothing samples - managing the studio work flow - managing CAD team - sample shopping - sketching ideas - clothing color palette development - supporting designer with time management - general administrative duties

Responsibilities included: - management of film library - collection and distribution of film rolls - negative cutting and cleaning - setting up editing sessions with producers and directors - general office duties - assisting studio management - booking editing suites - trainee editing



D&B Performing Arts School, London (2000 - 2002)

Havering College of Media, London (1997 -1998)

2 years of intense training in a top private Theatre School, taught by top industry choreographers, dancers, actors and singers. Completed schooling with an industry diploma.

Attended Media Studies course after High School.

Classes included:

- desktop publishing - radio production - movie production - sound production - history of media - photography

- ballet - street jazz - tap - musical theatre - singing - drama - aerobics - contemporary dance

Classes included:

ABOUT ME Three words to describe me: Charismatic. Decisive. Confident. Two things you’re bound to hear me say: “I’m hungry” - “Do it properly, or not at all” Five things I couldn’t live without: Smart Phone. Gym. Good food. Music. People. Five things I could live without: Cold weather. Dust. Negativity. Milk. Clutter. One thing I’d never want to change: My gut instinct.

Who has influenced me the most? My dad - being the hardest worker I know. My mom - being the best supporter I know. My old boss - for pushing me creatively. What’s the worst thing that someone could do to me? Lie. Which is worse, failing or never trying? Never trying. Any regrets? We’d have to know each other a little better before I divulge.

REFEREES “James Stapleton-Gray played a substantial role in elevating our work far and above our competitors. He was employed as a key Creative Director and quickly became my right hand man. Not many can work at the fast pace we do, and thrive under my, at times, challenging Creative Direction. In the four years James worked for me, I never once saw him shy away from a challenge, I never once saw him drop a ball. He was a powerhouse of focus and creativity.” Jill Brinsdon, Creative Director, Radiation “James took my ideas and wishes, quickly figured my company ethos and came up with a new look first hit. His ability to develop a concept without any fault, first time, was incredible. He completely revised my thinking on how to approach brand recognition within the industry, its importance and how to become a brand not just a design.” Bevin Mobberley, Director, iDESIGN “James and I have collaborated on a number of projects over the years. I rate his creative opinion as one of the finest. As a designer in fashion my mind is wired slightly differently – I can see a vision in a garment or piece of clothing but James has the ability to see a wider vision in the realm of advertising, design and branding that can compel a business, product or brand to greater successes.” Juniper Rose, Designer, Falconiere Full references available on request

“Right from the get-go he demonstrated why he is held in such high regard – creating the entire Workout on Water brand ‘from scratch’ including brand concept, brand designs, marketing & campaign strategies. James has been that extraordinary force of nature who has pushed our company into the spotlight, generating media attention & global recognition. Providing the necessary guidance, advice & direction to ensure we remained ‘on brand’. I continue to be delighted & astounded by his extraordinary ability to create new brand concepts, refine marketing approaches all the while remaining with in the brand personalities he created.” Charlotte Piho, Director, Workout on Water “It is testament to James’ tremendous skill that my vague thoughts and early ideas were translated into a clear vision and compelling brand identity – one that I am proud to state stands apart from other practices throughout Australia.” Ian Neil, Barrister “It was extraordinary to see what James delivered in such a short timeframe; conceptualising, directing and coordinating other creative and technical staff to roll out an entirely new procurement system for The Warehouse franchises across the country.” Rob Silver Procurement & Compliance Manager, The Warehouse

James Stapleton Resume