'Great for the real creatives': CC all-rounder explains how he's operating a 4400% ROI

Antony Kitson is the founder of One Ten Eleven Media, a multi-disciplinary design studio in Leeds. His work ranges from print jobs and building websites, to cutting-edge moving image, animation and projection mapping, working in both 2D and 3D.

As our second ever fully-fledged member, Antony has been part of Creative Commission since day one. He estimates his CC conversion rate at 28%, and after some rough sums, he worked out his ROI through CC as being a whopping 4400%.

He’s used CC to climb up a few rungs up the supply chain, going from being a well-respected freelancer working with agencies in the East Midlands, to founding his own creative studio. We caught up with him to find out what role CC has played expediting his route up the creative food chain, onto the plains where the big game roam…

CC: Hi Antony. Why 1 10 11?
AK: “Everybody asks that! It’s my initials in numeric format, and represents digital media, which is what I specialise in, although I’m not limited to one creative field. I have a core graphic design background branching out into typography, website design, animation, 3D, motion graphics & projection mapping. Anything for print or screen really, I’m your man.”

CC: How did you get into 3D design?
AK: “I gained a City and Guilds in Auto CAD while at college, so it stems from a technical interest in design. I have used many 3D packages in the past; recently I’ve been fine tuning my Cinema4D skills, exploring methods of merging graphic design with 3D, animation & audio. Over the last few years I created visual projections for Beacons Festival in 2013 and 2014 in collaboration with Lumen Arts. This year I have been working in collaboration with Omni Studio, on a light installation.

"It was pretty much impossible to get in front of the big labels without working through bigger agencies and obviously taking a much smaller cut. CC has changed that... that's great for the real creatives"

CC: How are you enjoying your Creative Commission experience?
AK: “It’s been great. I know from freelancing, how hard it is. In fact, it was pretty much impossible to get in front of the big labels without working through bigger agencies and obviously taking a much smaller cut. CC has changed that, taking a few middlemen out of the picture, but that’s great for the real creatives."

CC: And great for the labels too! What projects have you won via CC?
AK: “I did a promo animation project for Sony Music. A new website for Sarm Studios, and most recently I was chosen for Steve Lawler’s VIVa Music Ibiza Campaign - I actually pitched twice! My original pitch - a 3D concept - was rejected, so I revisited the brief and pulled together a street art inspired design more suitable for print and the brand. 

“It just goes to show that you need both creativity and tenacity to succeed.

“It was worth the effort. I’ve really enjoyed working with VIVa so far, creating content for their social channels to promote Steve’s VIVa Warriors night at Sankeys in Ibiza and events worldwide”

CC: Well worth the effort of pitching twice. What’s your pitch strategy?
“I try not to spend too long on a pitch - enough time to illustrate my concepts and direction on a project.  I draw inspiration from the brief, pull images, photos, sketches into a mood board. Then I spend some time creating style guides or frames using any assets provided. 

“I reckon I’ve won around 1 in 4 of what I’ve gone for [he does some quick sums, works out it’s actually 28%) I don’t go for everything, just the ones that strike a chord somehow.”  

CC: What sort of ROI are we talking, overall?
[He does some quick sums] “Well, in cash only terms, 4400%. But if you factor in taking a half day for each piece, and hypothetically paying myself for those days, then 320%.  That’s pretty amazing isn’t it?”

CC: It certainly is - might be a New World Record! What about the ones you don’t win? How do you deal with that? 
“I always try and get feedback, so I can learn from it. And I like to think positively: I may not have got the gig, but at least it’s something new for the portfolio or a new skill learned. There have been a few disappointments along the way, but it’s not all doom and gloom.”

CC: Did you have much music industry experience prior to CC?
“I’ve done graphic design and web projects with a few independent labels and music management agencies, such as More About Music and DJ Voice. I produced a promo video for Fabric London in 2014. I always wanted to work within the music industry, CC has really helped me expand on that. 

CC: What next for One Ten Eleven?
“I’m currently working on a new website, it’s something I have let slip as I’m always so busy with client work and pitches, my portfolio seems to fall by the wayside. But something fresh is on the way. 

“I’m looking to break into creating music videos - that’s where the big ideas are. I’d love to explore mixing video with 3D. I’m planning on pitching for a few this year so lets see what happens.

“I am constantly exploring new techniques, and ways to expand my skill set. I am challenging myself to 36DaysOfType this year. Take a look at my entries on Instagram.”

CC: And should you dream gig coming a-knocking, who would it be?
Erm, Warp Records, maybe a brief for Apex Twin or Squarepusher! 

[CC rudely interrupts] Everyone says that. Honestly, if Warp were to put a brief on there’d be a stampede.
“I’d definitely be in the mix! I’d also really like to work with labels like 20:20 Vision, AUS Music, R&S Records and Freerange Records to name a few. Producing visuals & stage projections for festivals & gigs would be a dream come true. Anything design related with inspirational artists and a good brief is fantastic.” 
CC: We’ll see what we can do…

Find out more out about One Ten Eleven