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Experiences that made me – Dan Simon

01 November 2021

In this series, we ask Imagination talent all about the experiences that have made them who they are. This month, hear from Dan Simon our Senior Creative Director in Australia.

To sum me up...

Problem solver, creator, builder, maker. Soft-hearted with a silver head.

The experience that has influenced me most...

For my 12th birthday, I was given a Mambo coffee table book that showcased the artists and designers behind the brand's wild illustrations and surf apparel. I used to stare at the pages for hours at a time, tracing the art, until the binding gave way. It opened my eyes to how unique every creative is and how inspiration comes from such different places. That book triggered a deep desire for me to understand how creative I could be and how to express myself.

The work I’m most proud of is...

The Centenary of ANZAC Experience. I put my blood, sweat and tears into that project, it was an incredible opportunity for me to grow as a creative. I am so proud of what we accomplished because it had a real connection with me, my family, and millions of Australians.

The piece of work that makes me cringe

Early in my career, I designed a beautiful illuminated outdoor inflatable structure for a big brand at a festival. It started out with such a simple idea but by the end had been encumbered with so many client requests of screens, demos and hardware that it struggled to stay inflated! Every so often guests would run out of it screaming as it started to slowly implode! It taught me the importance of protecting the creative and not being a yes man.

The experience I wish I had created is

Olafur Eliasson's Weather Project and pretty much anything of Studio Roosegarde or Breakfast NY.

Advice to my 18-year-old self:

Make mistakes, they are worth more.

What’s next?

We are currently working with Guide Dogs Australia on an emotive and immersive experience that lets you feel what it's like to live with blindness or low vision.