In Focus: Breed

Olivia Triggs founded creative agency Breed in 2007 and can boast a diverse roster of illustrators, graphic designers, artists and photographers.

Why did you launch? What did you want to achieve?
I wanted to work with a group of creative people who I personally felt enthusiastic and passionate about, artistically speaking. Then it was, and indeed is, all about being able to represent them in the direction they want to go in, in terms of their personal objectives, working to strike the right balance between commercial and creative work.

I genuinely love managing such varied talent as it means working on a diverse range of projects which can include an exhibition like the Breed show we’re doing, or working on brand collaborations, advertising projects, fashion, music etc... It seems infinite.

How do you decide that an artist is a Breed artist?
Someone who I like, who is unique, driven and also just as importantly, they need to fit in amongst the roster of talent I already represent.

Tell us about the upcoming exhibition? Why should we check it out?
It’s our first group show, and the main motivation from my perspective was to create a space for clients, fans and friends to see the work in a different environment. It also allows the artists to showcase their work in a different format. For example James Joyce, who is well known for his iconic concepts and prints, is creating two huge canvas paintings. Entitled: ‘Here for a Good Time Not a Long Time’ and ‘Laugh, I Nearly Died’. 

As well as creating their own individual works for the show, Jessica May Underwood and Cat Garcia are collaborating together on one photographic/illustrative print. This has only come about because of the exhibition and I love that aspect.

Steven Wilson, very a much a graphic artist, is working in a more 3D medium with print and has created two Perspex pieces going into the show.

Kate Moross has done an incredibly detailed and complete felt tip pen piece, called ‘Felt Tip City’ and it’s the first that she has done anything of this kind for an exhibition.


Danny Sangra has created two illustrative works in acrylic and inks, set on Sight and Sound late sixties paper as part of the framing. Entitled: ‘Dinosaurs and Pineapples’ and ‘Birds and Bananas’.

Looking at the global art and creative landscape, what makes London unique?
There is so much creativity in London, from established artists from decades gone by to brand new talent. It’s pretty hard to pin point what makes London unique, as every city would possibly say the same thing, but from my perspective, artists in London seem to concentrate less with working in one specific format. They enjoy working across different mediums, creating new collaborations and seeing what emerges. It’s also perhaps true that the London creative industry is more perceptive to this when commissioning. Right now, London is bursting at the seams with creativity as we have London Fashion Week, the London Design Festival, the London Festival of Architecture and Frieze is just around the corner.

What phase are we in at the moment?
As well as print, I think more 3D, moving image and animation is emerging. I also think brand collaborations where clients are working with an artist as a creative name behind a project, as apposed to commissioning for the pure artwork.

What are your thoughts on art fairs?
I’ve not been involved with a huge number of art fairs professionally speaking, but this year Frieze is on my radar as Stuart Semple has his show ‘Suspend Disbelief’ opening there in a couple of weeks. It’s going to be amazing as he’s taken over a 19th century townhouse overlooking Regents Park and will be showing a new body of work including paintings, sculptures, installations and an exhibition that encourages visitors to interact, experience and immerse themselves in his exploration of life, death and entrainment.

What challenges do you creative people face at the moment?
Working within a competitive fast moving creative industry whilst staying true to themselves creatively and simultaneously, not being compromised. They also need to find the time to create new personal work as well as working on commissioned projects as that’s where their new ideas really emerge. But when everything works so quickly and deadlines loom, it can be a tricky position to balance.

Outside of the Breed family, who have you got your eye on at the moment?
Ah, well Stuart joined the ranks not long ago so he’s been an exciting person to get to know, and I was looking forward to that for a long time. But my eyes are always open, and I am continually falling in love with other bodies of work, often from other artistic sectors. Since the Design Festival started, I’ve been pretty excited about visiting some of the shows, namely 100% Norway, designjunction and everything at the ever-wonderful V&A.

The Breed exhibition runs from the 24th Sept until the 9th Oct 2013 at Tramshed, Cock n Bull Gallery, 32 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3LX

This colourful London-based art director fuels her creativity with the challenges of urban living