Finding fresh perspective by taking on new challenges

Nexus’ Ian York on the power of learning and development, real life experiences and passion projects

Ian York

Head of Visual Content Nexus PR and communications


Culture is at the crux of creativity. Yet all too often as an industry, culture is not treated as a tangible input. If creativity is a muscle, then you need to exercise that muscle every day. With that in mind, BITE is asking industry leaders to share the experiences which have positively impacted their creative outlook and how they have influenced their work. Ian York, Head of Visual Content at Nexus PR and Communications shares how taking on new challenges helps him to maintain a fresh approach.


As the Head of Visual Content at Nexus PR, it is essential that I am challenging myself creatively in order to produce the best work for our clients. I’ve spent over a decade honing my design skills but in a busy ever-evolving agency, prioritising the things that inspire me can fall by the wayside. That’s why I focus on three key areas that challenge me and provide fresh perspectives. For me, having a bit more structure makes it feel more manageable.

1. Despite what they say, you actually can teach an old dog new tricks…

When you’ve been in an industry for a long time, it can be easy to rely on your experience to guide you through. However, for me, continuing to invest in new training and education opportunities helps me become a better more rounded marketer and creative.

This year, I enrolled in the Mini MBA in Marketing, which was a really valuable experience. This theoretical education course delved into the intricacies of marketing beyond visual identity, offering insights into market segmentation, consumer behaviour, and branding strategies. By getting expert guidance on the broader marketing mix, I've been able to approach my projects with a more holistic perspective. Considering the entire customer journey has definitely inspired me creatively. The importance of regular training cannot be understated to encourage people to think more laterally and innovatively about creative challenges.

2. Forget VR & AI, here’s why I’m team IRL

While theoretical knowledge is invaluable, I've found that real-world experiences are equally essential for nurturing creativity. That's why I make it a point to immerse myself in the physical world, whether it's visiting brand pop-ups, exploring exhibitions, or visiting new creative installations around London. These experiences provide first-hand insights into what works and what doesn’t, inspiring me to push the boundaries of my craft.

3. Putting the fun back into the fundamentals

Like many creative professionals, it was the hobbies I had as a child that sparked my interest in the area. However, when your hobbies become your career, it is easy to lose the love and craft and allow it to become ‘the job’, I therefore always look for ways to be creative outside of the 9 to 5 and have made it a priority to reconnect with these hobbies that inspired my passion for design. Recently, I've started attending a local art class, where I have the freedom to explore and create without the pressure of time constraints and deadlines. Engaging in extracurricular activities not only recharges my creative batteries but also reminds me of the joy inherent in the creative process itself. By nurturing my artistic side outside of work, I find renewed inspiration and enthusiasm, allowing me to bring fresh ideas to my professional projects.

Guest Author

Ian York

Head of Visual Content Nexus PR and communications


Ian York is Head of Visual Content at Nexus PR and Communications. With over 10 years experience, he is an all-rounder in creative comms with a particular focus across brand, design and content creation.

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Creativity Culture learning