Moments that matter

3 documentaries to give your creativity a kick up the arse

James Gaffey

There is a common thread that connects greatness in all its forms – and that is pure, absolute, unfettered dedication.

Picasso famously said that “inspiration exists, but it has to find you working”. And rarely has there been truer words spoken; especially when it comes to creativity.

Unfortunately, as creatives working in more commercial fields, it is sometimes easy to get bogged down by day-to- day routines and the demands our clients place upon us.

That’s why it’s important to remember that inspiration also exists outside of our own creative fields and our habitual behaviours and interests.

Finding inspiration down other avenues can help us gain a greater understanding of our own purpose as creatives, and perhaps, even inspire us.

To witness the passion that fuels people and their craft is powerful. So if your creativity is in need of a kick up the arse, why not give some of these inspiring documentaries a try:

Abstract (Netflix)

Abstract is an incredibly diverse and inspiring series created by Netflix which profiles designers
across multiple disciplines. Each episode provides an insight into the creative process of some
of the world’s best creative minds. Designers consider how their work affects people and how
design plays an even greater role within society as a whole.

Paul Smith Gentlemen Designer (Netflix)

The story of how a humble man from Nottingham came to dominate the world of menswear.
This short documentary paints an intimate and candid portrait of Paul Smith, the legendary and
prolific British menswear icon. As well as wearing the hat of designer, Paul is also a formidable
businessman. After opening his first shop in 1970, he now owns over 400 shops worldwide.
A true rags to riches story.

Terrible puns aside; the documentary provides a fascinating insight into Paul’s life, showing us
what inspires him, from his daily routine, to his creative process and his studio habits.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi (Netflix)

This is the fascinating story of Jiro Ono, an elderly Japanese man widely believed to be the
greatest sushi chef in the world. Jiro’s restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, is a three-star Michelin-
awarded eatery unexpectedly located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble location and appearance, Jiro’s restaurant has been awarded three Michelin stars and has hosted all manner of people from presidents to famous footballers.

But aside from Jiro’s unrelenting dedication to his craft, what makes this documentary especially
interesting is the relationship between Jiro and his eldest son, Yoshikazu. The story hinges on
their relationship and Yoshikazu’s role as eventual heir to his father’s legacy. This of course
proves to be a daunting prospect when you have spent your whole life living in your father’s