Adland's artists

The industry is full of people whose creative talents help to make small fortunes for their clients. But with some, their creative juices don't stop flowing when they leave the office, James Hamilton writes.

GRAHAM FINK - Executive creative director, M&C Saatchi

Like many creative directors, Graham Fink comes from an art school background. He paints, he says, because he has to. With influences as varied as African art to fuzzy logic, and favourite artists including Picasso, Salvador Dali, Peter Beard and - believe it or not - Rolf Harris, Fink's work is diverse and, he says, a huge influence on how he makes his living. "Art is massively important. It's important to stamp a part of your spirit on your work projects," he says.

MARK REDDY - Head of art, Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Mark Reddy's art is nothing if not eclectic -his current obsession is hand-carved spoons, although over the years he's turned his hand to almost every medium. Reddy draws his inspiration from what he calls "unconscious art" - whose ideas were produced in a time and place where no-one called themselves artists. And he's incapable of separating his art from his work. He says: "I believe we have a responsibility to produce communication which has a conceptual integrity, rigorously defined, well executed, always challenging. There is never an excuse for ugliness. Craft is everything. A good idea must be served with an appropriate skill."

CHARLES INGE - Creative partner, Clemmow Hornby Inge

Classically trained, Charles Inge has always made art, although he doesn't think his hobby has any influence over his job as a creative director. "It's a good antidote to advertising," he says. "Advertising has to be immediate and crystal clear; art is often ambiguous and open to interpretation." Inge says his inspiration varies: "Music, people, places, nature, the news ... anything, really, except sea cucumbers." This particular work - called Children of War - is based on an 1851 pack of Happy Families playing cards, and features characters including Miss Dip the Dyer's Daughter and Master Soot the Sweep's Son.

EDWARD MASON - Former strategist and chief executive, CHJM

Edward Mason fills the time around his various non-executive directorships with sculpture - most of it big, heavy and wrought from sheet steel. Art is something he's always done in his spare time, although he never had the time to train professionally. Five years ago, though, he took the plunge and studied a day a week with a sculptor. "The thing about sculpture that appealed to me was that it's half engineering, half art," Mason explains. Mason's "Bin Haler" is currently exhibited at Asthma UK's contemporary art exhibition, Deep Inspiration, at the Jerwood Space. His next project is a life-sized elephant. "It's going to be quite an undertaking," he admits.

TREVOR BEATTIE - Founding partner, Beattie McGuinness Bungay

These three modified Polaroid shots offer a rare glimpse into what the Beattie McGuinness Bungay founding partner Trevor Beattie gets up to when he's not building his agency. "Everything we do in advertising is justified, quantified and rationalised, often within an inch of its life," Beattie says. "It's nice to do something creative which doesn't involve reason. Art exists without having to justify its existence. I like the daftness of that. I don't really seek inspiration," he adds. "I've always found the lives of artists far more interesting than their work." As for how his hobby affects his day job, Beattie is equally dismissive: "Art has nothing to do with my work; art is in a box marked 'art'. Advertising is strictly commerce."

MARTIN GALTON - Creative director, Hooper Galton

Martin Galton says his wife describes him as a creative compulsive; it's not a description he's totally happy with, but it's an affliction he's had since childhood. "I get a bit anxious and unsettled if I don't create something every day," the Hooper Galton creative director says. "I was often bored as a child; I discovered art and the boredom went away." His recent work focuses on stories he's seen on the news. A show at the Union Club in December sold out and the venue is planning a second exhibition, based on 2007's news, next year.

JIM MARSHALL - Chairman, Starcom UK

Jim Marshall describes his painting as: "Unschooled, rough and ready, but done with a certain amount of personal passion." The Starcom UK chairman gave up his official art training after his O' Level in the subject, blaming the fact that he didn't get on "terribly well" with his teachers. Marshall's subject matter - his paintings are predominantly musicians - reflects his innate interest in the people he's depicting. "They're nearly all musicians who tend to be what you euphemistically call 'characterful'. They're mainly jazz and blues artists, and I have to be interested in them both as faces and as musicians," he says.

TIM DELANEY - Chairman, Leagas Delaney

Although a writer by trade, Tim Delaney has, like many in the industry, developed a strong visual sensibility. But it would be stretching the truth, he thinks, to call his hobby art. He says: "There is no enigma in them - they're just snaps; the result of being in interesting places and being intrigued by the subjects." Delaney's influences are the black-and-white shots he says we're all intrigued with. "They seem more poignant and evocative than colour. I bash out shots and see whether they have the same effect on me." He draws his inspiration from the black-and-white printer Klaus Kalde, who, Delaney says, can "turn nothing into something". "If my shots are interesting, it's because of the way he produces the prints; they have little merit without him."

Topics