See.Think.Do. with Sam Furness
Hey Sam. Whereabouts are you right now?
Hey Days! Comin’ atcha from Holloway Road, North London.
What (if anything) is getting you excited right now?
August is going to be a very special month. I’m going to two friends' weddings (one of which I'm officiating!!), two engagement parties (one of them being my sisters) and it’s me and my girlfriend’s first anniversary.
I’m also going to my first festivals since Summer 2019.
Human nature is healing!
Tell us about your journey with your Channel Twelve and Creative Quests so far? What inspired you to launch this and when did you take that first big / small step?
It’s been a long and personal journey. In 2016 I took on a self initiated challenge to reconnect with my creative self. Despite having had an active creative existence my whole life, mostly in music and theatre, like a lot of people I struggled to keep it all going after university.
Alongside my job managing music artists, I set out to explore a new form of creativity each month for 12 months, in my spare time. As the months passed this challenge started to become a way of life - one that put equal importance on meeting new people/going to new places/learning new things as it did creating and bringing ideas to life. After 12 life changing months I realised I had developed a kind of conscious lifestyle and creative process hybrid.
Channel Twelve was born as a home for all my creative projects - since 2016 I’ve had installations at the London Design Festival, produced events, workshops, films… all sorts!
Creative Quests is Channel Twelve’s new programme that launched in Jan 2021. It’s a monthly club for creative & curious people all around the world that has a different theme each month - all based off my learnings from my own monthly Quests since 2016.
It’s still very early days but it’s been a pretty steep learning curve this year.
What’s been your highlight to date?
Launching Creative Quests this year. Hands down. I had convinced myself it might never happen after 4 years of trying to launch it. When we launched the sign up in December last year, all the places for our pilot in Jan / Feb / Mar filled up in 15 minutes. Since then I’ve got to connect with so many brilliant creative people from all over the world. For years I’ve been doing these monthly Quests on my own, in my spare time… so to now be doing this process with other people makes me feel proud!
What have you learnt in the last 12 months, that you could apply to your next challenge/goal?
Keep going. Sometimes good things take time. I thought my time had passed to launch Creative Quests - but really that was just a story I was telling myself.
People: Don’t abandon your idea babies!
What’s been inspiring you recently?
As I’m building a company which is all about creative curiosity, inspiration doesn’t come in short supply… but right now I would say the most inspiring thing I’ve experienced recently is how many young kids are at my local skatepark and how fearless they all are!
I love skateboarding and I think skateparks are model communities. Diverse ages, races and genders - safe places to fail, supportive environments to express yourself. I still learn a lot about life from skateboarding.
How do you think about mental health and what helps you manage it?
I think it’s a completely personal thing. What helps me might not help you and vice versa. For me it’s about managing the balance of connection & disconnection.
I’m a city boy at heart and being around lots of culture & busyness makes me feel a part of something. However I need the time to step back too. Whether that means nature time (to remind me of the bigger picture) or simply just being on my own in my room in silence!
Any bad habits you’d like to kick?
Avoiding confrontation! Definitely a bit of a bury my head in the sand type of person when it comes to conflict.
Reducing screen time too!
How will you measure “success” in 10 years' time?
Being respected by people I look up to and respect.
What’s the next adventure?
There are a bunch of Channel Twelve projects in the works. Including a book! It’s been in the works for a long time. It’s about people's unsung heroes.
Launching a new season of Creative Quests for 2022 is in the works also! In terms of a literal adventure - Japan & Hawaii are next on the dream list.
Top Local Spot:
I recently discovered, Bookbar on Blackstock road. As you might expect, it's half bookshop/half bar! It’s a lovely feeling/looking space.
They have a service called ‘Shelf Medicate’ where you give them a theme and they’ll curate a selection of books that explore it for you to read! So cool.
Watch out for:
Gretta Ray’s debut album. Begin to Look around. Out on 27th Aug
I’m slightly biased because I manage her… but seriously, she’s exceptional!
Best new thing:
I just bought ‘The Book of Homelessness’ , the world’s first graphic novel made by homeless people. It’s made by Accumulate - an art school for the homeless. It’s vital and devastating.
Smallest change/ biggest impact:
Try something new creatively. Its's never too late to find something new that illuminates you.
Your message in a bottle:
“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable” - Mary Oliver
What's Doing at Days
Reading: Coasting: Running Around the Coast of Britain - Life, Love and (Very) Loose Plans
Listening to: Dan Croll
Checking out: Anxious As Anything