Me, My Chimp and I. And the sandpit. - Guest blog by Chris Place

Chris is an exceptional Creative Director who has a love for fun ideas that push boundaries and unleashing your creativity. In fact, I think we met at the Chip Shop Awards a few years ago, which is all about Creativity without Limits. This brilliant blog post shows how he adopts that philosophy for himself.
— Bank of Creativity

I’m hearing a lot about ‘Chimp Mode’ at the moment, Chimp Paradox, how we need to control our inner chimp, dampen the flames of instant reaction, think a little first and all that jazz… And no doubt some very, very, very, clever people will disagree with what I’m saying, but I’m saying NO! Well at least No for me.                                               

“Manage yourself and become the person you would like to be.”

Erm… am I not already who I’m meant to be? Dunno? Maybe? Maybe not?

Chimp says,  “Oi! You are doing just fine being you pal.”

I’m a bit perplexed by all this mind control stuff, I am who I am, and my personality is what makes me unique. In a creative environment it’s everyone’s individual uniqueness that comes together in the ideas melting pot that helps to make interesting ideas. That’s my understanding of it. And I think working in a playful creative environment it’s the perfect place to be a bit Chimpy? 

My chimp brain sits on my shoulder like a best mate, as said, I keep getting told and am reading that I need to harness this chimp? The chimp who part defines me. So you can see my struggle? This chimp has an active role in my work, sometimes I just blab out things without thinking too much about it, but that’s how I am and how I work and others around me who perhaps have caged their chimps (Snide feckers) take that chimp screech and think harder on it and build upon it, and I guess that’s true creativity at play.

Now I’m no Psychologist and I have no real understanding of such things, But I do think I understand myself, I might not understand all the reasons why and such, but I like to think I know who I am. Recently I was lucky enough to do some management training at work all about different learning styles and it turns I’m out I’m an ‘Activist’ and have an emotional character. Makes sense with my chimp being heavily influential in my life.

I’m pretty lucky that the company I work for are cool with individuality and like people being who they are, as long as that’s not offensive to others or abusive to the wider world – And I’m certainly not that. My chimp is a nice chimp, he might be a bit unruly at times and instantaneous but he’s not all animal, he has a human side to him too. Or is that me, or are we both one and the same?

Anyway my human brain rambles on…


Be who you truly are in a creative environment and let your own potential shine through, its easy to fall in line with other people’s way of looking and thinking about stuff, it’s easy to be a ‘Creative Chameleon’ and copy someone else’s style. Nab inspiration from others for sure. But don’t mimic personality, or you’re already a cliché.

Embrace your chimp. Don’t stick it in a cage that is well snide. Unless you’re a Chief Financial Officer and then I guess that cage is well and truly locked up.

Follow Chris on Twitter @Placey80