It was announced today that The design company Airside is going to close in the new year.
It is no underestimate to say that, more than anything else, Airside made me who I am. When I arrived there in 2003 I was a bitter, failed fine-artist in my late twenties. I didn’t know what I was doing with my life and was at an all time creative low-point. To be honest I didn’t have any interest in design, illustration or animation, I was just looking for any job I could get my hands on. I still can’t quite believe that they saw any potential in me.
At Airside I found a different way of working, of making stuff that made me insanely happy and, to my surprise I was quite good at. I can’t imagine what my life would have been like if I hadn’t had that opportunity.
I had found myself in an incredibly protective and nurturing environment. Optimistic, ambitious, democratic, honest, sometimes a bit disorganised and boisterous but, well, more like a family than a business. Airside was never like a normal design company.
This unorthodoxy came at a cost and in my opinion that cost was borne almost entirely by The three founding directors. They paid the price (both figuratively speaking and literally, financially) for our collective freedom. They subsidised our fun. They had the guts to stick to their higher principals even when it perhaps wasn’t the best business decision to do so. I hope they don’t mind me saying this but they will always be fucking legends for the way that they ran their company and I can never repay them for what they gave to me.
Also, they made Humping Dog:

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