Chris Christodoulou

CEO

What is your role at SB?

I am the CEO of Saddington Baynes. I started out as a Retoucher years ago.


When did you join Sadds?

In 1994, although I’d worked with Dick and Chas since 1991. 

What inspired you to become a Retoucher?

I’ve always been into computers and sci-fi movies, but I’m also artistic. The fusion of art and computing drew me to a career as one of the very first digital retouchers in London after I completed my Art & Design course in Bournemouth. I’ve never looked back.
 

What were the early days of Sadds like?

It was a wonderful time to be a retoucher because the dawn of digital retouching brought with it new ideas and concepts from creatives, some of which were extremely complex to realise. I worked on many famous campaigns at the time with photographers and creative directors. We carved out a global reputation for producing seamlessly retouched images alongside exceptional colour grading. 

What drives you?

I’m driven by a restless desire to be better for our clients and for us with every project we create. I get huge satisfaction from seeing my team flourish and by doing work that is admired and respected in the industry. 

What inspires you?

Imagery in all its forms. I have a voracious appetite for it, whether it’s photography, art, film, architecture, graphic novels or design. I was exposed at a very young age to comic books, which not only inspired my latent ability to draw and paint but also instilled in me just how powerful imagery can be in visual storytelling. I still get a sense of wonder from reading them today as when I was five years old. This blossoming of my artistic skills then led me academically into Art, Design and Photography, after studying Maths, Computing and Physics. I have a very left brain-right brain sensibility as a person and bring this to what I do. This has been the backbone of SB since we started, a logical, structured framework that allows creativity to flow. 

What’s the culture like at SB?

It’s a great place to work, and I’m very proud of that.  Our values aren’t just words painted on a wall, we live them and embody them in everything we do because we want all of our team to enjoy coming to work everyday. A good culture can’t be underestimated and has always been an area we’ve focused on. It really feels like a family and there’s a real sense of openness and honesty at every level of the company. Everyone at SB makes a difference and is part of our success and we make sure we recognise that as much as possible. 

28 years on, what’s the secret to SB’s success? 

A relentless passion to be best, never compromising on quality, providing the very best client service we can and empowering our team to do their best work. I care just as deeply about the work we create now as I did when I was a digital artist.

 

Why is SBLABS so important to SB?

SBLABS was formed as the embodiment of our passion for pushing ourselves as far as we can, to drives the work we want to do and be admired for. I’m constantly blown away by the  stunning pieces of work that the team produces.

 

Engagement Insights® is your baby – why has a production studio like SB decided to delve into Neuroscience?

Because we don’t just create imagery, we create emotions. It’s not easy to translate complex emotions into visual language in imagery and a lot of decisions are made on gut instinct and intuition alone.

So if we can measure how people really feel about the work we create while we’re creating it, we can use the insights to help define and refine our imagery so it really engages and moves people in the way it’s intended to.

 

Any advice for artists just starting out…

 Yes! I would urge them to dream big, believe in themselves and not to compromise on their ambitions. As well as learning the technical aspects of their craft, to study and absorb themselves in photography to really understand and appreciate cameras and lighting. 

As Picasso once said, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an  artist.”

Favourite Project

Ferrari Final 1

 

Vector (4) As Picasso once said, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an  artist.”

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