It was the original term for typography in France (Arte noir) and during the 19th Century theatres and shows around the world used the term for parts of the show that required the stage to be in darkness.

It’s politicisation by the 1960’s Black Power Civil Rights Movement in the US and their use of Art for social change, The Black Arts began to take on a broader meaning.

The activities of the World’s political spin doctors, in the US and then Europe, became synonymous with the term  

during the later years of the 20th Century and inevitably Public Relations,Advertising and Marketing soon fell under its spell.

With it’s origins in Graphics and Entertainment as well as increasingly complex routes to inform, interest and persuade, it seemed a good time to bring the “Black Arts” into the light.

The Black Arts Company (born in February 2011) is involved in Brand Development, Advertising, Promotion as well as Digital. Event and Visual Media Production.

skills

Ian Cassie

The Black Arts Founder Ian Cassie has been involved in a number of industries, always managing to move on to the next in the nick of time.

Following a short spell learning, or failing to learn, Law at College the lure of the music business proved more appealing. Managing Music Artists most readers have never heard of ( like Barclay James Harvest and Hot Chocolate….told you) Ian moved on to the formation of a record label and Corporate Communications Company. This in turn led to the beginning in many ways of Music Marketing in the UK with vast sales of Records as well as Sponsorship, including Michael Jackson for Pepsi.  

All good training for a life in Branding, Advertising and Marketing which has included involvement with highly successful brands such as Orange and Peroni.

What next? A Newsagent shop in Leicester looks favourite.

Here’s some of the people that work here.

 

Jai Harji

Jai, he’s an Asian lad from Hounslow, who grew up in a corner shop, worked at Heathrow to get through college, decided not to become a doctor and instead ended up choosing the path of a creative. Over his years in the industry he has worked at some of the hottest agencies in London including Wieden’s, Leo’s and Agency Republic. His experience spans creating work for brands such as Nike, Lurpak, McDonalds, John Lewis, O2 and Grolsch. When he’s not coming up with ideas for brands, he’s busy writing scripts and making music videos like these ones.

 

Rich Ward

No that is not a spelling mistake, but the nickname for an Aston Villa supporter, something that has stood Rich in good stead for his long career in advertising with an awful lot of lows and a few sublime highs. Today Rich is known as one of the sages of the advertising industry or a wizened veteran depending on what time of day and which light you catch him in. He has over the years worked not only in a number multi-national agencies but also several boutique London agencies, working on everything from condoms to chocolate bars. He has won numerous awards including a silver at New York Film Festival while shifting a lot of clients’ products along the way.

 

Allison Bradley

Ali started her career filming trains.  Yes you read that right, trains.   She knew it was time to do something different the day one of the editors asked her whether the shot he was looking at was the Virgin Voyager or the Virgin Pendolino and she could tell him just by looking at the material the seats were covered in.  Definitely time to get out more! 

From there she went on to work agency side in PR, for a diverse range of clients from Transportation and building supplies through to charities. Organising events, copywriting and generating significant press coverage during the process.

The call of production was too strong for her though and before long she found herself back in her true home as a producer – the perfect role for a penny pinching Scot! 

Slightly barking, Ali never shies away from a slightly insane challenge and during her time at Black Arts has both been in the Circus and sailed from Australia to China as part of the Clipper Yacht Race.  Who know’s what she’s going to come up with next.

 

Carley Smith

Carley is our resident American, hailing from Badidlyboing, Illinois, USA (population 15). She came to the Black Arts for a weeks work experience stint, and 1.5 years later she still hasn’t left despite our best efforts to have her deported. When she isn’t eatin’ grits, sewin’ flags or pluckin’ her banjo Carley focuses her attention on making sure our clients have everything they need and that it is delivered with super speedy efficiency. She’s also mighty useful to have around when we have those little “Lost in translation” moments, namely to assist our American clients in understanding what we’re talking about! (see reference “Up the City” appendix 3.1) 

 

 

Mitch Horton

Mitch grew up in a humble Australian seaside town called MacMasters Beach. 
Having worked in numerous advertising and design agencies in Sydney, Mitch decided to spread his wings and come back to the mother country and try his luck in the big smoke. Mitch loves anything remotely creative and spends most of his time looking über cool in Shorditch.

 

 

Ben Harris

Ben, a video from the holy land that is Manchester, has been with the Black Arts for over 2 years now, and has only recently just stopped making teas and coffees for the powers that be. Self-taught on video editing software after coming straight out of university, he has cut several short films and a lot more for Black Arts. Here’s some of his stuff. Guardian Short Film Trailer (produced by Inspiration by Light, Directed by Ben Ryder) & One for the Boys

 

 

Jeanette Aldridge

It’s all very well working for these creative types, but someone has to do all the hard work behind the scenes.

Jeanette has worked with a wide range of strange people over a career in finance and administration so it’s no surprise she ended up at The Black Arts. In that time and as you can imagine, there were a few rats amongst them – though we’re actually referring to a previous position as the Finance Controller for an AIM listed pest control group here of course, no reference to The Black Arts at all!

Jeanette is the controller of the purse strings, she is there to make sure that we make a profit, and we all love her for it!

Outside of the Black Arts, Jeanette has a wide range of interests and is currently in a very close relationship with Jimmy Choo – Christian Laboutin, got to be a bit of a bore!

 

Steven Andrews

Steven began his career spinning the ‘wheels of steel’ as a DJ and producer with in the music industry and continued to fulfil his creative needs 6 years later with events production. Steven then rediscovered his artistic routes moving sideways into London’s Art scene working as an event coordinator and curator, where he found his passion for creative expression and ideas. This path led him to the front steps of the Black Arts Company, the rest is history… well, 18 months worth.

 

David Beeching

After realising his destiny did not lay in the Garden City of Letchworth, David decided to stray from his humble hometown and found him self entering the rock and roll world of the music industry (perhaps it was the snakeskin platforms or the gold medallion, who knows?).

After touring with the likes of Aerosmith, Abba, Bruce Springsteen and many more, David organised his first party for the iconic Michael Jackson; where he finally discovered his true talent, ‘live events’. From glamorous corporate award dinners for RBS to the launch of the Teletubbies for BBC Worldwide, David has over thirty years experience in the business of live events and is still pioneering with the introduction of iPad Conferencing and Augmented Reality.