What do we learn in Campbell Milligan’s CV? Well before he co-launched Monster Children Magazine in 2002, Milligan worked as a Pizza Boy, Carpenter, Ad Designer and cartoon drawer. He also initially disliked business partner Chris Searl, has a penchant for the sea, advises against University and absolutely hates stairs.
Failed art in high school, and was voted ‘Most Absent’ in senior year.
THE OTHER YEARS
Dole for two years after school, few odd jobs like carpentry and pizza delivery boy to keep the parents off my back
FIRST REAL GIG
At a printers drawing cartoons of airports. Horrible.
Hired as a junior designer at Brett Sherwell design, became addicted to port during this three year stint. Also spent three months trying to create a bevel effect on type in the first photoshop program.
Got hired as an ‘ad designer’ with Morrison Media, and was fired not long after with the opening line of “If getting along with your work colleagues and drinking was part of your job description”, was then rehired by the editorial creative director and entered into a world of drinking and drug taking, in between this i designed such magazines as Slam, Surfing Life, Chick, Deep, Australian Long boarding, Australian Snow Boarder and even did an issue of Riptide with a filthy word on the cover.
THE BIG CITY
Got poached by Sam Mcintosh and Adam Blakey to work on Waves magazine in Sydney, had an issue of Waves and Surfing life I designed on the stands at the same time. Spent a couple of years there making a mess of things, but having one hell of a time in the process. Also met Chris Searl during this time, he made me lie in the middle of a road in the city during an editing session for a movie we were making at the time, instantly I didn’t like him.
ON MY OWN
Left Emap and publishing and started freelancing out on my own working with Chris more and more, Myself doing the design and him shooting the photos.
About six months into the freelance gig Chris and I decided to start Monster Children, about a year later the first issue was printed, six years later we are still going … and I still design the thing, and Chris still takes most of the photos within it.
How did you get into the publishing/gallery business?I had worked on magazines for a few years, then left and freelanced for a while working with Chris, we started talking over a few beers about how there were no magazines in Australia that really covered what we were into, the next week we each got a five grand credit card, printed a media kit and started publishing a magazine. The gallery came about after an exhibition we had at Ken Done’s gallery, the curator of the space took a look at the tattoos on one of the artists and insisted that we should get a 20 million dollar public liability insurance cover note. We decided after that it would be much easier to just open our own, we were wrong.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far? I’d go with travel, through work we have been lucky enough to travel to a bunch of places, and meet a varied group of people along the way, it’s always great to travel with the people I work with too, great fun and a whole bunch of trouble.
What has been your most surreal or crazy moment? Sitting in a hotel room with Dave Grohl making small talk and avoiding the subject of Nirvana while waiting for our journalist to arrive after a night on the pills, only to have him bust through the door with his Dad who then proceeded to tell Dave that ‘Me and the missus
are huge fans and you’re welcome at the farm anytime’.
What’s been the worst job in your life thus far? Carrying magazines, seriously they’re heavy, and for some reason we always have offices up stairs. Every issue we end up carrying something like two tonnes of magazines up stairs, I’m kinda over it.
Have you reached your ultimate career goal yet? I’m still working five days a week (sometimes) so my career goal is not yet achieved, when I knock that back to one to two days I’ll buy myself a gold pen.
What advice would you give to people looking for a career similar to yours? Can the study, use the money you were going to spend on that, and buy a computer, design stuff for your friends, family, the guy down the road that mows your lawn. Learn about fonts and composition.
Did you always know you wanted to work in design? When I was about 18 I was booked to be a deckhand on a yacht, I was about two weeks away from donning a striped shirt and boat shoes when I got a phone call from Morrison Media asking me if I wanted a job in design, I made a few life decisions and ended up swinging to the side of design, still have a penchant for the sea though.
Was there ever a certain person or defining moment that influenced you as a person? The creative director at Morrison Media, Graeme Murdoch was probably my biggest influence. He guided and prodded me through many magazines when I first started out, I don’t think I would be the designer I am now without his guidance. He was also responsible for my first cup of coffee, that could be considered a defining moment in my career also?
What are the day-to-day highs and lows of your job? Working with Lucy Goodwin can cover both of these.
If you weren’t designing magazines, what’s another career path you might have taken? I’d like to give industrial design a go, and I have always loved the idea of being an architect. Either that or I would love to be a surly bar tender at a dive bar that plays heaps of shit rock n’ roll.
What are you working on at the moment? Issue 25 content, and trying to work out the launch of the American version of MC next March.
If you could trade places with one person for a day who would it
be? I’d go Keith Richards during the â€ Exile On Main Street’ recordings in France, now that would be one crazy fucking day.
What was your first job? I worked at a bakery. It was horrible.