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Ali & Clive, Creative Duo

4 min, 30 sec read
17:33 PM | 13 November 2013
by Adam Oldfield
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We interviewed Ali Rafei and Clive Nigel Pereira a creative team from the UK about how much they love working in advertising and about their experiences so far.

Ali: I’m a Street Artist from Lebanon, currently living in Leeds where I studied my MA in Leeds Uni. I’m 28 and into arts, comedy and advertising.

Clive: I was born in Bahrain, later moved to India and now live in the UK. I’ve dabbled in accounting, interior designing, content writing, publishing, voice over artistry, video production and dancing. I guess you can say I’m like a bag of mixed nuts with big hair. We met in university and have been working as a team ever since.

What was your first ever job?

Ali: I worked in a shipping company as an account executive used visiting clients to win their accounts.

Clive: The first job I ever had was during my bachelors. I worked as a purchase and accounts assistant. Aside from learning a lot I realised that I could never do this for the rest of my life. 

Why did you go into advertising?

Ali: I believe most advertising can be done in a different way, and I watched creatives receiving awards in Beirut and I said to myself that could be me. It sounds cheesy but it’s true.

Clive: I was at a dead end in my life and my sister opened my eyes to advertising. I jumped right in and have never looked back. What struck me the most about advertising is the fact that anything and everything you know and learn can be applied, be it science or a conversation or some video you saw on YouTube. The randomness of being able to pull an idea from anywhere really excites me. 

How did you clinch this first job?

Ali: A friend of mine worked at a shipping company called Aramex, he advertised it to me, and I gave it a shot.

Clive: My first advertising gig was in Bahrain. I made a list of all the agencies and walked in with my CV and asked them if they had a spot available. After a lot of rejections I was finally able to get hired. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Ali: Self-delusion is important from time to time.

Clive: Until this point in my life I would have to pick two: one is “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken”. It’s practically everyday language but what’s so intriguing is that it’s so simple yet so difficult at the same time. 

The other piece of advice I definitely live by is “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. I never really understood the gravity of this until I got into advertising. It doesn’t feel like work it’s like mucking about.

How would your typical day play out?

Well now that we’re looking to land an opportunity to prove ourselves, a typical day would start around 10:00am where we hang about and work on our portfolio, come up with some crazy ideas to get noticed and get distracted constantly by 9GAG and YouTube prank videos.

Ali: Reading newspapers in the morning and writing resumes of the articles that interest me, later on I read up about art, get jealous and start creating my stuff. On breaks I grab coffee with my friends.

Clive: At the day’s end I would relax by concocting in the kitchen and having dinner with my flatmates. 

What do you see as the next big thing?

Ali: All buildings covered with street art and on top of them green gardens.

Clive: The next big thing; those are strong words, I would have to say fusion: be it in advertising (which it already is to an extent), food, dancing, music etc. Mix things up you never know what you will get.  

What do you keep busy with in your spare time, any personal projects?

Ali: Newspapers, books and sketching.

Clive: I love to cook, so some of my spare time is spent trying out new things in the kitchen. Other than that I do love to watch TV shows, movies, try out random YouTube tutorials, shake a leg, drink and just be silly with friends. 

What inspires you?

Ali: People who talk less and do more.

Clive: Honestly anything and everything. I’ve been inspired stirring a pot, talking to friends, crafting projects brushing my teeth etc. It’s fascinating being inspired from some of the most menial things. 

If you could share a desk with anyone, who would it be?

Ali: Louie CK, apart from being my favourite comedian, He’s a great story teller, and his stories are based on a human truth.

Clive: If I could share a desk with anyone it would be anyone. People can teach you so much; if I could I would share a desk with someone new each week.

What's your one piece of advice for someone looking to break into the industry?

Ali: Talk to people, keep on improving your book and persist. 

Clive: It is not only important to work hard but also to believe in yourself and what you do, if you believe, you can make others believe. 

Check out Ali and Clive's portfolio for some of their creative work.

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