Staff Reporters
Feb 10, 2022

Creative Minds: Micah Walker advises caring about the right things

The founder and CCO at Bear Meets Eagle on Fire answers 11 of our questions. Learn about his simple rule for discerning good workplaces from bad, his secret to finding inspiration, and his favourite work by himself and others.

Creative Minds: Micah Walker advises caring about the right things
In Creative Minds, we ask APAC creatives a long list of questions, from serious to silly, and ask them to pick 11 to answer. (Why 11? Just because.) Want to be featured?

Name: Micah Walker

Origin: United States

Places lived/worked: Chicago, NYC, Hong Kong, Warsaw, London, Sydney, Portland

Pronouns: He/him

Current job: Founder and chief creative officer, Bear Meets Eagle on Fire, Sydney

CV: Wieden+Kennedy, The Monkeys, Mojo Sydney, Fallon London, Leo Burnett, more  

1. How did you end up being a creative?

I’m not sure I can answer ‘how’ I became creative. There are so many different factors that contribute to something like that. I’ve always kind of looked at things differently than most people, I guess, but really, I think I’ve just always wanted to make stuff.

I also grew up an only child and we moved around a lot, so there was a lot of reading and drawing just to keep myself busy. A lot of time left to the imagination. I suppose a combination of all of that set me on a path that eventually led to art and design school.

That’s where I started to learn how to really apply my imagination to things. And the process of shaping those things, or concepts, into ideas is something I grew to love.

Taking ideas and making them into something tangible is something that still drives me today and I’d even go so far to say when I’m not making things, I’m less happy. Those things don’t need to be advertising, but I like making that too, most of the time.

2. What's your favourite piece of work in your portfolio?

I’ve been asked this before and it’s a really tough one. Different projects are rewarding in different ways, and I tend to look back at everything pretty critically anyway. I guess if I had to pick, it’s probably the Boag’s ‘Pure Waters’ spot from years ago.

See more examples of Bear Meets Eagle On Fire's work, including one published today.

3. What's your favourite piece of work created by someone else?

Even harder. There’s just so much great work—especially if you start to include things outside of advertising. If I had to pick a piece from advertising, I’d say Sony's 'Balls'.

I saw the very first offline. Juan Cabral and Rich Flintham [of Fallon London] put this Jose Gonzalez track, which I’d never heard, over a three-minute cut and when they played it for me, I’d just never seen anything like it. It felt more like art than advertising, and I think it still feels that way today. It’s magic.

I also love the Combo’s 'What your mom would feed you if your mom was a man' campaign from a while back. 

4. What or who are your key creative influences?

I’ve found inspiration and admiration in so many different experiences and people. I still do. And I feel really blessed for that.

I think inspiration comes from a constant curiosity about everything—a messy mix of art, travel, books, galleries, politics, music, film, toys, architecture, fashion, design and of course other creative people. I couldn’t even start to shape all that into a shortlist.

5. Do you work best under pressure, or when things are calm?

Under pressure. But the right kind of pressure. When you’re trying to do something different and great and don’t want to let others down, that’s good stuff. That’s healthy friction and it’s good for creativity. Politics and agendas, not so much.

6. Tell us about the worst job you ever had.

I won’t name names as that’s no fun for anyone, but like most, I’ve experienced a couple shit situations. I think what they each had in common was a false culture and a group of people who cared about all the wrong things. Avoid that shit. Life’s too short and there are good people out there who do care about the right things. Work with them.

7. What makes you really angry?

Lying. Unfairness. People who don’t care.

8. What makes you really happy?

My wife and daughters. Making stuff. Helping people make stuff. Art. Cooking. The pub.

9. What would you do on your perfect day?

Italy. Art. Food markets. Wine. Swim in the ocean. Then cooking for friends and family.

10. What’s the last song artist you listened to?

I’m probably re-discovering and listening to more old stuff now than new. 

11. Tell us about your tattoo(s).

Mr. Cartoon created three pieces for me—one each for my daughters, Poppy and Stevie, and one for my wife, Lea. He’s really a special artist and I’m proud to have his ink. On my forearms I have an English kestrel and an owl, both done in Portland.

11. Who do you most admire?

My wife. She’s so smart and talented and runs her own amazing company. She does more in a day than I do in a week.

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