Ricc Webb's offical title at Microsoft is "Mischief Maker." Seriously, it is. Growing up in South Africa, Webb's first job after school was Brand Ambassador at Lexus, moving on to 1000 Heads, Nokia and now Microsoft. An extremely creative individual, Webb plays with humor, user experience and art to create innovative technology like the Microsoft #TileArt App. Never taking himself too seriously (take a peak at his YouTube channel), what he does seem to thoughtly focus on is inspiring young creatives to be themselves. Take a look at what he is looking for in the submissions and how he uses his own #TileArt App. 


TH: Why do they call you the ‘Mischief Maker' over at Microsoft?
Webb: Technically, it’s my job title! I had to earn blowing flames, light saber painting and conducting random experiments!

TH: What advice would you give to creative artists before they start working on their #TileArt submissions?
Design, draw and illustrate what you love. We’re not looking for stuffy corporate stock images or motivational posters. We want each theme to be completely different from the next. 

TH: What captures your eye when you look at art?
Usually I look for how clean the lines in an image are and how easily a picture can be cut up into layers. Because that’s the point of #TileArt, to layer a beautiful image on top of a background so that you get this floating parallax effect when you scroll the phone. I think this video demonstrates that really nicely.

TH: What type of art would you use as the custom #TileArt for your phone?
Personally, I love comic book themes. Artists like Frank Miller and David Finch have the ability to tell an entire story in one image which I love…both in very different styles.

TH: What 5 words would you use to describe the #TileArt App on Lumia Phones?
Awesome, Unusual, Interesting, Challenging and Rewarding. 

TH: What do you like most about the #TileArt App?
The #TileArt Gallery. The gallery for me is by far the best thing about the app. The fact that we’re not just doing this to help people make their phones look cool, we’re also doing this to put artists in the spotlight.

TH: What is your creative process like?
First, I think about stuff I love. Artwork I enjoy staring at, games I love playing, comics I love reading or people who inspire me. Then I find one image I like about that specific thing and use that as a reference point for style, palette and composition for all the other pictures I use. 


TH: Do you have any creative hobbies, like playing an instrument or painting?
Funny you ask…no, not really. Creating cool home screens is the closest I’ve got to doing anything remotely creative from a visual point of view. I enjoy writing and I see marketing as a creative outlet I guess...which sounds a bit sad, but hey, when you have a job title like Mischief Maker it can’t be that terrible right. 

TH: You started off as an Brand Ambassador for Lexus, and now you are the Microsoft Mischief Maker. What is something you now know, that you wish you had known fresh out from University?
Nothing at all. If I tried to change anything about who I was, I wouldn’t be who I am today. And I kinda like this guy.

TH: Do you have any social media tips for these artists in order to gain exposure or a following?
Webb: Sure. Think about it like you’re at a big house party on your own. At first it feels a bit uncomfortable, but as you start to chat to a few like-minded people you start enjoying yourself. Find your style and your feet and just start chatting. I know it sounds basic, but the more you comment, contribute and get involved in the conversation the more exposure you’ll get.

Find out more about our opportunities with Microsoft Lumia & #TileArt here.