Andy Baker is the Senior Vice President and Group Creative Director for National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD. Having worked at the National Geographic channel since it’s inception in 2001, he has overseen its growth and set the aesthetic for its promotional materials. The past few years have turned towards a cinematic approach which has garnered widespread appeal and is raising the bar for television show promos across the industry.
In addition to inspiring beautiful work Andy also expresses a unique view from the client side with his blog The Client Blog. Here he shares his views on everything from execution to relationships and how to manage it all. Creatives rave about him as he has a keen sense of self awareness and uses it to approach delicate situations with the utmost care and respect for the artists and the creative process. Having worked on a few of his sets, I can attest that his candor and attitude provides the foundation for a successful shoot.
Andy was an interesting choice for the podcast as he seemingly sits on the other side of the Art vs. Commerce table, or at least it appears that way from the outside. I think the more we discussed the realities he faces the more it became apparent that he is an artisan of his craft. When you realize that, it comes as no shock that he cares for and treats everyone in a way that feels inspiring and meaningful. Andy’s openness allowed for interesting conversation about the client/artist relationship and how to foster positive growth, not just for the sake of the product but for actual happiness in your life and in the workplace.
This episode is sponsored by Masters in Motion, a filmmaking conference that takes place in Austin, Texas. Speakers include the DP of Game of Thrones, the editors of Breaking Bad and Birdman, production designer of Master of None and many more. Andy was a speaker at this event and we recorded this episode during our time there.