We meet new people every day. Some people have more of an impact on us than others. One of my favourite things is coming across extraordinary people that leave a lasting impression. They have a certain energy and passion, and a creative mind that brims with ideas, never switching off. And most certainly, always entertaining.
One of those people is Mike Cass. And today, it is with great pleasure I introduce you to the man behind Mike Cass Creative.
Who is Mike Cass?
Mike Cass is an over stimulated, sneaker wearing, coffee addicted snowboarder who loves wine, winter and white t-shirts. It probably started when I was asked to leave high school in the first term of year 11. The principal of the private school I was attending took a ruler to the length of my hair and politely suggested I should get a hair cut before returning tomorrow. I took this as the perfect excuse to relieve myself from continuing high school and decided skateboarding and surfing were a far better option. Two days later I received a message from Peter Fudge who I had previously done work experience with, asking if I would like to consider an apprenticeship in landscaping. And so begins my addiction to both sides of the industry. Creative – Construction.
How would your friends describe you?
ADHD! Extrovert, creative, generous and spontaneous.
Why garden design?
Gardens because both of my grandfathers were in the field and I loved being outside. From the age of 10, planting, growing and eating sweat peas from both my grandfathers back garden or the boundary fence at Channel 7 where we grew them.
Design because creativity came first.
Describe your design philosophy?
My design philosophy has no fancy, creative or emotionally connected word. I’m not sure if someone more important, with more experience has described using this word but if they have kudos to them. PROPORTION. This is how I foresee all creative construction whether it be gardens, pools or architecture or any other form of creative construction.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
The people I work for, the people I work with, communication, creativity, travel.
The truth is I love both facets of my job, the design and the construction. I guess the obvious answer people give is “ I love to work with my hands”. Does that make me obvious?
Also job satisfaction. I firmly believe that this industry offers both the employees and employers an extraordinary level of job satisfaction.
I do what I do because I love it. My greatest achievement is the appreciation we (all my staff) get from our clients. Most recently was the opportunity to design and build my parents retirement dream home, I think that will stay with me forever.
Who inspires you?
Obvious question, obvious answer “those who go”, believers, dreamers. Those who embrace creativity and change.
Greatest advice anyone has ever offered you?
Be good to your mother.
Greatest advice you could offer ?
Make your own experiences, this comes before clichés like, follow your dreams. Finding and following any dream starts with the experiences along the way. take a little from column A and a little from column B and decide what works for you. No one knows you better than you know you. And, be good to your mother.
What is your philosophy in life?
A sneak preview of what’s next is my current passion/business project. ‘Produce & Fuel’ was born a few months ago. It’s a creative outdoor venue showcasing an industry I have already devoted 25 years to. Along with great coffee and great tunes it’s a store/studio we operate out of daily, where people can experience a plethora creative stuff and things to either buy or be inspired by. We have connected with one of my favourite buildings and art galleries in this city. FRAME 88 @ 88 Penshurst street Willoughby. We have constructed an outdoor space using recycled materials, shipping containers and a string of left over building materials collected over years of building. It’s 90% complete but drop and say hi, watch it evolve, buy something cool or just hang out and drink coffee.
The short of it…
Mike Cass Creative
Sydney based. Designs internationally.