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INTERVIEW: Artist William Richmond-Watson Talks Creativity In The Hamptons

Sydney A. Braat

William Richmond-Watson and his daughter. (Courtesy Photo)

William Richmond-Watson, founder and CCO of a creative consultancy, Watson & Company, is an artist first and foremost. Like many New Yorkers, Richmond-Watson finds solace in the Hamptons from the fast-paced lifestyle in Manhattan. The Hamptons have become a mecca for artists like Richmond-Watson to find inspiration.

We caught up with William to learn more about his time in the Hamptons and why he finds the community so inspiring for his work:

What is your favorite part about the Hamptons and what activities do you enjoy out here?

WRW: The history. I love that Warhol, Pollock and de Kooning were all out there. I like imagining them working in the summer where we are all subjected to the same conditions. I also love the clarity of mind it brings just jumping into the ocean. If you are working on a complex problem, nothing beats that.

What makes the Hamptons such a focal point for artists of all mediums?

WRW: Of course it's the proximity to NYC and the concentration of collectors.

Can you speak to the early stages of Watson & Company? Where did this idea come from?

WRW: I established Watson & Company in 2008. I saw an opportunity to pull together some great strategic minds and artists who sat at the forefront of culture, who together could make truly creative work that would beat some of the bigger or slow-moving agencies. As background, I started working with artists at the age of 16. There, I learned that artists understand the undercurrents of culture and the zeitgeist. They are often way out front of larger trends. I realized that if you combine that highly-tuned sensitivity to the times with an entrepreneurial rigor, you have a truly unique, winning formula.

Who has been a source of inspiration to you throughout your work and as you continue to build Watson & Company?

WRW: Originally, it was individuals like Paula Scher and Fabien Baron. Then as we matured as an agency, inspiration became companies like Mother, Siegel + Gale, and Anomaly. Today, it's my team, a collection of the most incredible artists, creatives, strategists, and entrepreneurial thinkers, that inspires me daily. Now the agency has become unique in its own right. I like to think we've become a perfect fusion of all of those that have inspired us.

What are some of your Hamptons tips for locals and visitors alike?

WRW: Go to reggae night at The Stephen Talkhouse, get lost in the trails of Mashomack Preserve on Shelter Island, eat a giant ice cream at Long Wharf on Sag Harbor, and challenge Sag Harbor Variety to find something you need that they don't have.

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