My name is Oliver Card and I have had a lot of jobs in my time.
So far, I have been a paperboy, potwasher, hospital porter, barman, waiter… the list goes on.
When I was 15 year old, I had this genius idea to get a job in a particularly girly gift shop, you know, in order to meet girls. Alas, like many schemes of a tragic lovesick teenager, it didn’t really work. I didn’t get any dates and ended every shift smelling like a Yankee candle.
But hey, at least I learnt how to gift wrap properly; it’s an important life skill.
Now, they were all jobs but my vocation in life? Well, that’s slightly trickier to define. When I was a boy, it was steam trains. I didn’t even grow up in an era where steam trains were an active method of transportation, but all I wanted to do was be a train driver. I loved the scale and the drama, the striking designs and the sheer presence of these extraordinary locomotives.
Then there were the Muppets. In a time when they were falling into obscurity, I was obsessed and dreamed of being a puppeteer working for The Jim Henson Company. When I was 12, I even managed to convince my Mum to take me to the Jim Henson Creature Workshop in Camden. Understandably, they didn’t let me in, but I just to have a look at where the magic happened and where all the creatures were made.
So, I was a boy slightly out of time.
But throughout everything, there was one through line. When was at school, I surfed along the bottom of most of the traditional academic classes, but I found most of my joy in art, technology and storytelling. If it meant making, I was made. My instincts and intuitions were not traditionally academic, but the things that really drove me were film, art and design.
School is a long time ago for me now, but I am still fuelled by those same loves that have come to define me. But how do others choose to channel their energy? What were their influences growing up and what decisions did they take along the way to achieve their aspirations? I am always looking at different disciplines for inspiration in my own work and regularly impressed by those who are specialists in their own fields.
This series explores the lives of those who have refined their instincts into talent, and often into their career.
The format for Five Rooms is inspired by my love of visiting galleries and museums. Growing up in England in a close proximity to London, we were very fortunate to have the opportunity to visit some of the world’s best museums and galleries. It was always a treat for us and to this day I still get excited about the prospect of going to see an exhibition. It’s a way of walking through someone’s life, and celebrating not only those achievements but also the journey itself.
Plus, I have a thing about postcards.
So how does it work? Each guest will have 5 rooms to fill with their life, creating a retrospective show that tells their story. Each of the 5 rooms is themed around a particular aspect, including Early Life, Influences, Tools and Work. And, of course, no exhibition is complete without the Gift Shop, where guests will choose an item for each listener to take away with them.
For me, this podcast about giving people a space to share their story. This series is an unpretentious celebration of people from all walks of life; whether they design, draw, dance, sing, sculpt, capture or cook.
Inspiration comes from the most unlikely places sometimes and I hope that you find the guests on this series to be interesting, informative and enlightening.