What did you want to be growing up?
When I was about six my mum bought my sister and I name badges with ‘teacher’ and ‘beautician’ written on them for Christmas; the beautician career choice was short-lived, although I do still love the idea of teaching. But I’ve always wanted to be an artist or do something creative. I went from wanting to draw portraits to creating something that fits a purpose, resolves a problem and still looks visually interesting. Graphic design ticked all of those boxes, so that was my decision made.
How (if at all) is the subject you studied useful to your current role?
I studied Graphic Art and Design, but my course was slightly different to a ‘normal’ graphic design course. We were encouraged to work with a wide multitude of disciplines such as film, photography and animation, especially in our first and second years. This really gave me a chance to explore and experiment with different mediums. I may not be using those practices in my everyday role, but I like to think that the course broadened my creative thinking. While I thoroughly enjoyed creating short films and working on photoshoots, I made sure that all of my final year projects were graphic design focused. I wanted to graduate with a portfolio that was ready to take out into the big wide world of employment.
What were your first jobs?
My first internship was at Prophet, a brand, marketing and strategy agency based in Covent Garden in London, where I stayed for three months, working on projects with brands such as Electrolux, KPMG, Triumph and Samsung. Although the majority of the work was artworking, creating presentations and retouching images it allowed me to improve on my Creative Suite skills and the speed at which I get stuff done. It was also my first insight into a large agency. It showed me that, (for now at least) I prefer working within smaller teams.
During my time at Prophet I was also freelancing for The Tetley where my friends and I had previously won a competition to design their festive marketing campaign. Through this I developed a really good relationship with their marketing manager which secured me the Resident Designer role. I worked with the marketing team to produce a whole range of exhibition collateral including marketing material, books and stationery. It was a valuable experience learning how to work to tight deadlines and with a small budget and liaise with suppliers and printers.