How did you get in to Graphic and Digital Design? And when did you realise you could make a career out of design?
I studied design all the way from school to university, but essentially I was always a designer – in my teens I made animations on my computer, designed characters, did artwork for a band… This was before I knew people actually did this sort of thing for a living. After university, Graphic Design still didn’t seem like a viable career – I knew more designers out of work than creatives actually employed!
The first time I thought differently, was while working at a PR/marketing agency. I got to attend a meeting with Neville Brody, at this then-studio in Islington. I was aware of Brody’s work of course, but I had never seen a design studio like it – a dozen creatives over two floors, all created from the work of one person. Then I got to hear him talk about these incredible projects he was working on… I was amazed at the scale of the projects. That was the point where I thought ‘well, I might not be Brody, but I can see this is definitely do-able’.
It’s very important to model your aspirations on someone who’s essentially doing what you want to do, but you have to engage them to get the full benefit I think. Not long after that I went into design full-time.
Do you have any advice of words of wisdom for aspiring Graphic Designers out there?
The quote I always like to give aspiring creatives, is the advice William Burroughs (famed Beat Generation writer) gave to Patti Smith:
“Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises, don’t worry about making a bunch of money or being successful — be concerned with doing good work and make the right choices and protect your work. And if you build a good name, eventually, that name will be its own currency.”
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