I graduated from Leeds University in July 2012, gaining a BA in Graphic and Communication Design (Ind). Although I’m just 22 years old, I took on many jobs and work experience placements throughout my first two years at university; decided to take my third year off to focus on working full time within the creative industry in London; finally getting to my fourth year where I lived and worked full time in London, whilst still travelling to Leeds once a week to complete my final and fourth year.
I remember watching “The Tech of Shrek” when I was 11 years old on the Shrek DVD back in 2001, and I was hooked.
My first freelance piece of graphic design was when I was 16, and I haven’t turned back since.
My first break in the industry was whilst working as a Runner at Smoke, a Producer came down and asked if anyone knew Illustrator. There I was, exhausted from working four jobs, seven days a week for several months, to pay for the unpaid internship in Soho whilst being a Runner, and a guy who was on a trial shift that day. Turns out we both could use Illustrator and clearly both wanted out of the kitchen – but there was no chance this guy was going to beat me here. Luckily the Producer clearly understood me when I said ‘I can do it – I’m really really good!’ and she brought me upstairs to meet the Head of Design and his colleague. They barely looked at me, told me I had 2 hours to create several charts for them and my first challenge was to find a laptop, and if I couldn’t find a laptop I should go buy one. This was when panic hit. Luckily I talk to everyone, so I managed to find a spare computer in another department that I could jump on and within 20 minutes I headed back to the studio. They both just stared at me and asked what I wanted. I said it was done, and they both had the .pdfs in their inboxes. I remember them both blinking, turning around to face me, asked for my name, shook my hand and I haven’t left that room since. From working purely with graphic design I was then able to teach myself 3D in my downtime and my skills and knowledge has grown from there.