What made you want to be a creative?
It was the one thing I really excelled in. I entered an egg painting competition at primary school and was disqualified because the judges didn’t believe I had painted it! From that day on, I never looked back. It gave me great pleasure bumping into my old teacher in later life and reminding her of that travesty.
What different roles have you had in the creative industry?
After graduating from the LCP (today’s London College of Communication) with a qualification in typography, I landed my first job as a junior designer in London. Here I learned the ropes in print and how to use a Mac fluently. I worked my way up to a senior role and then decided to work freelance for some broader agency/brand experience. I then set up my own business which I merged with Jellyfish four years ago. I’m now a director and head up an ever-expanding creative services team of 35.
What's been your most memorable piece of work to date?
There isn’t one piece of work that stands out but a blur of late nights, pitches, wins, losses, celebrations and a real passion for creativity. My shift from traditional print to digital has presented new challenges and successes but I still feel the best is yet to come.
What's your role at Jellyfish and how might a typical day pan out?
As creative services director I oversee the entire creative department and its output. I’m also responsible for communicating our service offering to the wider business and our clients, as well as developing new business opportunities. Each day is different and I love the fact that I can never usually predict what is going to happen next.
How would you suggest a student or graduate finds work experience?
This is such a tricky one as I know how hard it can be to get work experience. Firstly, students need to do their research and target the right person in the agency. I remember receiving a blanket email from a student who had forgotten to change the agency name in his email. This was a big no-no. Students also need to go the extra mile to show how badly they want the opportunity and take a different approach to everyone else. Putting some time into researching each individual agency will help them stand out from the crowd.
Where do you find inspiration?
What do you get up to in your spare time?
The agency world can be frantic. I tend to unwind by going fishing. Sea, Course, Fly, you name it, I love it. I also have a keen interest in cycling and snowboarding and try to get into the mountains at least once a year. A little tricky now I have children.
What one piece of wisdom would you pass on to a young person looking to break into the creative industries?
Getting your first break is often down to a combination of hard work, skill and a bit of luck. It’s essential to show your work in the best possible light and to tailor your applications to each agency. Demonstrating a wider interest and understanding of the industry is also vital in getting ahead.
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