I am involved in most of the design output that we deliver as a company. On the web side of things, that involves overseeing it from conception (research, user experience design and wireframing) all the way through to interface design and front-end development. I also do a lot of brand design, graphics and print design - which is my background. I sometimes get my hands dirty, and work on the coding and development, especially on front-end and Wordpress projects. Even though we each have our specialities, at Wired Canvas we all get involved in some way with each stage of a project, meaning that we each get to learn from one another, and that each brings new perspectives to different challenges. I also have a really nerdy interest in SEO, content marketing and pay per click advertising (I know, I know…), so enjoy helping clients with that - even though it’s not technically design! Every day brings a different challenge.
The best part of being a designer is definitely seeing your work “in use”. One time, I was in a car driving through the Dorset countryside, and we randomly drove past a huge billboard that I had designed for a festival - I got so excited, that we nearly crashed. It’s great getting to play a small part in all of the cool things that our clients get up to: incredible arts festivals, community cafes, live performances, amazing charity work all over the world… I love getting to learn how all these inspiring organisations and businesses work, and to be able to apply our skills to help them to get bigger and better.
I have a Foundation in Art & Design, specialising in Graphics & Illustration, from Bournemouth Arts Institute. I did originally plan on studying Illustration and Printmaking at degree level, but accidentally got a job in a design studio during my gap year. So technically I think I’m still on my gap year? Having said that, I definitely feel like I am constantly getting to learn and apply new skills and techniques every day - so in a way my education is ongoing.
I was originally a junior graphic designer at a printing company, where I honed my print and technical skills. Then I worked at an amazing public art gallery as their in-house designer, where I had the opportunity to try out some really creative/crazy ideas (like attempting to break the Guinness World Record for robot dancing as part of an exhibition launch). I was a youth workshop leader, where I led weekly sessions training thirteen to nineteen-year-olds how to build and manage their own website. I’ve also worked at two indie record shops (awesome), a cycle clothing company (met lots of mamils), and briefly worked filing death records (terrifying). I joined Wired Canvas as a freelancer in March 2009, before relocating to London and joining full time, and have now been part of the team for nearly 7 years!
For four years I sat on the Board of Directors for arts festival B-Side, who also happen to be one of our clients. I advised them on their digital and marketing campaigns, and it was a huge privilege to get to see ‘behind the scenes’, and learn how such a great art organisation works. I previously led an Amnesty International Youth Group, and was a charity shop volunteer for Oxfam - both great charities that I continue to support. These days I spend a lot of time at Sunday Assembly (it’s not a cult), walking around London, cooking, reading trashy zombie novels, and talking to (or about) my cat Allen.
Design is an essential part of every business, from tiny charities through to the giant corporations of the world, so as a designer you have the opportunity to work with almost any industry. We're in the unique position of being able to use our skills for good - or for evil! - so we’ve made a deliberate choice to work with clients whom we really want to support. On an individual basis, most of us have personal backgrounds in the arts, so that’s something we’re really passionate about, and it’s definitely more inspiring when you know that you are helping support great causes. It just makes you want to go above and beyond to help your clients get the best possible results - and that’s why I really enjoy doing what I do.