I started my own business straight out of college in 1993 to provide design and illustration services to my own customers and hiring myself out as a freelancer at other agencies. At this time designers and printers were moving over from scalpels and Letraset to Apple Macs and desktop publishing and I became instrumental in moving Yorkshire's creative industries over to the new technology (digital transformation before it had a name!). I accidentally became an Apple troubleshooter and guru, providing new users with training on how to use the emerging hardware and software and designing workflows to get the best out of both in design agencies but also film, televison and music studios.
Working mostly with design studios, I continued to pick up creative design work and was split 50/50 between being a creative and a tech nerd. As an everyday user of the same systems I was installing and supporting, I was able to speak to my customers in their own language and understand the issues they were facing.
As the company grew, design and technology came together again when we were asked to make "one of those web page things" for a client in the late 1990s. I had to sit down and work out how to do it because at that time nobody else was! Since then web design and build has become a massive part of my work although illustration, print design and photography are still just as important.
In my 27+ years of doing all of this, I have been invited to give workshops to students of all ages from primary school to degree level, as well as to industry on the value of creative thinking. I have also run specific, focussed seminars such as poster design masterclasses, digital workflow transformation and how not to be a slave to your computer...all with one aim - to inspire creativity using technology!
I currently also advise design students on their portfolios and how to best promote themselves to employers or as freelancers.