Designer | Studio Blackburn
We asked Jack about his highs and lows, regrets, “gold nugget” life lessons, and if his experience at Lincoln Uni gave him that all important “foot-up” into the “big bad” Design Industry.
This is what he had to say…
I graduated from University of Lincoln in 2014. I enjoyed university deeply and will always have fond memories of both Lincoln and the uni. I didn’t really have any favourite projects, however I enjoyed ISTD and metamorphosis greatly. I remember finding the First year projects particularly challenging, as at the time my understanding of design was so poor. I also recall the work load towards the end of Third year being particularly challenging.
If I could do it all again I think I would go into it the course with a grounding in basic design. I would try to push myself further and develop a wider range of skills such as digital and interactive along side my projects, while using the expertise and cross disciplinary aspects from other courses to feed into my work much earlier. Looking back at the course I do think a greater understanding of the financial side of working commercially, such as working with budgets for briefs, working with VAT and getting more hands on with the business side of design.
What I really learn at Lincoln is that one must design with purpose, rigor and restraint. To those starting the GD course Id say “push your ideas as much as you can, you don’t get that level of freedom again, or very rarely and work with people from different courses as much as you can. Make as many contacts as possible and use their skills to better your work”.
Overall my memories of Lincoln Uni are of the great student atmosphere and the closeness of knowing so many people.
James Groves put me in touch with Matt Jones from Accept& Proceed. I then managed to spend time at MadeThought. There Ben Parker helped me massively and put me in touch with a recruitment agency allowing me to start working at a junior level. Getting that first break has lead to everything else. I then managed to get interviews at DN&Co, Foundry, Proxy and a couple of others. Doors seem to be opening for me which I am so grateful for.
Regarding what I am currently doing. Im now at Studio Blackburn. I work across the full spectrum, like branding and identity, web, print, art direction, retouching, moving image and animation. My plan going forward is to simply continue working hard and to gain valuable industry experience. Hopefully I will just continue to work with fantastic studios on great design and learn as much as I can. I plan to spend at least some time working in Copenhagen or Scandinavia and just move to more middlewight/senior positions within the studios
I’ve come to realise that its really important to be socially aware. Incredibly, we need to know what is happening in all areas of society, be that politics, the financial sector, fashion and art. This awareness really informs whatever project it is your working on and is often the basis for achieving the most relevant and purposeful answer.
Finding a balance between creative freedom and making money is tough. Its a big leap from uni, however that is a challenge that good design overcomes, finding the right solution isn’t always the most expensive. But how to make money from design is not taught at uni at all and I think it should be, as mentioned before.